Preparing a gasoline lawn mower for the season
Before we know it spring will arrive, warm days, the period of rapid growth of the grass. And you have already prepared for the season? Our company, Dachi.RF, has been doing landscaping in the Moscow region for over 13 years. We know how important it is to prepare the equipment for the season. One of the services that we offer – mowing the grass is impossible to perform with a special tool – a professional gasoline mower. It is also important to qualitatively service and prepare for work. Today we will share the important steps that we always perform with our lawn mower.
Before you start your first mowing of the new season, it’s a good idea to check the condition of your mower and replace worn parts and, if necessary, sharpen the blade. A petrol lawnmower is more demanding than an electric lawnmower, where inspection is often limited to checking the cutting blade.
If regularly serviced, a gasoline lawn mower will last for many years. However, neglecting annual maintenance can quickly lead to serious breakdowns, frequent or costly repairs or even the purchase of a new device.
Once every 2-3 years, it’s a good idea to take your mower to a specialized service, since in most cases you won’t be able to do such a job as diagnosing the engine. Before each season, however, it’s worth taking care of a few basic steps available to the average user
Step 1 – Cleaning the lawn mower
First, after removing the lawn mower from the garage, it should be thoroughly cleaned. It’s important to remove any grass residue or what’s left of the soil (although this is recommended to be done at the end of the season). Do not use high-pressure saws, as they can damage some parts of the lawnmower because of the very strong water flow. A good and proven solution is to use compressed air (a compressor), which cleans even hard-to-reach areas quickly and easily.
Step 2 – Checking the air filter
The filter should be carefully taken out and “tapped” with it on a hard surface and thoroughly cleaned. A lot of dirt will probably fall out, but it is important to see if the filter remains dirty after this operation. In this case, it is recommended to replace it with a new one, which usually does not cost more than 200-500 rubles. Therefore, it is worth checking the condition of the filter in advance to have time to buy a new one. Do not postpone this action to the last moment – your particular model of filter may be out of business due to high demand at the beginning of the season
Step 3 – Change the oil
Every season you should also change the oil. There are mowers on the market that theoretically can’t do this, but that’s more of a concern for newer, more expensive machines. In most cases, an oil change is a must for proper engine operation.
Some engines have special drain holes that make it much easier to drain the oil from the oil tank. In other cases, you can use special pumps, which are available in almost every construction store.
Take care: remember not to tilt the mower too much from side to side when you have some fuel left in it!
Step 4 – Draining the fuel
Fuel without additives and stabilizers should not be stored for more than 30-50 days. After this time, some of its components may be released into separate fractions, which in turn leads to gradual clogging of the injector and the entire fuel system.
The fuel system has not started since last season. The first sign of bad fuel may be excessive smoke – the smoke is thick and black. However, don’t be afraid that the smoke will intensify the first time you start a new season – it’s common, even with new oil and fuel.
At the end of the season, it’s worth dosing the fuel skillfully so you don’t leave it in the tank for the next winter season.
It’s also not advisable to drain the fuel to a full tank before putting the mower into winter storage, given that the fuel lines should be full to keep moisture out.
Step 5 – Checking and sharpening the blade
This is a rather complicated and possibly the most dangerous part of maintaining a lawn mower. First, it’s important to remember to disconnect the end of the high-voltage wire from the spark plug.
Then lock the blade and unscrew it.
The most important thing is that the blade is not damaged or excessively bent. If the knife is badly damaged, it is better to replace it with a new one. A damaged knife cannot be properly licked, and too much vibration of the operating knife will quickly put the motor out of action.
If necessary, the knife can be sharpened, for example, through a sharpening machine, but this is a precise job and also requires very precise balancing. Unless we have a lot of experience with the sharpening machine and balancing knives, it is better to entrust this work to a specialized sharpening service. It’s not an expensive service, but quality service will ensure the longevity of the entire mower.
Step 6 – Sparking
The last maintenance step that many people often neglect is to check the spark plugs. It is best to unscrew the spark plug when the engine is cold to avoid the risk of burning. You need to thoroughly clean the electrodes, such as B. with a wire brush and the distance between them, which should be 0.5 mm.
Step 7 – Test Run
When all the previous steps are done, make the first test run. Don’t be surprised by the increase in smokiness, it’s usually short-lived. Don’t cower, let the engine run for a few minutes.
Paris is the first start you need to pay attention to:
- duration of starting (you should start with the first to third attempt);
- unusual noises;
- prolonged smoke from the exhaust system;
- increased vibration;
In the presence of any of the above signs, we recommend contacting a specialized service
If you don’t have a lawn mower, it’s broken or your area is heavily overgrown, we recommend contacting us. We will quickly and efficiently mow grass of any height and clear the area of details, bushes or small posts
Gasoline lawn mowers can be mowed for the winter
Lawn mowers are seasonal equipment, used only a few months of the year and only for one task – mowing the grass. Some manufacturers still allow its use as a light garden vacuum for autumn cleaning and leaf treatment (in fact, any lawnmower with a grass catcher box is suitable for this), but few explicitly indicate this possibility. After one season is over, it makes sense to prepare for the next – preservation. This process, while consisting of a number of tasks, takes a little time. It is mostly required for lawn mowers with gasoline engines. In fact, the main conservation tasks are specific to engines.
The basic principles of conservation are the same for all engines. When using any machinery, one of the first tasks is to clean the surfaces. However, in the case of lawn mowers, it makes sense to do a complete cleaning at the end. And you should start with the engine. Most gasoline lawnmowers are equipped with engines Briggs & Stratton, the exceptions are either the products of large companies that produce engines under their own brand name, or inexpensive devices with engines not too well-known (usually foreign) brands.
First it is necessary to drain the remaining fuel from the tank. Gasoline deteriorates when stored for long periods of time, and small engines are very sensitive to its quality. The recommended period of use of regular gasoline is no more than one month. Leaving it in the tank over the winter can cause problems starting the engine in the spring. In addition, oil residue in the fuel line and in the carburetor can lead to the formation of tar-like deposits, which are then difficult to remove.
The easiest way here is to disconnect the hose from the tank to the carburetor and drain the fuel “dry” from the tank. The easiest way to loosen carburetor residue is to start the engine. After a minute or two it will shut itself off. There is also an alternative option. Some companies, including Briggs & Stratton, offer fuel-stabilizing additives that, when added, do not degrade fuel for two to three years.
The next big thing is oil changes. Generally, the oil in all engines should be changed according to the formula “after so many hours of operation or once a year.” At Briggs & Stratton, the first engine oil change is done after 5-8 hours of operation, then every 50 hours thereafter. But lawn mowers, at least domestic ones, are rarely used that often, so the oil probably has to be changed annually. And you don’t need much – an “average” lawnmower engine requires about 0.6 liters.
The question “what oil to pour” – a popular topic for long discussions on the Internet, applies to any technique with internal combustion engines. There are a lot of opinions and all are different. The situation is aggravated by the fact, that sales clerks also have no such information and usually offer more expensive oil. In fact, the answer is simple: you need to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, which are written in the instruction manual for the equipment or engine. There is no need to buy oil of “better quality” than the manufacturer claims, especially if you have to change it once a year. Such a purchase will not make much sense: this oil simply will not have time to “prove” itself. Many manufacturers, including Briggs & Stratton, offer their own brands of oil. This is the best option.
Before pouring oil, there is a reason to divert from the aforementioned operation with the “First extra” process – complete cleaning of the lawnmower itself. It’s very simple. A gasoline engine with a full fuel tank and oil card cannot be turned over – the fluid flows out. More precisely, each lawnmower can be turned either on one side or on the back (with support on the handle). But only “or-illi.” How you can – usually written in the manual, you need to look at the engine, if these data is not available: it depends on the position of the oil filler, gas tank, air filter and other elements. It is clear that if the fluids are collected together, nothing can leak out – you can gently clean the bottom of the deck of dirt and grass residue.
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After cleaning the net you can clean or replace the air filter (1). The filter can be a sheet of foam, a flat or rounded element of corrugated paper (sometimes with an additional insert of foam) – differ in different ways. After removing the filter, its housing should be cleaned of dust from the inside (2). To extend the life of the filter itself, you should blow it with a compressor. It won’t be worse for sure.
The last important undertaking is to preserve the cylinder liner and piston rings. To do this, unscrew the spark plug (at the same time assess your condition) and pour a few milliliters of engine oil (3) into the spark plug hole. After screwing in the spark plug without putting on the cap turn the crankshaft a few times with the hand starter.
If the mower is stored “on wheels”, you can pour in new oil. If it has to be stored or transported upright for compactness, it’s better to fill it up before spring. In this case it is best to restore the label on the engine or the brand by the absence of oil. You should not rely on your memory here – it is forgotten in winter and it is forbidden without oil. However, most likely, it will not be possible to conduct it – modern engines are equipped with an oil level sensor. However, if the sensor fails, the engine fails in a few minutes. By the way, such a failure is not considered a warranty.
After installing the mower instead of “wintering” (in a dry, preferably heated room), it should be covered with a small cover, so that there is less dust. Actually, having followed these recommendations for mowing, you can not remember until the next season.
⇒ Read also
Did you know that Briggs & Stratton has engine models that don’t need oil changes? Or which four-stroke engines can be stored upright? Read this link. With Briggs & Stratton technology, your lawn mower will never be the same!
This article was published in the Summer 2014 issue of Gardentools Consumer Series magazine.