With the spring equinox just around the corner, many of us will be considering getting out into the garden to tackle the overgrown lawn. Unfortunately, if after the last cut last year, you failed to give your lawnmower a once over – as explained in our “Essential Garden Appliance Maintenance Ahead of Winter” post – there’s a good chance you’ll run into some difficulties.
But there’s no reason why a fault with your lawnmower should ruin your spring, or prevent you from cutting the lawn. Especially when, with our help you can bring it back to its former glory – with little outlay.
Overheating / Cutting Out:
There are two possible causes for your lawnmower overheating and cutting out. Both are relatively straightforward to put right.
The first reason your lawnmower is overheating or cutting out is because the grass you’re attempting to cut is too long. In such a scenario, we recommend slowly working the mower across the lawn on its highest setting, but leaving time for the motor to cool.
A second reason for the overheating / cutting out is due to the ventilation grilles being blocked by dry grass. This in turn prevents vital airflow and puts the motor under extra pressure. Ideally, the air vents and ducts should be cleaned after every use.
Motor problems with your lawnmower are usually caused as a result of overheating (as mentioned above) or due to excessive wear. Unfortunately, should the motor on your lawnmower become faulty, it’ll need replacing.
This isn’t an expensive job, nor for those of you with a Flymo 300 or similar, is it a difficult one, if you follow the advice outlined in our “How to Replace the Motor on a Flymo Compact 300 Lawnmower” article.
If you’ve noticed a squeaking noise when you start your lawnmower and the noise becomes progressively worse as you cut your lawn, there’s a good chance the drive belt has become worn or perished.
Another sign the lawnmower drive belt has become damaged is due to the blade not turning. In either of these situations, the belt will need replacing to bring your appliance back to its optimum performance. Thankfully, this needn’t be an expensive repair nor difficult, if you follow the guidance outlined in the “How to Replace the Drive Belt on a Flymo Compact 300 Lawnmower” video below.
Failing To Start:
The most common issue to face a petrol lawnmower is it failing to start and this usually occurs at the beginning of the mowing season, after the appliance has been left standing idle for a couple of months.
Ideally, to prevent this from happening in future the petrol should be emptied from the appliance before it is stored away for long periods of time.
Should you find your lawnmower currently isn’t starting, we recommend draining out the old petrol and refilling with new fuel. It’s also worth checking the manual for your specific lawnmower, as this will provide further guidance on how to restart the appliance.
Smoke from Exhaust:
If black smoke is being emitted from the exhaust there are a number of things which could be causing the fault. Such faults include the air filter being blocked, an oil overflow or worn piston rings. To rectify the first two of these faults, we recommend checking and cleaning the air filters, and checking the oil levels.
For the latter, unfortunately the safest option is to contact a qualified lawnmower repairer.
Electric and Petrol Lawnmowers:
Grass Not Being Cut / Uneven:
A common issue with both electric and petrol lawnmowers is the grass not being cut or the cut appearing uneven. This is usually caused by a blunt, twisted or unbalanced blade.
Whilst the blades can be sharpened if they’ve become blunt, if they’ve become chipped as a result of stones in your lawn, twisted or unbalanced, then it is best to replace the blades.
In addition to sharpening and / or replacing the blades on your lawnmower, we’d recommend adjusting the blades height, as explained in our “Adjust the Blade on a Petrol Cylinder Mower” article.
Carrying out straightforward maintenance and repairs on your lawnmower can make all the difference between you being able to keep your appliance running to its maximum performance for longer, and having to purchase a new mower.