Hints & Tips
It’s around that time of year when you start to think about the year ahead in the garden and subsequently you want find out how the old Petrol Lawn Mower has wintered. Time to check get your mower to pop behind the screen, check its pulse, heart rate and blood pressure then ask it to bend over and cough.
This reminds me of the new army recruit, who reported to the Medical officer complaining of a recurring pain during training. “Can you tell me where it hurts?” asked the doctor. “Yes’ he replied. “Right in the middle of the obstacle course.”
However. Did you clean your mower before you put it away? Did you sluice the deck? Did you empty the fuel or use stabiliser? I say you because I know I did. Smug? You bet!
Anyway. You’ll soon know because the doctor is in, he’s strapped on his stethoscope and he’s got some advice about how to get your mower ready to spring into action this season.
Most of these steps apply mainly to petrol mowers but remember, even an electrical mower needs a clean and a spruce up. Steps 1, 2, 7, 8 and 9 apply to all mowers. With electric mowers you should also check the points and contacts and cable and with battery powered models, check the points and that battery has been charged properly. Now…
- Make a cup of tea.* I can’t stress enough how important this is. To even look at your mower without the fortification of a good brew is to court trouble and risk facing potential misery, rather like the Spartans facing the Persian horde without swords, shields and masculine shouting. (*Other heated beverages are available)
- Give your mower a general once-over. Full-on exam. Have a look at everything, from blades to wheels to nuts, bolts and handles. Make notes of anything dubious that crops up… you’ll need them later.
- If you emptied the tank before the winter…great. However, f you have left fuel in the tank, take a large sip of tea and think about either emptying or cleaning the tank and pipes yourself or getting a servicing engineer to have a look at it.
- If you have any old fuel in Jerry cans anywhere… FOR GOODNESS’S SAKE DON’T USE IT. It will be stale and unusable and may ruin your mower. Unless you added stabiliser that is.
- Check and change the oil. It’s always best to start with fresh, pure oil. Half way through now – make more tea!
- Treat your mower to a new spark plug. It will thank you and will eliminate one more variable if your mower doesn’t start easily. If you must use the old one, at least give it a clean.
- Check and clean all your filters, in the engine and out. Even in storage they may gave collected dirt and dust so this will make sure they are all ready to work again.
- Look at the blades and think about sharpening them or having them professionally sharpened. Blunt, worn blades are never going to produce a good, smart cut and they are detrimental to the well being of your lawn, as mangling the ends of grass blades can lead to disease taking hold. If you are not sure what sort of blades you need, check your manual or contact the manufacturer
- Give the whole mower a good clean, deck, housing, everything. No one likes a dirty mower and oil and lubricate any part you think might need it.
- Finally. Top up with clean, fresh fuel and pull the chord. If it starts. Hooray! If not… perhaps it’s time to bring it in or even -gulp – invest in a new mower.
And that should be it. It’s a new season, a new year, a new start. Talking of which, keep an eye on these pages carefully. We are getting whispers from above that there are some exciting changes coming to MowDirect. Watch this space!
Oh…and whatever else you do when you’re getting your mower ready, take it easy, don’t get stressed and as ever… enjoy your garden
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