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Annual maintenance on a push lawnmower? Necessary? DIY?
Posted by: jimbrady
Date: April 09, 2006 02:01PM
I have a push mower purchased last year and used for most of the season--what do people do to these to start the new season?

I don't really trust the place I've used on a previous mower, and I'm not all that savvy with outdoor tech.

Suggestions?



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Re: Annual maintenance on a push lawnmower? Necessary? DIY?
Posted by: JEBB
Date: April 09, 2006 02:10PM
The usual treatment is to change the oil and clean the sparkplug. To get it to start easily you should add some new gasoline to the tank as the most volatile components of the gasoline have evaporated.
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Re: Annual maintenance on a push lawnmower? Necessary? DIY?
Posted by: billb
Date: April 09, 2006 02:15PM
Sharpen the blade.
Change the oil. Some recommend running it to warm it and it also supposedly helps to remove any sludge and moisture contaminants from storage.
Check plug. Check air filter(s).
I also like to remove the wheels and put STP on the shafts. I prfer to do this in the Fall, but don't always get to it.
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Re: Annual maintenance on a push lawnmower? Necessary? DIY?
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: April 09, 2006 02:37PM
Clean or change the air filter.
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Re: Annual maintenance on a push lawnmower? Necessary? DIY?
Posted by: rgG
Date: April 09, 2006 02:43PM
Storing it with an empty fuel tank in the Fall is the best Spring maintenance you can do. grinning smiley

Changing the oil, cleaning or changing the plug and sharpening the blades, if needed, are also good ideas. Cleaning or changing the air filter is also good, mine gets really dirty over the course of the season. If your mower has any grease fittings, it is a good idea to squeeze some grease into them. I know my big riding mower has several on the deck, but I doubt you have any on a push mower.

Your owner's manual should give you a list of things to do and how often to do them, also.
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Re: Annual maintenance on a push lawnmower? Necessary? DIY?
Posted by: AlphaDog
Date: April 09, 2006 03:16PM
"push mower"? To me that means the power is supplied by the person pushing it. I thought the only thing you had to do for those is keep the blade sharp.
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Re: Annual maintenance on a push lawnmower? Necessary? DIY?
Posted by: Gutenberg
Date: April 09, 2006 03:30PM
Oh, AlphaDog, that was so last century. Nowadays "push mowers" are power mowers that you have to push to make it move along. The deluxe mowers are self-propelled.

Your version of a "push mower" is now called a "reel mower." Only a lefty greenie pansy uses a reel mower. Real men have tractors with cupholders and an awning.

Get with it, geez!

/irony off

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Re: Annual maintenance on a push lawnmower? Necessary? DIY?
Posted by: jimbrady
Date: April 09, 2006 04:29PM
I used a reel mower in my earliest grass-cutting (it belonged to my grandmother).

Since owning a house and thinking about mowers again, the thought occurred to me that a large version of that mounted on a recumbent bicycle would be an ultra cool invention. It took me 30 seconds of surfing to find that mine was not an original idea:







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Re: Annual maintenance on a push lawnmower? Necessary? DIY?
Posted by: rgG
Date: April 09, 2006 05:28PM
You would have to maintain one of those with lots of aspirin. grinning smiley
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Re: Annual maintenance on a push lawnmower? Necessary? DIY?
Posted by: Michael
Date: April 09, 2006 09:48PM
Buy a cheap mower, do nothing to it except add run the gas tank dry in the fall. Replace it when it doesn't start up.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/09/2006 09:51PM by Michael.
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Re: Annual maintenance on a push lawnmower? Necessary? DIY?
Posted by: Michael
Date: April 09, 2006 09:49PM
(Oops, hit post twice.)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/09/2006 09:51PM by Michael.
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Re: Annual maintenance on a push lawnmower? Necessary? DIY?
Posted by: davester
Date: April 10, 2006 10:56AM
Push mower has always meant person-powered reel mower as far as I'm concerned. Since our last two houses have had relatively small lawn areas, that is the only kind that has made sense to own. Our prior house came with a gasoline mower but it was too much hassle and too bulky. Unless you have "acreage", a reel mower, sharpened and oiled once every year or two, works just as fast and is more pleasurable to use IMHO.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan
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Re: Annual maintenance on a push lawnmower? Necessary? DIY?
Posted by: SteveO
Date: April 10, 2006 09:04PM
I had a reel mower when I had my postage-stamp yard in Cincy. It was terrific and a welcome relief to the POFS Lawnboy that my father-in-law "gave" to me. (He also "gave" me a fertilizer spreader that burned the hell out of my lawn. G-r-e-a-t guy.) When I moved to suburban KC, I was forced to buy a gas-engine (but still push -- no self-propelled for me, I need the workout!) -- the reel mower was impossible to use for my 1/2-acre yard, especially if the grass got out of hand which it did in the spring. I am as much a left-leaning treehugger as you'll ever find, but as I said it was literally too tall of an order.

PUSH-MOWER MAINTENANCE FOR THE MO-RAN (that would be me):

Change the oil once a season. Consult your owner's manual (and/or several helpful web sites) for this as there's a right way to do it and a wrong way. Change the spark plug every two years, along with the blade. There's a special gas additive you can get to keep your gas fresh during the slower parts of the season. Best to run your gas out entirely the last time you mow in the fall...it doesn't keep! And pour the remainder of your gas can (if it's STRAIGHT gas, no oil, etc.) into your car's gas tank so it's not wasted. Ditto the advice about your air cleaner -- that should be shaken out/cleaned every few weeks for so.

Keep the deck lid, blade and underside of the mower clean at all times. I use an old screwdriver to scrape caked-on grass from the undercarriage every month or so during the high season. A hose-off is also not a bad idea if you're careful not to foul the spark plug.

It's also not a bad idea to replace your carb gaskets (the little rubber rings that seal it) and clean out the carb with some Gumout (carb/choke cleaner) every season or so.

I am mechanically challenged. I checked out a library book on lawnmower maintenance and picked most of this up from it. It was a Briggs & Stratton engine book for the DIY'er. Easy to understand and do if you can follow directions. Saved me a couple hundred bucks in repair time, I'm sure. That and this board!

OR just ask around for a reputable lawn shop...my local Sears has a parts and repair center that does lawnmower tuneups for about $60. Mind you, that's a tune-up alone. Parts and labor are extra. Good luck!





Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 04/10/2006 09:15PM by SteveO.
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Re: Annual maintenance on a push lawnmower? Necessary? DIY?
Posted by: jimbrady
Date: April 10, 2006 09:39PM
Thanks for all the tips.



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