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How To Buy And Maintain A Petrol/Gas Rotary Lawn Mower

Updated on September 12, 2013
Petrol/gas rotary lawn mower
Petrol/gas rotary lawn mower | Source

Choosing your mower

Petrol/gas rotary mowers are ideally suited to lawns of medium or larger size. They don’t rely on a power cable so can be used away from a power source and, because petrol/gas mowers are more powerful, they can be used for heavier work. They can be operated for a longer period than electric models using rechargeable batteries. Mowers with petrol/gas engines are less suited to small gardens due to maneuverability which is not as easy as smaller, lighter electric models.

What to look for when choosing:

Make and Model. If the mower is going to be used on a frequent basis and for long period each time, go for as good a quality as can be afforded. A cheaper version should suffice if the mower is only going to be used on an infrequent basis or for smaller, quicker cuts.

Cutting Width. The larger the cutting width the quicker the job will be completed with less trips up and down the lawn. Bear in mind that a larger cutting width will mean a bigger and possibly heavier mower. So a compromise between size and usability will have to be met.

Cutting height. This can be adjusted to change the length of the lawn. A wider range in height will give greater choice to the length can be achieved. This is useful as lawns benefit from being cut at different lengths at different times of the year. Cheaper models will have individual height adjustment on each wheel; If possible, choose a model that has two height adjusters, one for both front wheels and one for both back wheels or, even better, one adjuster for all four wheels. This will make adjusting the height quicker and easier.

Engine Power. The larger the engine the greater the power. For bigger gardens, choosing a larger engine size will make the job more manageable and will enable tougher areas to be cut easier.In addition to the mower, look for collection box with a large capacity. This will reduce the amount of times mowing has to be stopped so that the box can be emptied. Having to empty the box frequently when mowing will prolong the time that the job will take and can be annoying if the area being mowed is a good distance from the compost heap. A garden sack can be used to empty the contents in but stops will still have to be made for emptying.

Word of warning

When working on a 4-stroke engine mower, it is important to tip it in the correct directions in order to prevent damage. Always tip backwards or onto the opposing side from the exhaust. If the mower is tipped forwards or onto the exhaust side the engine will be flooded with oil. This will result in a very expensive repair bill. Refer to the machines operating manual to confirm correct positioning before any maintenance work is undertaken.

Simple tips to keep a petrol/Gas rotary lawn mower running effectively and efficiently.

Petrol/gas rotary lawn mowers are very efficient machines for lawn care and keeping a neat and tidy grass area, but hey do need to be cared for to work optimally and can be expensive to have repaired if something goes wrong. By providing basic maintenance on a regular basis, the lawn mower should be more reliable, give a good even cut, and more expensive repair jobs can often be avoided.
So what maintenance can you do to keep your rotary lawn mower running efficiently?

Keep the blade clean. Scrape off the build-up of compacted grass on the blade to maintain a sharp cutting wedge. Keep the blade filed to a sharp edge to make cutting easier.

Keep the blade balanced. If the mower is vibrating, the blade is in need of balancing. Remove the blade and hang it by the bolt hole in the middle. If balanced the blade should hang level. If one side drops, file a little off it and check again. Repeat until balanced.

Clean the spark plug. Clean off the blackening carbon deposits, paying particular attention to the plug gap. A spark plug clogged up with carbon deposits is often the cause of a mower not starting. If still a problem after cleaning, replace with a new plug and check the lead is not damaged as well, replacing if necessary.

Clean or replace the air filter. If the filter is paper and is clogged up and dirty, replace it. If it is a sponge one, knock of any loose bits and clean with petrol. Black smoke from the exhaust indicates an air filter that needs cleaning or replacing.

Empty the tank if not being used. If the lawn mower is not to be used for several months, it’s best to empty the fuel tank. The fuel can deteriorate over time and clog up the carburettor. A fuel stabiliser can also be added if the mower is used infrequently.

Basic maintenance of a petrol/gas rotary lawn mower is relatively simple and can be enjoyable to do. It will save time and money not having to take it to a specialist and will help avoid preventable repairs.


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