Troubleshooting Lawn Mower Problems
Over its lifetime, your lawn mower can develop problems. The type of problems it will encounter are influenced by elements such as improper use and storage. Understanding your machine and the common problems can help you maintain and solve common issues with ease. Your first port of call should be the manufacturer’s manual, but here is a handy troubleshooting guide to help some of the questions you’ve asked us here at Flymo HQ in the past.
I Haven't Used My Lawn Mower For A While, Why Won't It Start?
There are a number of things that can cause a non-starter. This varies depending on the power source of your lawn mower such as; petrol, electric or battery. Most often this issues comes down to how well the lawn mower has been maintained over the period of non-use. Here’s a few explanations and tips for next time:
The first thing you should do is to just check that there are no are no leaves, debris or twigs that are preventing the blades from turning. This can seriously affect the performance of the lawn mower and can cause serious damage.
Petrol Lawn Mowers
- Petrol has been left in the tank for a long time - A petrol mower can have issues if the fuel has been left in the tank over winter. Old and stale fuel is the most common cause for not starting after long periods of time. This means when spring comes around, it just won’t ignite and could potentially damage your engine.
- Check the air filter - Air filters can get clogged quite easily which can harm the efficiency of your machine. A clogged air filter can also mean a carbon build up after repeated use, which can lead to damaging your spark plugs. It can also disturb the airflow going into the engine as if the engine cannot get enough oxygen it will struggle to ignite, which can affect the efficiency further down the line.
Electric And Battery Lawn Mowers
- Check the health of cables and batteries – You will need to check the condition of your cable to your electric lawn mower and that it is still functioning as this can get frayed after extended use. In addition to this some extension cables do not have the required amp-age to run an electric lawn mower. If your machine still won’t move, you will need to check the fuses or breakers in your home.
- If you have a battery-powered lawn mower, be sure to check whether the battery is flat. If the battery has difficulty holding its charge, especially through winter, this could be a sign that it may need replacing. Ideally you shouldn’t store batteries in cold places like sheds as this can affect the battery life.
Why Is My Lawn Mower Slowing Down?
It can be very frustrating seeing the performance of your lawn mower drop midway through cutting the grass, however, it doesn’t always mean there are serious problems:
1.The grass is too long
If the grass is too long for the cutting height it will put a strain on the engine or motor, which can cause it to slow down. In order to combat this, raise the cutting height of your lawn mower to a higher level and then gradually cut the grass down to the desired level, rather than going in at the lowest height from the beginning. Ideally you shouldn’t be cutting more than a third of the grass at any one time.
2.Check the drive belt
It’s possible that the drive belt is worn or stretched which means the cutting blades cannot run efficiently. Make sure you check the bearings on the spindles as this can also affect performance.
3.Check the batteries
Some lawn mowers can experience a loss of drive as a result of an old battery. Flymo Mighti-Mo batteries should be able to run for an estimated 300 charges before the capacity can start to decline but only slightly. If your lawn mower shows that it has low power after a full night of charge, the battery may need replacing.
Why Won't My Hover Mower Hover?
A hover mower works by creating a cushion of air underneath the lawn mower. This makes them easy to manoeuvre across the lawn. However there are a number of common reasons that can stop the hover mower floating effortlessly across the lawn.
If the lawn feels spongy underfoot this can be as a result of thatch and moss, which can prevent it from hovering. This problem effectively sucks the mower down onto the lawn providing the opposite to the desired effect. To fix this you will need to scarify the lawn to remove all the moss and thatch.
Tipping a hover mower slightly to one side to allow the air to circulate under the cutting deck, helps provides the lift. If the lawn mower cannot get air underneath the machine it will feel very heavy, as the cushion of air isn’t powerful enough to get the most out of it.
In addition to this if there is a build up of grass cuttings between the fins on the impeller or underneath the hood this can also prevent the machine from hovering. This has a simple fix however as general care and maintenance can remedy this issue.
Why Is Smoke Coming From My Petrol Lawn Mower?
This can understandably be alarming, however, it doesn't always mean it has a critical fault. Many of these causes won’t require you to search out the help of an expert straight away. You can often diagnose the issue by the colour of the smoke, and fix it before any major problems start.
For petrol lawn mowers it is possible that the engine oil reservoir has been filled too high and the engine is burning off the excess, causing the white smoke. To prevent this from happening, make sure your oil is at the correct level.
White or blue smoke can occur if any fuel gets into the engine. If you have recently changed the oil or you mow on a gradient, this isn’t uncommon and can be completely harmless. You can solve this by restarting your lawn mower and allowing the excess oil to burn off. For future reference, you should check your manufacturer’s manual for advice on ways to reduce oil leaks.
If you are experiencing black smoke this can mean your lawn mower is “running rich”. This means, in effect, that it is burning off too much fuel. If your carburetor isn’t getting enough air then this can cause the black exhaust smoke. It is possible that a clogged air filter can be the main cause of this and is preventing air from getting through to the carburetor. Try replacing the filter and then running the lawn mower for a few minutes to see if this fixes the problem. If you are still experiencing the black smoke you may need to adjust the carburetor to increase the airflow.
If you’re still unsure about any of these causes, the best place to go would be a registered service agent. Flymo have a large number of registered agents who can diagnose problems quickly.
Why Is My Lawn Mower Cutting Out?
It's a nightmare scenario especially if you are half way through cutting your grass. Luckily there are some simple explanations that can cause a lawn mower to stop, with simple solutions:
1.Check the power
It may seem like an obvious one, but you should always check the lawn mower propulsion system is working. This can be as simple as the lawn mower having run out of fuel or battery, or in the case of electric mowers, the cable coming out of the socket. Also check cables, fuses and breakers for electric mowers.
2.Cutting grass that is too long
Trimming too much grass in one go can cause the lawn mower to get bogged down which will make it stop. To combat this, raise the cutting height first before re-cutting it later at a lower height.
2.Grass box is full
Some lawn mowers will stop if the box gets too full. Empty the box then get back to it!
3.Check the air filter
A dirty air filter can cause a multitude of problems down the line so it is always advisable to not let it get too clogged up and replace it every so often.
4.Check spark plugs
Issues can arise from misfiring spark plugs or carbon build-up. Dirty spark plugs can be a common cause for a petrol lawn mower cutting out so try thoroughly cleaning it, if this doesn't work, it will need replacing.
5.Remove any debris from the underside
To remove debris, make sure it is safe to do so and that the power is not connected. The lawn mower will not work to its full efficiency if the lawn mower’s deck is clogged up with debris.
We recommend repairs to only be carried out as directed by the instruction manual, however, if you feel that there are still problems, you can visit a repair agent and get you back to mowing in no time. You can also visit the Flymo spare parts shop to help get your mower’s mojo back.