Replacing your lawnmower is never an easy decision. Often you would have had your current lawnmower for many years and it has been a reliable accomplice in your quests for neatly cut lines across your lawn. If, however, your mower suddenly stops working the decision whether to repair it or replace it altogether isn’t very clear-cut (pun intended).
Spotting the Problems
Potential problems are unique to each lawnmower and will vary depending on how long you’ve had your lawnmower. This is especially true dependent on what is used to drive it, which in turn, provides lots of pros and cons when the time comes to purchasing a new lawnmower. Spotting the problems early however could be the difference between a small fix or you being required to buy a brand new machine altogether.
Of course, you’ll need to know what to look for. Your lawnmower technically could be still running but the efficiency may not quite what it used to be and it’s taking you longer to cut your lawn. The key things to look out for are likely to be:
1. Loss of power mid-mow
2. Lawnmower unable to start
3. Blades aren’t able to cut as well as previously
4. Harsh vibrations coming from the mower
To understand the root of these problems it all comes down to the method of what is powering the mower. A petrol-powered mower has several parts which need to be checked when diagnosing a problem. If a petrol mower doesn't start it could be an issue with the spark plug, the carburetor or the air filter which aren’t used on electric or a battery machines.
The most common issue with electric mowers is the cable that you have to power it. After time, this can quite easily become frayed which can cause a loss of power. Usually if an electric mower doesn't start it is caused by a fault with the extension cable. Thankfully this can be diagnosed quickly by testing the mower in a different plug. If it still isn’t starting then rather than a spark plug it could have issues with a blown fuse which is easily replaced.
Repair or Replace?
Aside from technical problems and normal wear & tear, it could be time for a new lawnmower if the size or shape of your lawn has changed or if your own mobility needs change.
Not all lawnmowers work on all types of lawns so it is important to choose the right one. In general, the main things which affect the type of mower you choose are lawn slopes or inclines, a bigger garden which may mean an eclectic mower with cables doesn’t suit, your preference of mulching or the collection of clippings collection and of course, whether you want to mow the lawn yourself – hello, robotic lawnmowers!
Check out our handy buyer’s guide for detailed information to help you chose.
If your trusty lawnmower has started to falter, then make sure you check the manual for any straight forward troubleshooting tips. If things can’t be fixed simply, then this will inevitably be a question of repairing it or replacing it with a new mower.
In most cases, you can keep your old mower with replacement parts. Check out our spare parts website which hosts an extensive range of parts that can provide you with an inexpensive option to repair your lawnmower. Alternatively, look on our website for lawnmower blades and drive belts. You can find the relevant parts list on our website too, so you know what you are ordering is right for your machine. If the issue looks a little trickier and you need some advice, we’ve also highlighted our preferred repair agents – all you need to do is pop in your post code to find your closest agent.
If none of the above works or is a viable option and the cost of constantly replacing parts does become less cost effective, it’s time to splash out on a brand new lawnmower!
Prevention is better (and cheaper) than cure. You can put off any serious breakage by simply taking good care of it.
The key things that you must look at regularly are:
1.Electrics - Depending on the type of electric mower you have, whether it is with a cable or a battery, both need the right care. A frayed cable can affect power (aside from other dangers from frayed cables). With batteries you would need to keep the connecting pins clean so it will always be able to connect to the rest of the lawnmower.
2.Storage – Where you store the components can be more important than you think. This is especially true with batteries as if you were to store it near a metal container, like a toolbox, it can cause issues by short-circuiting the battery. Also extreme heat or cold can degrade the batteries ability to hold its charge.
3.Component Checks – This is truer for the petrol mower users however it is also important to check that the individual components such as spark plugs are clean and aren’t worn. It’s recommended for petrol mowers to change the oil every year so it stays at its top efficiency.
4.Remove Petrol at the End Season – Petrol tends to have a shelf-life of 2-3 months so if this is left in the tank over winter it will go stale which could cause issues in starting your lawnmower, but also harm the engine itself.
5.Ventilation System - Check that the ventilation slots are clean as this helps the machine run smoothly. If the airways are not clean the machine will overheat when operated.
6.Make Sure The Underside is Clean - By removing grass and other residues it means nothing can get caught in the blades and also means newly chopped grass can be collected easier.
7.Clean the Blade - Make sure the lawnmower isn’t switched on before cleaning it. Removing grass and soil from the blade after use will help prevent rusting, plus ensure maximum cutting efficiency during the next use.
8.Wheels and Fasteners - Bolts can become loose over time, which could cause a serious problem if you lose a piece while mowing. It could lose its functionality or could even damage the mower deck. If your lawnmower has begun vibrating more than normal, try tightening the blade bolt to see if this helps.
It may seem obvious however it is sometimes the simplest things that can keep your mower in tip top condition for years to come.
Finally, the design of your lawnmower is important so when considering which one to choose, it’s worth checking out that the design lends itself to a long life. As an example, Flymo electric lawnmowers have a built in cable protector close to the switch box. It is a simple hook for the cable but it means that any sudden jolts that could strain the cable won’t affect the connection.