Trade Resources Industry Knowledge It's Often Helpful to Know Where to Start When It Comes to Getting The Engine Fixed

It's Often Helpful to Know Where to Start When It Comes to Getting The Engine Fixed

Common engine problems

If you’re having a problem with your engine, it’s often helpful to know where to start when it comes to getting the engine fixed.

My engine won’t start!
Electric problem: spark plug, ignition, cut-out switch or flywheel key.
Cure: replace spark plug, check plug lead, cut-out switch, clean points, check coil and flywheel key.

Fuel problem: no fuel, stale or contaminated fuel, blocked fuel pipe/tap/carburettor, engine flooded, or clogged or unvented fuel cap.
Cure: if the spark plug is dry, dip the plug tip in fuel then refit; if the engine starts, the carburettor requires attention.

Compression problem: valves, piston or connecting rod.
Cure: will probably require an engine strip down – take to a professional!

Engine runs rough
Engine misfire: spark plug, points, carburettor setting, valves or clogged filters
Cure: change spark plug, clean points, readjust carburettor, check ignition coil and filter.

Engine overheats: low oil level, blocked cooling fins, lean fuel mixture.
Cure: top up or change the oil, clean engine and flywheel cooling funs, check in tank for any fuel contamination, change fuel if older than six weeks.

Engine smokes: rich fuel mixture, clogged air filter, overfilled with oil, machine has been tipped.
Cure: check oil level, change fuel, change or clean air filter. If machine has been tipped and smoking does not stop within five minutes take to a professional

Engine knocks: loose flywheel, loose blade boss, excess carbon in combustion chamber
Cure: tighten blade boss, check flywheel key, de-coke engine, check fresh fuel or replace.

Fun lawnmower facts

The world’s only lawnmower museum is in Southport, Merseyside. The owner, ‘lawn ranger’ Brian Radam is possibly the world’s leading expert on lawnmowers. The author of this guide has the misfortune to live in Southport, and confesses she’s never visited.
It is possible to race lawnmowers, presuming you have the time to adapt the motor and are willing to race around a field with a bunch of speed freaks with spinning blades. Rather you than me. Speeds of 60mph are often reached.
That said, the fastest mower in the world was driven on 23 May 2010, reaching a speed of 87.833 mph. I get anxious doing 75 on a motorway.
The record for cutting the most grass in the shortest time in one acre per minute. I suspect it probably wasn’t the most even cut in the world.
Even Stephen Fry thinks there isn’t much to be said about lawnmowers.
N.B. This section is, perhaps, not be taken at face value!

Lawn upkeep with a lawnmower, inc. lawnmowing guide

Now you have a lawnmower and hopefully a half-decent idea of how to maintain your lawnmower safely, you need to know the best way of cutting your lawn.

Firstly, never mow when the grass is wet. It’s more work for you and more work for your mower; you’ll get a better cut when the grass is dry. Make sure that you put your mower in for a service between December-February – the service will be quiker and cheaper, and it means you’ll be ready to mow on the first warm weekend of the year, putting you at a distinct advantage over your neighbours! At the start of the season, make sure you feed your lawn and don’t cut the grass too short. After a long winter, your turf will be grateful for the nutrients and the gentle treatment! Mow once or twice a week between April and October, depending on the weather conditions and how quickly your lawn is growing. Set your lower blades at a height that is suitable for the time of year – higher when the turf is growing slowly, lower when it’s faster. Try to mow your lawn in a straight and regular line, if you prefer neat stripes – turf tends to grow in the way it was most recently cut. And don’t forget to water your turf occasionally – obeying all local hosepipe regulations, of course.

Mowing calender

November – February = Get the mower serviced! If the weather is mild and the turf is growing, it can be occasionally cut. If your lawn is frozen, don’t walk on it.

March = aerate and rake the lawn to encourage the grass and discourage unsightly moss.

April = Apply a fertiliser, and begin your mowing schedule.

May = Keep on mowing.

June = See above.

July = Fertilise and water the lawn if necessary. If it’s particularly hot, don’t cut the lawn too close to avoid traumatising the turf.

August = Carry on mowing as appropriate; water as and when necessary.

September – October = Slowly decrease your mowing schedule. Apply a winter fertiliser, and weedkiller if necessary.

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A Guide To Lawnmowers -3
Topics: Hardware