When your lawnmower stops working or doesn't seem to function as it should, you may be able to make a few simple repairs on your own. Other problems may require repairs from an expert, but it can still be good for you to know what may be the issue with your lawnmower. This can prepare you for the bill or help you determine if you may need a new lawnmower altogether. Note the following.
1. Uneven cutting
This is not an unusual problem with mowers that have too many clippings and debris clinging to the blades. However, if you've cleaned the underside of the mower and the blades and are still having a problem, note if the blades are bent in any area. This can cause an uneven cut. The blades may also be loose and this too can result in an uneven cut, and be very dangerous. Have the blades sharpened and leveled and then note why they've come loose so you can replace any damaged connectors as needed.
2. The mower won't start
It's surprising how many homeowners know to maintain their car's engine but not the engine of their lawnmower, and then wonder why the mower won't start. Note if you need a new spark plug for the mower. If you haven't replaced the air filter in many years, it may simply need a new filter. Tap the side of the carburetor and note if gas is flowing freely; if not, the mower may need a new fuel filter.
Be sure you start each cutting season with fresh gasoline as sediment and debris can build up in fuel and, in turn, clog the fuel lines so that the mower doesn't start. A lawn mower repair company can drain the fuel lines and put in a cleaning additive if this is the case with your mower.
3. The mower is smoking
If you're overworking the mower, meaning cutting grass that is too tall or thick for the blades and the power of the engine, or have allowed debris and clippings to build up underneath the body of the mower, this can cause it to smoke as you try to force it to work. However, if oil has leaked onto the engine from the mower being tipped to the side, this can cause it to smoke somewhat but this smoke usually goes away as the oil burns off.
Lighter colored smoke or smoke that doesn't go away after a few minutes, along with an engine that seems to struggle to work, can mean damage to the engine itself. It may have a serious oil leak or the motor may simply be breaking down and need replacing.