10 lawn mower problems that you can solve on your own.
If you happen to have a lawn or a backyard with lush green grass, you will also be aware of the lawn mower problems. the trouble that comes with keeping it clean and maintaining the grass height. You would also be quite receptive towards how time-consuming and laborious it can be if you working manually with a grass cutter.
Especially if your lawn is a big one. Owning a lawn mower in such situations is a blessing! A lawn mower is a machine that has revolving blades to cut grass all over the lawn at an assigned or adjusted height evenly. But neither does this mean that you are free of lawn mower problems.
There are many types of mowers, each suited for a different need of needs combined. They are either by motor and movement, while the others are fueled by gasoline, diesel and or electricity.
The small ones usually used for small lawns are often the powered ones- when you push forward, the blade begins to rotate.
Riding mowers look like small tractors and are further divided into the ones meant for residential purposes and the other for commercial purposes
The fourth and the largest of them all is the Multi-gang one, which is a multi-blade riding mower and is designed for large expanses of grassed lands like commercial courses, golf courses, parks, and municipality parks.
But of course, no gadget comes without its set of troubles. Lawnmowers can also give you its own share of it. But some of these lawnmower problems do not require professional help at all. In fact, they are small issues that you can solve by yourself or with the help of another person.
These lawnmower problems can be extremely annoying and frustrating when you have a schedule to stick to and you’re trying to wrap your work up quickly.
It is advisable that you read through your instruction manual very well. Each model of mowing equipment would possibly have a different model of engine and how to work with it. Also, reading through your manual will also help you identify which part of the lawn mower is called what and what kind of problems with the lawn mower you might be facing
Here’s a list of the kind of lawn mower problems that you can possibly face, or you may already have and their solutions.
- 1 1) The first problem that you may face is starting the engine :
- 2 2) Clean the Carburetor :
- 3 3) Inspecting the spark plug for ignition problems :
- 4 4) Take a look at the valves and compression system :
- 5 5) The priming button :
- 6 6) Identifying lawn mower troubleshooting problems and their root issues :
- 7 7) Troubleshooting of an engine emitting smoke :
- 8 8) The starter rope seems to be stuck :
- 9 9)Streaking while mowing :
- 10 10) Unusual and excessive vibration while cutting :
1) The first problem that you may face is starting the engine :
If you’re using your equipment after quite a long time that it’s been sitting unused for, then this isn’t an uncommon problem. And if you are going to fix it yourself, then before you begin always remove the plug or disconnect the machine from the source of electricity.
Lawnmower troubleshooting begins with checking your machine fuel.
If you haven’t used your equipment is quite some time, it may also happen that it’s out of fuel. If the fuel is too old and stale then change it. Otherwise, it could harm your machine.
If you have already replaced the old fuel and filled your tank and it still wouldn’t start then check whether your fuel valve is open or closed and make sure that it’s not clogged with dirt. If it is, then you need to clean it.
If your mower runs on gas, then make sure that you do not leave your machine with untreated gas in it. It is also advisable to use a fuel stabilizer to keep these little annoyances away and ensuring a good engine health.
2) Clean the Carburetor :
- The carburetor in your mower regulates how air and fuel move through the engine, making it function properly. An ill-kept carburetor that is dirty and clogged may consequentially lead to your engine not functioning properly. A dirty carburetor can also cause the mowing machine to suddenly shut down mid-way while functioning.
- Cleaning the carburetor also includes cleaning the air filter. Check if the air is passing through properly and that nothing is interfering with the passage.
- Inspect the linkages attached to the throttle and choke plate. They can bind or stick to each other when they are dirty. If your model of the mower has mixture screws, check them too. Constant jerks and extensive usage can also affect the setting of these screws.
- Invest in a carburetor cleaning kit to help you remove all the debris that can clog the machine. Some of these commercial cleaners come in spray cans. So they are super convenient for periodic cleaning. Tune your machine annually.
3) Inspecting the spark plug for ignition problems :
The condition of your spark plug also plays quite a significant role here. A dirty one would not allow your engine to start.
Sparks plugs should ideally be replaced after approximately 25-26 hours of machine usage or every season.
Check for the gap between the spark plug and the body. Make sure that it is set properly.
If your plug looks fine, then the problem could be in the ignition system. It may be because of a short killed switch or a faulty plug lead or a flywheel key damage.
4) Take a look at the valves and compression system :
Outdoor power equipment relies heavily on air-fuel compression for the engines to be functioning properly. Check the pathway from the intake valve to the exhaust valve.
Look if the piston rings are in place or are missing. Pistol rings keep the valves in place tightly.
A misfit can also cause a leak that doesn’t allow the engine to start. Make sure all your components are in good shape and are fit in place properly.
If your engine still hasn’t started at this stage, then try pushing the priming button a few more times.
There’s a chance that the engine may be flooded from having pulled the chord multiple times. Give it some time and wait for the fuel to evaporate.
6) Identifying lawn mower troubleshooting problems and their root issues :
If your engine happens to be emitting black smoke, it means that your carburetor needs to be adjusted. It may also be the very reasons as to why your lawn mower may be staggering and stalling.
The poor performance of the engine is very closely related to its parts and engine’s maintenance.
In the case of your engine emitting blue or white smoke while running which usually indicates burning oil, check your crankcase- whether you’ve filled it with oil over the limit or there’s an air leak in the crankcase. Or the cylinder or the rings may be blown.
7) Troubleshooting of an engine emitting smoke :
You can repair a small engine by yourself without much trouble. Here’s how:
Do not tilt your mower at an angle more than fifteen degrees right before pushing it forward because it can cause leaks.
Pay close attention to the kind of oil that you are buying for your lawnmower. Each machine would have a different kind of oil suited for it. Also, pay heed to the amount you pour in. overfilling the tank may cause the engine to emit smoke and shut down.
Check your head gasket in case your machine is still not responding. It may be blown.
A leaky gasket is a very common problem with overheated engines
Your lawn mowers rings and cylinders may be worn. Take a peek into their condition too.
Each model comes with an instruction manual very specific to the needs of that very lawn mower. It usually includes a repair manual too. In case it doesn’t, you can always purchase one online.
Take a look at the combustion chamber. It may contain excess carbon. If you see deposition, just clean it from the head and piston.
8) The starter rope seems to be stuck :
This happens when the engine flywheel brake is engaged. Try bringing the bar down all the way to the handle, before pulling the starter rope.
Another reason why this problem of the lawn mower may occur is if your mower blade is getting clogged with grass clippings or is dragging in grass. Move it off the lawn and clear the deck before you proceed.
Once you’ve started your engine successfully, you may still have trouble with the performance of your lawn mower, including the irregularity while trimming grass.
9)Streaking while mowing :
Streaking is when a thin strip of grass is left uncut while mowing, at certain gaps. They look like stripes. This usually happens when the blades aren’t well maintained or maybe the operator’s error.
What is to be done?
If your blades are not too sharp or are too worn down, either sharpen them or change them. Always keep a set of new ones with you.
When streaking happens, you would possibly feel jerks while mowing and it definitely would not feel like a smooth ride. This may happen more so if your engine speed is lower than required or simply too slow. It is advisable to always mow at the engine’s full throttle.
On the other hand, your ground speed may also be too fast, that you miss strips of grass. So slow down. Each machine is different. It does take some trial-error and experimenting to understand how to work best with the machine that you are using.
Streaking may happen if your deck is plugged with grass. The best thing to do is to clean your mower.
Overlapping is another factor, where you may either not be overlapping the cutting rows enough at all or while turning, which decreases the machine’s cutting effectiveness, you may need to overlap more.
# The problem of Stepped cutting:
This error would resemble staircases or hillside step cultivation, leaving sharp ridges on the grass being mowed. The usual reasons for stepped cutting include your machine’s deck being damaged, or an error in fitting the blade.
What should I do?
If your deck isn’t leveled correctly, then fix your deck first. If the problem still persists, it may be for some other reason then. The blades in the deck may also be installed incorrectly, so you would have to reinstall them.
The mower’s deck shell may also be damaged. You may have to replace the deck then.
Sometimes, the machine’s tires may not be inflated enough. Check them.
If your mower’s spindle is loose, tighten it. Check if it has tilted or bent. In case it has bent, you may have to send it for repair or replace it.
## It looks like an uneven cut:
If you notice that the mowed section of the lawn has waves or an irregular surface, it is an uneven cut. Uneven cuts may happen for the same reasons as Step cutting does.
How do I fix it?
The level you deck if it isn’t. Check if there’s any damage to the deck.
Check the condition of your blades, if they’ve become too blunt or dented or are not placed correctly.
Your deck may also be clogged with grass clippings, likely because of the machine not having been cleaned in quite some time.
Check the spindle too. You may need to replace it.
### Scalping while mowing :
When the lawn mower’s deck comes in contact with the ground or is too close to the ground, it can take a patch of grass up making that region semi-bald or razed. This happens often because of the deck not being set in place or some sort of maladjustment.
Can I do something about it?
Scalping can happen when your lawn is too uneven of bumpy. Mowers are usually meant for flat surfaces and when there are irregularities, the bump during mowing can shave off quite some grass making it look ugly.
If this is happening without your lawn having any irregularities or unevenness. Then it’s because of the mowing deck being set at a level too low.
Your mower’s tires play a crucial role here. Check whether they are bumpy or are deflated. The pressure in the two tires may be uneven and causing a super bumpy ride.
10) Unusual and excessive vibration while cutting :
Mowing over rough and uneven surfaces like cement blocks and rocks can cause damage to the lawn mower. A damaged or a twisted belt could also be the culprit of your trouble. Look out for loose bolts or screws or an improperly adjusted cutting deck.
Maintenance is key to any machine’s performance and longevity. We hope these tips help you with sorting some of the lawn mowing problems. These are fairly simple and easily resolvable.