Whether it’s winter, spring, or summer, mowing is key to having a flawless and squeaky-clean environment. It makes the lawn well-balanced and healthy while blocking any weeds affecting the grass. However, mowing can be exhausting, especially during the hot seasons. Fortunately, you can fine-tune your lawnmower to ensure it mows faster and better.
You can make your lawnmower better by simply following the proper care and maintenance practices. These practices include lubricating the moving parts, sharpening the blades, and cleaning the lawnmower. Additionally, you need to avoid damaging your lawnmower to keep it performing at optimum levels.
Using a weak or slow lawnmower can make mowing more challenging and time-consuming. You do not want that, do you? By all means, a mower should work as if it is new! Here are a few simple tips that can improve a lawnmower’s performance:
Performing Pre-Mowing Checks on Your Lawn
It is essential to mow when the grass is somewhat dry. Before anything else, one must perform pre-mowing checks on the lawn before turning the mower on. These inspections help keep stones or sticks off your lawn that could otherwise damage the mower.
There is nothing worse than having nicely sharpened blades bent after hitting a rock. The stone can even fly and hit you or damage your car or house window.
Choosing the Right Mower For The Job
There are different types of lawnmowers in the market, and each of them has its pros and cons. Some models work best in slope areas; others are meant for more extensive lawns. Therefore, another crucial thing is performing due diligence before buying a mower.
Potential buyers should go for one that suits their garden for better results. Buying the right mower eases maintenance and reduces costs that may come with future replacements.
Using a Clean Air Filter
A lawnmower’s air filter needs to be cleaned every now and then. The air filter accumulates a lot of dust, dirt, weed, and debris that will undoubtedly reduce the mower’s performance. Also, slime can affect the engine’s power supply, making it weak or even functionless.
Some mowers have paper air filters, while others have them made of foam. Whether paper or foam, the air filter is usually on the left side next to the mower’s engine; they shouldn’t be hard to locate when cleaning, but you can always check your user’s manual if you have any doubts.
A dirty air filter can play a big role in slowing down a mower and making it less efficient. Hence, changing the filter once per mowing season is crucial to prevent clogging.
Cleaning the Undercarriage
Grass cuttings and debris accumulate on the mower’s undercarriage after a cutting session. These substances can cause the lawn to malfunction if not removed regularly. The undercarriage will be clogged, negatively impacting the mower’s performance. Try to clean it after each cutting session for optimal performance.
Most people use wire brushes or damp clothes to scrub any debris stuck on the deck. While cleaning an electric mower, ensure that not even a drop of water gets into the deck as it can harm the electrical components.
Also, make sure the mower can’t accidentally start while you are cleaning the deck. You can do this by removing the spark plug (in case you have a gas-powered mower), or the battery in case of a cordless electric mower. With corded mowers, make sure it isn’t plugged in.
Replacing the Oil
A lawnmower’s engine is not that different from a car’s engine. They serve the same purpose, so you should treat a mower’s engine with utmost care. After every season, users should ensure they remove the leftover oil. Replacing the oil from time to time allows for better blade rotation. It is also wise to check the mower’s engine every eight hours after using it.
A mower’s engine oil should be golden in color; however, some people say that the color darkens as the engine ages. It is vital to figure out the best type of oil that suits the mower’s engine. Whether it is a walk-behind or any other type, following the manufacturer’s recommendation is usually your best option.
Going for any substandard oil can damage the engine. It is better to go for an expensive, high-quality oil with lower ethanol content.
Replacing the Spark Plug
The spark plug is amongst the most underrated parts of a mower. Most people do not realize how vital a spark plug is until their mower malfunctions. The spark plug needs to be replaced at least once every growing season for a mower to operate efficiently.
Spark plugs stop operating when carbon builds up and weakens the electrode. The effect will most likely intensify emissions while reducing engine performance simultaneously. Fortunately, spark plugs are easy to replace as long as one can access the type that the manufacturer has recommended.
If your lawnmower’s spark plug keeps fouling and you can’t figure out why, check out this article I wrote on this very topic.
Changing the Size of the Pulley
No one wants to go mowing with equipment that performs slowly. Cutting grass is already a tiresome task, and the lawnmower should not make it even harder. Fortunately, one can increase the speed of their mowers by themselves.
Belt-driven lawnmowers with two pulley engines are the easiest to manage. One pulley is located behind the mower, while the other one is found near the engine. Users can make this belt-driven type mow faster by simply increasing the speed of both pulleys. Changing the size of the pulley will significantly improve the mower’s performance.
However, I would only recommend doing this if you know what you are doing.
Checking the Governor
The work of a lawn mower’s governor is to regulate fuel flow. It sets the speed limit of the mower and has a spring that prevents the mower from consuming excess fuel.
If there is something wrong with the spring, it can lead to issues with your mower’s performance. This video from Mower Man will explain how you can replace the spring better than I ever could, so you should check it out:
Checking the Blade
For a quality and uniform cut, the blade needs to be sharp at all times. Gardeners should sharpen blades every season at the very least; a dull blade makes things slow and can even damage the mower. With this in mind, you need to check the edges regularly to ensure they cut the glass and not tear it.
A rough and uneven blade also leads to a patchy finish. You should also perform frequent checks to help locate bends, dents, and other damages that blades are prone to. If not noticed early, these damages can cause fatal accidents. Apart from performing regular checks, replacing the blade within one or three years after the first purchase is recommended.
For the best performance, you should use blades made (or recommended) by the mower’s manufacturer instead of universal blades.
As you can see, there is a lot you can do to make your lawnmower perform better. Many of these involve regular checkups, which can feel like a hassle at times but doing them will really pay off in the long run. After a while, they can even become part of your routine before and after each mowing session which makes them a lot easier.