Given the physics of making metal blades whirl at blinding speed through coarse flora, it’s inevitable that any lawn mower will have a bad day eventually. Proper maintenance helps avoid costly repairs.
With less moving parts, electric lawn mowers have fewer places to look for problems. Always make sure the cord is unplugged from the electricity source or the battery is removed before starting your repairs. Always!
Here are some troubleshooting tips to have up your sleeve:
- The electric engine is designed to switch off if it begins to overheat. If you’re making the unit work too hard, let it cool down for a while.
- If your electric lawn mower runs on mains power, make sure the cord isn’t frayed. It’s all too easy (and instantly and literally shocking!) to run over the cord and cut it.
- If it’s a battery-powered lawn mower it could be the battery hasn’t enough charge. Try your backup, fully charged battery.
- Check the safety switch. If your mower starts but shuts off soon after, it could be a faulty start switching mechanism.
- Another common issue is ventilation that keeps the engines cool. Use compressed air to dislodge accumulated grass and dirt.
- Flip the (unplugged!) unit over and check the blades. Give them a complete clean, including the crevices where the blades join the chassis.
If after all that you’re still stumped, it’s probably the electric motor. Call a specialist to repair or replace it.
Petrol-powered lawn mowers
Make sure you’re familiar with lawn mower parts before you start working on your petrol-powered lawn mower—then review for these common issues:
- The first thing to check is the spark plugs by using a spark plug checker. Always remove the spark plug before you work on any part of the mower, particularly the blades.
- If it’s a two-stroke, check the oil and petrol ratio to make sure it runs your engine with maximum efficiency. If it’s a four-stroke, check the oil reservoir and look out for excessive oil around the engine or exhaust.
- If your mower is performing below par it could be a loose fan belt. If the carburettor clogs, clear the jets with a thin piece of wire. Your air filter can be hampered by oil build-up so check that and replace it.
- Check your lawn mower blades by turning it on its side. If they’re bent or broken it’s probably because they’ve hit something hard and that impact could break the flywheel key. For that, follow your instruction manual or call a professional.