How do you service a lawn mower

Lawn mower: maintenance and care before the winter break

When the time comes for the lawn to go into winter break, the lawn mower will also be mothballed over the winter. But don't just put the device in the shed uncleaned with a half-full tank! Due to the long rest period and the low temperatures, the device can be damaged by dirt, rust, corrosion and fuel residues. How to get your lawnmower ready for winter storage:

Basic cleaning

First, clean the mower housing thoroughly. This is particularly important with a steel housing because grass residues accelerate corrosion. But even a lawnmower with a rustproof housing made of aluminum or plastic does not harm if it is properly cleaned and released into hibernation.

For safety reasons, on gasoline mowers, unplug the spark plug cable and tilt the mower backwards before cleaning. Alternatively, you can tilt the device on its side, but make sure that the air filter is on the upper side. Otherwise, under certain circumstances, engine oil or fuel may leak. You should first remove the coarse dirt residues with a stiff brush and then clean the entire device with a wet cloth. It is essential to wear work gloves because of the risk of injury! You should rinse the grass catcher in a rain barrel to remove the coarsest dirt.

Engine and drive

When the cleaned lawnmower has dried, moving parts such as wheel bearings, throttle and starter bar are oiled with a resin-free oil, for example "Ballistol". Motor and drive parts, such as the knife shaft, must remain free of oil! However, you should impregnate the mower housing inside and out with an oily spray.

Empty the tank completely

Finally, fill the fuel tank with a little gasoline and close the fuel valve. Now start the device and let it run until the engine cuts out due to insufficient fuel. In this way the carburetor empties and cannot resinify during the winter break. Caution: Residual fuel in the tank can lose its ignitability over the winter. This may lead to starting problems in the spring.

Lawn mower with electric starter or battery

If your lawnmower is equipped with an electric starter, you should also disconnect the battery so that it does not discharge during the winter break. After and before the start of the mowing season, but also during longer breaks in use, the starter battery should be charged for around 24 hours. This can be done when installed or removed. Attention: Before removing the battery, the plug connection to the wiring harness must be disconnected.

Electric lawn mower

More and more garden tools are now also available with rechargeable batteries. The batteries are the most expensive part of the devices, so you should pay special attention to their care. Important: It is essential to keep batteries frost-free in winter, as freezing temperatures shorten their service life. Temperatures between 5 and 15 degrees are ideal. Depending on the type of battery, you should check the charge status before storing it for a longer period: Nickel-cadmium batteries (NiCd) can withstand many months in a discharged state. When re-used, however, they only reach their full capacity after several charging cycles. Charge lead-acid batteries and nickel-metal hydride batteries (NiMH) before storage. If they are not used for more than three months, they should be placed in the charging station in between. The latest generation of devices is usually equipped with lithium-ion batteries. These should be about half full before wintering. Since lithium-ion batteries practically do not discharge themselves, they can be stored for up to two years.

Maintenance at the specialist dealer

Use the time in winter for an inspection appointment at the specialist dealer. There you can, for example, have the lawnmower knife sharpened. Many professional scissors or knife grinders are also familiar with sharpening lawnmower blades. If you want to lend a hand, you should inform yourself beforehand about the correct polish, otherwise the damage will quickly be greater than the money saved. Have an oil and air filter change in a specialist workshop in good time before the start of the new lawn season. You can then mow your lawn again without any problems until next autumn.

Tip from the specialist: How to get your lawnmower fit again in spring

Mr. Wellen, what kind of maintenance work should you definitely do in the spring before you put the petrol mower back into operation?

One very important thing that is unfortunately often neglected is the oil change. Lawn mower motors usually do not have an oil filter that removes fine metal debris from the oil. That is why such an engine has a significantly higher level of wear and tear if the oil is not changed every year. A maintenance appointment in spring before the start of the season is the minimum. The knife is also checked on the occasion and sharpened or changed if necessary.