How to bring your old mower back to life

How to bring your old mower back to life
June 17, 2018 Terry Griffiths

Has your commercial mower seen better days? If it’s barely chugging along, you may want to give it a thorough examination and consider breathing new life into it. Or perhaps you have an older mower sitting in your shed getting dusty because you bought a newer model. But it’s important to keep your trusty old steed in good shape too – just in case your everyday mower needs servicing, or it experiences an unexpected breakdown. Either way, there are a few simple things that you can check and fix in your old commercial lawn mower that will contribute to its smooth running once more.

Clean the outside of the mower

First thing’s first, give her a good hose and scrub so you can get a decent look at her! This will make it easier to assess what needs fixing and replacing. It’s also particularly important to regularly clean the underside of your mower so grass and dirt buildup doesn’t impede airflow or cause rust. Next, waxing or greasing the deck will not only make the old girl look shiny and new, but will prevent the accumulation of grass clippings and dirt, and make cleaning in the future quicker and easier.

Clean the mower air filter

Is your commercial mower suffering from respiratory problems? Unblock her airways by removing the air filter and cleaning it with warm, soapy water. Dab with paper towel and leave it in the sun to completely dry out. Ensure that you re-oil the air filter after cleaning so that dirt passing through your mower will get trapped in the filter. This can be achieved by filling a snaplock bag with oil and then submerging the filter in it. Remove excess oil from the filter with paper towel before reinstalling it into your mower.

Change the oil

This step is especially vital for mowers that have been sitting unused for long periods. Pour out the old oil and check the state of oil filter to see if it requires replacing. Fill her back up with new, heavy duty oil to keep everything well lubricated.

Sharpen mower blades

As we all know, mowing with dull blades can tear the grass and rip up the soil. It’s a groundskeeper’s worst nightmare. So regularly checking your mower blades is merely a given. You may need a jack stand to prop the mower up on its side, depending on how large it is. Make sure you remove the spark plug before unbolting the blades so that the motor doesn’t start. If the blades are warped or nicked, it may be worth replacing them. Otherwise, get them nice and sharp using a file or grindstone.

Replace old spark plugs

Has the old girl lost her spark? Is she spluttering and stalling when you turn the ignition? This could be due to a worn out spark plug that needs replacing. And it’s better to do this sooner rather than later. Nobody wants the setback of getting to work to find a broken down mower and your whole day of turf maintenance put on hold, especially if you’re a sports field superintendent and you have a big game coming up!

Tighten loose bolts

Remember, lefty loosey, righty tighty. Give all the screws and bolts in your mower a thorough check over. Hitting rough terrain may be commonplace depending on the surface area you mow, and this can jostle bolts loosen. Make sure all of them are nice and tight for better efficiency and safety when mowing.

Check your mower’s tyre pressure

Just like any vehicle, your mower’s tyres need to be at the recommended pressure to get the best results when mowing. If the pressure is too low, it can lead to unbalancing, and an irregular cutting length.

We hope these tips are helpful in getting your old commercial mower up and running again. But even when you try your very hardest to resuscitate your old mower, sometimes she can, unfortunately, be beyond repair. It may be time to say RIP and thank her for her service. If this is the case, you can browse QTurf’s range of commercial lawn mowers today to purchase a new model or contact Terry to discuss what type of mower is best suited to your turf maintenance requirements.