Tip & How-To about Garden
Top 10 Lawn Mower Problems and solutions
5: Drive makes a bad noise
Your mowers drive system making a bad noise rates 5 instead of 4 because more machines come in after the noise has gone and now the machine won't pull. If your machine is making noise in the drive train service it before it is too late. This can save you hundreds of dollars. Lubrication is required on most all drive systems this may be all that your mower needs but checking the belts and wheel alignment never hurts. ask a local shop how to get the service manual for your machine so you know the proper lubricant to use.
4: No drive
So your mower does not drive? Does problem 5 look familiar? If so it may be time for a drive rebuild. The standard rebuild at a shop is about $180. This may be more than half the price you would pay to replace the whole unit. Many shops, like Arcolawn carry used parts for just an occasion. This can help you save money and get the machine fixed up.
Before you go through all the work of putting in a new transmission it is a good idea to check the simple things like the belt, the cables and levers and any related components that could be an issue.
3: Mower vibrates
Many mowers every year are sent to the repair shop because they make their owners hands go numb. The most common cause is a bent main shaft or "crankshaft". Hitting an object (with the mower) can cause the main shaft to bend and thus throw the mower out of balance. Large machines with multiple blades may be more difficult to notice (look for quality of cut issues). This needs to be addressed by a local shop to evaluate the repair and safety concerns. It is not recommended to straighten the shaft as it may cause fractures in the metal of the shaft.
A lesser known cause of vibration is a blade that is out of balance. Silica or dirt causes blades to wear and come out of balance. This vibration can cause parts to come loose and components to fail. Aside from that worn blades are dangerous because they can break apart as they grow thinner.
Both a bent/ worn blade and a bent crankshaft can be checked at a local dealer that has a dial gauge.
2: Engine is hard to start (kicks back)
Related to number 3 the engine kicking back when trying to start means 9 times out of 10 that the key under the flywheel has sheared and is making the spark plug fire at the wrong time. This is an inexpensive fix (under $10...not counting your time) if you do it yourself. Other hard to start issues can be related to valve adjustment and fuel delivery both of which it is recommended to consult a repair manual about. (see link above for manuals from dealers)
1: Engine is hard to start and surges up and down
The number one problem is "Surging"
The most common of all complaints in engines is relate to fuel. fuel has a shelf life of 60-90 days before it will not burn in a small engine properly. this does not mean that fuel is good after 1 week in the garage with the sealing caps off of the container.
10% of the fuel today is Ethanol a corn based alcohol. Alcohol attracts moisture and works as a solvent eating rubber components and corroding metals. Since lawnmower fuel systems are made from metal and rubber gaskets this makes for a bad combination.
sometimes flushing your fuel system will fix the problem but other times a rebuild of the system is required.
Either way it is recommended to find fuel without Ethanol. Stihl inc. Dealers like www.arcolawn.com carry a special formulated fuel that has no ethanol in it. This is one notch better than recycling gallons of fuel every month or two just to keep your lawn equipment going.
There you have it the top 10 lawn mower problems and solutions.
Thank you Arco Lawn
and other referenced sites.
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