Essential maintenance tips for small mower engines

Few household items get treated as badly as the humble lawnmower, neglected and stored away in the cold, dark shed all winter and then expected to come out in April fresh as a daisy to cut a slightly damp, very long lawn. It’s no wonder they splutter to start and cut out halfway through the job. A few essential maintenance tasks can ensure that your mower is ready to go whenever you are.

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Remember that it’s not just the performance and life of your mower that are affected by poor mower maintenance; your health can also suffer. According to the BBC, thousands of people are injured every year while using lawnmowers.

General maintenance

The first part of your maintenance routine should always be to read the manufacturer’s instruction booklet that came with your mower. It sounds simple, but many people don’t do it and miss vital hints and tips that would prevent problems. These guidelines will tell you how often you should check and replace parts like spark plugs, oil and filters.

When it comes to oil, in addition checking the level, you should also check the quality. Sometimes it will need to be drained and replaced with completely fresh oil. For air filters and spark plugs, a simple visual check is often sufficient to alert you to problems because you will see dirt build-up or corrosion. The mower blades need a regular sharpening up, too.

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You can get replacement parts from stores such as, who sell a wide range of parts and well-known brands like Briggs and Stratton Parts.

Cleaning and storage

Before you store your mower away for winter, make sure that you empty the fuel tank. Any residual fuel left behind can deteriorate quite quickly, causing damage to the tank and leaving you with a potential non-starter in the spring. Also make sure that you clean the mower properly before you put it away. Don’t leave it all clogged up with damp grass cuttings and mud as this can cause damage to blades and other internal parts. These two are good routines to get into when storing your mower after each use. You should also make sure you store it in a dry place; like any engine, dampness from rain or mist can cause damage to the engine.

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