Your lawnmower is arguably the most important garden tool in your shed or garage. Keep it in tip-top condition with our guide from STIGA
IMPORTANT: When you first purchase your lawnmower make sure to familiarise yourself with the instructions and advice in the operator guide.
• Always use clean fresh fuel which has ideally been treated with Fuel Stabiliser. Petrol can go stale after 30 days from purchase and cause running issues in your machine. By adding fuel stabiliser to freshly purchased petrol it will stay fresh in your jerry can for up to two years. You can purchase fuel stabiliser from most garden equipment dealerships or online.
• Do not tip your mower onto its side – lawnmowers should only be tilted backwards. Tilting the machine on to its side can cause oil to ingress into the cylinder, carburettor and exhaust – this can cause starting problems and in serious cases damage to internal parts of the engine.
• Check the oil level before each use and top up accordingly. There is usually a dipstick attached to the oil filler cap, this has indicators marked upon it which show you the correct oil level. For more information refer to your engine manual.
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• If you anticipate not using your mower for 28 days or longer (for example storing over winter) lubricate moving parts and drain fuel from the tank and carburettor. Modern petrol now typically contains 5% ethanol. Ethanol readily bonds with atmospheric moisture creating an ethanol-water mix which accelerates the process that degrades fuel. This is commonly referred to as ‘stale fuel’. ‘Stale’ fuel can cause serious damage to the engine and stop your mower from working.
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• It is important to store your machine and batteries in a cool, dry place.
• Periodically recharge your batteries over winter or long periods when not in use to keep them healthy and increase the lifespan.
• Adhere to the service schedule that appears in the manual supplied with your mower. For extended warranty periods of 3 and 5 years it is normally a requirement to have your mower serviced by an approved dealer before the end of the second year and then each year thereafter.
• Before you start mowing inspect your lawn for debris that may cause damage to your mower. Even innocuous objects such as rubber balls and string can cause serious damage to parts of the machine.
• If mowing on bumpy or uneven ground it may be necessary to raise the height of cut. If the blade hits the ground the engine and self-propelling mechanism can be damaged.
• Periodically check all nuts, bolts, and screws for tightness. Using the mower with loose fastenings and fixings can also cause damage.
• Regularly inspect the cutter blade. Damaged and imbalanced blades can cause vibration which in turn can damage the engine, deck, and handles.
• Do not over-work your lawnmower. If your lawn has grown longer than usual it may be necessary to raise the cutting height for one pass before going back over the lawn at the desired (lower) cutting height.
• After each use remove grass pulp from the underside of the cutter deck. Before going underneath the mower always remove the spark plug lead. Grass pulp can be removed with a non-metallic item such as a plastic spatula or a stiff nylon brush. If your mower is fitted with a washing link you can simply attach a hose and wash the underside of your mower. (Check your mower’s manual for instructions)
• If you prefer to fold the handle down for storage, be careful not to snag the pull cord or cables.
• If you suspect or discover your mower has a fault or breakage discontinue using the machine and seek immediate advice from the helpline. Using a mower with a known fault or breakage can cause damage to other parts.
With a little care and attention, you can ensure your lawnmower remains ‘king of the garden shed’ and in tip-top condition for many years to come.
For advice on the best lawnmower to suit you and your garden visit your local STIGA dealer.