Maintenance Extends The Life of A Mower
1) Factors That Play A Role In A Mowers Life.
2) Can You Ruin A Mowers Engine?
3) How Important Is Lawnmower Maintenance?
4) The Average Mowing Cutting Season.
5) Mowers That Work Well On Slopes.
Is 1500 hours a lot for a lawnmower? The answer is yes. All lawnmowers regardless of brand will average between 300 to 1000 hours only if maintenance is done. This is only if the owner of the mower performs the required annual maintenance as outlined in the owner’s manual.
If you own a small engine lawnmower you can expect the mower to last between 300 to 500 hours. If you have a larger engine it can last an average of 750 to 100 hours. On some larger riding mowers, you could expect up to 1500 hours with the proper maintenance being performed.
Regardless of the type of lawn you have, you should find a mower that is best for your mowing needs.
Factors That Play A Role In Lawnmower Life
Besides the engine size of the lawn mower, there are other factors that play a role in determining the life of a lawnmower. We will mention them below:
- Lawn Terrain. The uneven or hilly terrain of the yard or property can make a huge difference in the life expectancy of a lawn mower. On tuff terrains, the lawn mowers engine must work harder to cut the grass. Thus, affecting the life of the mower.
- Don’t Let Engine Get Low On Oil. All gas-powered mowers require oil to lubricate the engine. Having oil in a constant low state can cause overheating of the engine. This can drastically, reduce the life of the mower. Always check the oil before each mowing session.
- Lawn Grass Type. If your grass is thick or tall can cause the mower’s engine to stall. Also, cutting grass that is taller than 6 inches will damage not only the engine but also the lawn too. Never cut more than 1/3 of the grass blade during a mowing session. Set the mower’s height so you can mow 1/3 of the grass blade. For example if the grass is 3 inches tall, cut 1 inch off.
Can You Ruin A Mower’s Engine?
There are some ways you can actually affect the mower’s engines life and ruin it. We share some of these ways below.
- Neglecting the air filter. Failure to clean or change the air filter can in time damage the engine. As you mow, dirt and debris can get into the air filter. By not cleaning it or changing it can damage the engine. Clean the air filter every season and change the air filter once a year or after 100 hours of operation.
- Don’t skip the oil change. It is highly recommended to change the oil every 3 months or after 25 hours of operation, whichever comes first. Doing this will extend the life of the engine.
- Don’t ignore the spark plug. Spark plugs from the manufacture generally last 2 years. For optimum performance of your lawn mower, change the spark plug every year or after 30 hours of operation.
- Don’t let grass clippings accumulate. When mowing the grass clippings can attach themselves under the mower deck and accumulate. This accumulation can block cooling fins and the air intake screen, causing the engine to overheat. So, after every mowing session, remove the grass clippings from under the mower’s deck.
- Don’t let old fuel sit. As gasoline sits in the mower over the winter months it can collect moisture, unless it has been treated with a fuel stabilizer. In other words it gets water in the gas will prevent the engine from starting. You also need a fuel stabilizer in the gas can. If the gas contains ethanol, you can expect water buildup without a fuel stabilizer. Drain all gas out of the engine or let it run until the motor turns off before storing it for the winter.
- Watch out for vibrations. This happens when the blade is imbalanced. This can be due to sharpening the blade. This unevenness can shake the mower. If the blade is bent it will also cause the mower to shake. By allowing the mower to continue shaking will cause a lousy cut of the grass and damage the mower’s crankshaft.
There you have it six ways in which you can damage the engine and shorten its life. By doing what is suggested, you can extend the life of your mower.
How Important Is Lawn Mower Maintenance?
It is very important. When one buys a lawnmower, you can expect the box to contain an owner’s manual. In the manual it outlines what type of maintenance the owner should do on a regular basis. By performing this maintenance, you extend the life of the engine and mower.
Below is a quick lawnmower maintenance checklist for you to use:
- Change the oil. Consult the manual for the proper type of oil for your lawn mower. Change the oil as recommended. Especially if it is contaminated or old (more than 2 years between oil changes.) What affects the oil to degrade is dry, dusty ground, mowing in high temperatures, cutting grass when it’s wet or tall, and steep grades or uneven turf. For optimum performance, change the oil before the new mowing season begins in the spring.
- Add fuel stabilizer to the fuel system and in the gas can. Allow the engine to run until it stops or drain it out. Always begin in the spring with fresh gas. Adding a fuel stabilizer into the gas can will keep it fresh for up to 1 year or more.
- Replace the spark plug. Get into the habit of changing the spark plug every year.
- Replace and clean the air filter. Clean and replace the air filter every year. Doing this will keep your lawn mower working at top efficiency.
- Sharpen the mowers blades. Over time, the mower’s blades will wear down even if you do not have rocks or foreign objects on the lawn. The blades need to be sharpened after every 25 hours of use.
- Keep the mower’s deck cleaned. As you mow the undercarriage will collect grass, dirt and debris. For the best performance, it is recommended that you clean the undercarriage after each mowing session.
- Fog the engine. Fogging the engine is designed to prevent rust and protect the internal engine components during storage. Remove the spark plug and spray fogging oil into the engine. During the winter, the mower is sitting idle. The lubricants in the engine can drain away. The moisture in the air can cause corrosion and damage to the mower can occur. Fogging the engine helps prevent this situation. Check the owner’s manual to see if your mower requires engine fogging. Be careful to follow the directions exactly.
- Get familiar with the owner’s manual. Usually this step is neglected. By not becoming familiar with the manual can cause damage to the mower. The manual provides specific instructions on how to care for the lawn mower. By following these instructions you will increase the mower’s life.
All of the above can be done by yourself. The manual itself will explain how to do each of the maintenance listed above. If you have any problems you can always take the lawn mower to your local lawnmower shop.
The Average Mowing Cutting Season
The average mowing cutting season will vary depending upon where you live. If the weather is warm, the grass will keep growing and will need to be mowed. The normal cutoff point to stop mowing is when the temperature drops below 50°F during the day. This can be in late October or early November. In some areas it can be in December.
When you do the last cutting of the season, try to keep the grass between 2 to 2 ½ inches high. It is tall enough not to invite snow mold or too short to be stressed out by the cold weather.
If the grass is fast growing you may need to cut the grass 1-2 times per week in the summer. If it is slow growing, than once per week in the summer is fine.
If your grass should continue to grow during the winter months you can mow once or twice a month. When mowing, set the blade higher to keep the grass healthier.
Mowers That Work Best on Slopes and Rough Terrain
Lawn mowers are good for mowing even or yards with small slopes or hills. However, mowing on a hilly or sloped lawn can be difficult. Not all mowers are up to this challenge.
But, there are certain types of mowers that are excellent for those hilly or sloped yards. The choices are gas, electric or robotic mower models. We will share them below.
Slopes & Hilly Terrains
The following lawn mowers are good for hilly terrain lawns.
- Riding Mowers
- Self-Propelled Mowers
- Walk-Behind Push Mowers
- Robotic Mowers
If you have a slope or hilly terrain that has is greater than 15°, then you should not use any of these mowers as it can be dangerous and cause serious accidents. If you have hilly terrain you should avoid using a zero-turn mower. As they are not safe on terrains or slopes greater than 10 degrees. Because their center of gravity makes them less stable and are not safe in these hilly situations.
A very easy and simple way to mow in these conditions is a ride-on mower. These mowers cuts grass quicker than push mowers and you will experience less fatigue as you are sitting on the lawn mower driving it around the yard.
The best mower in these hilly situations you should use a self-propelled mowers. This will help ease the stress on your arms and back. You also can control the mowers speed by how much you squeeze the speed control. Also, on these mowers if you release the speed control bar, the motor will shut off automatically. This helps in preventing serious injury.
Walk-Behind Push Mowers
You also can use a walk-behind push mower instead of those powerful self-propelled models. Using this model of mower is where you must supply all the power to move the mower around the cutting area.
This type of mower lets the mower do all the work. You must program the cutting times and when the robotic mower should mow. These models can handle slopes between 8.5 to 25 degrees. It depends upon the model purchased. You must install the guide wires for the layout of the cutting area.
A lawn mower is a must have if you own property or have a home. If you have normal even type of lawn, any lawn mower will do find as long as the yard is under ¼ of an acre. A battery, electric cord, or a walk-behind push mower will do fine.
For larger lawns, you should consider a self-propelled mower for properties greater than ½ an acre and up to 1 acre. For yards bigger than 1 acre, you should consider a zero-turn or riding lawn mower.
Performing the standard maintenance on your lawnmower as mentioned in this article, you will extend the life of the mower.
By knowing the type of lawn and terrain, you can select the proper lawnmower to use.
You can shop for the lawn mower below that best fits your lawn type and terrain. You will be taken to Amazon where you can place the order. While there, you can read the customer reviews and answered questions before ordering.
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