Monday, 28 October 2013

Winter Lawn Mower Maintenance and Buying Tips

At this time of year people are thinking about locking away their garden machinery and tools ahead of the winter, trying to keep them safe and secure for that momentous occasion that the sun returns next spring. Very soon, lawn mowers, trimmers and all of the garden furniture will be stashed in the shed or greenhouse and away from the elements; while other people will take this opportunity to throw away the machinery and tools they don’t need anymore, or that won’t make it until the spring.

Mowers are an essential garden item [unless you only have slabs, gravel or decking – or no garden at all of course], and they’re often major investments, especially for people who really enjoy mowing the lawn and getting the stripes just right. For that reason it’s vital that you keep it secure and away from the elements throughout the winter months, or that you at least perform some vital maintenance before the weather takes a turn.

One piece of maintenance you can certainly do yourself is to empty the tank of all fuel to stop it clogging with any dirt over the winter, making it almost impossible to start again come spring. On that note, if your mower runs with an electrical start then it could also be beneficial to disconnect the battery and give it a full charge before you want to use it again.

Another essential maintenance tip is to turn the mower over and make sure that all grass and debris is removed from the blades. Leaving any grass attached to the bodywork or metal can cause rotting, especially if the mower does get damp over winter, and this will mean a significant expense getting it repaired or a new mower.

A final tip before you put it away for the winter is to get out the owner’s manual and read where it says about lubrication. Keeping the important parts moist will ensure that they make it through the harsh weather without problems such as rust or jamming so that it should – in theory – start with ease the next time you go to use it.

However, if your lawnmower has reached the end of its lifespan, you want to look out for a few important things. There are all kinds of mowers available. Some come with cables that must be connected to a power source, while others need petrol and then you have the issue over ride-on, manual and self-propelled mowers. It all comes down to personal circumstance and preference with ride-on mowers making sense in larger gardens, while those that must be plugged in are only suitable for gardens that are relatively close to the power point – so check the length of the cable and the size of your garden before you buy!

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