Easy Fixes for Common Mower Issues

June 30, 2015

The best tool for a lawn you can be proud of is a well-functioning lawn mower. Keep your mower in top condition by repairing minor issues at home with the below tips for lawn mower maintenance.

Easy Fixes for Common Mower Issues

The throttle keeps sticking

Lubricate the throttle cable

Keep the throttle of your mower lubricated to keep your mower running smoothly.

  • Switch the mower off and park it on a level surface.
  • Pull the lever that controls the throttle so that it's fully open. Spray WD-40 down the throttle cable, between the cable and its plastic sleeve.
  • Wiggle the lever to help distribute the lubricant.

My mower gets clogged with grass

Keep it clear with cooking oil

Whether you have a gas or an electric mower, damp or long grass will get stuck between the blades and body.

  • Clean this impacted grass off the underside of the deck after mowing using a stick — it can be difficult to remove when it dries.
  • Spray the underside of the deck with a lubricant — ideally a Teflon spray, but vegetable oil will do. This will help prevent grass from sticking to the underside of the mower next time.

My gas-powered mower cuts the grass unevenly

Keep it parallel to the ground

If your grass appears uneven after cutting, or if you routinely scalp areas of your lawn, your mower could be misaligned.

  • Make sure your mower is level. Use a ruler to measure from the bottom of the metal body (or deck) of the mower to a patio (or other level surface) at each corner. Most mowers — gas and electric — have a height-adjustment lever at each wheel, so you can raise or lower the mower body at each corner until it's level.
  • Make sure your blades are sharp and balanced.
  • Drive your mower more slowly to improve the quality of the cut.

My hover mower won’t hover

Clean and tilt to make it float

Hover mowers make light work of your lawn because they include a fan that lifts the mower deck off the surface. But if your machine doesn't hover as it should, try the following remedies.

  • With the mower safely unplugged, clean any grass clippings from the underside of the deck and especially around the fins of the fan, which are mounted right above the blade.
  • Tilt the deck forwards slightly when starting the mower to allow air to enter the gap between the deck and the ground.

Make it last

A well-maintained lawn mower will last for many years and save your money on the cost of repair or replacement.

  • Before mowing the grass, carefully check your lawn for stones or other hard objects and remove them; they can bite big chunks from your mower blades.
  • After mowing your lawn, always clean the underside of the mower's deck of grass clippings to prevent rust. Wear a pair of thick gloves to protect your hands from the blades.
  • Store all your tools in a dry shed or garage to prevent corrosion.
  • Always drain mowers of fuel at the end of the cutting season.
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