Prolong the life of your mower

Four-Stroke engine technology has gone ahead in leaps and bounds over the past decade, but maintenance is still a must. According to Honda Power Equipment national technical services manager, Steve Harvey, a little can go a long way in maintaining your mower.

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“There are many things mower owners can do to prolong that life of their machine and it starts with spending a little quality time with the mower, both out of season and when the grass is growing,” Steve said.

“I have seen some shocking cases of neglect when it comes to lawn mowers and it is a shame, because keeping them in good order is not very difficult at all. It’s easy to develop a maintenance schedule and stick to it.”

Keeping the mower out of the weather is a good start. Before the mower gets put away for the winter, it is a good idea to look at draining the fuel from the tank and also the carburettor. In most cases this can be done by unscrewing a small screw or bolt that is located at the bottom of the carburettor bowl. Turn the Fuel tap to the ‘on’ position and the fuel will drain out of the tank through the carburettor. You must make sure that you drain it into a container that is approved for fuel storage. It is also important to make sure the carburettor drain-screw is retightened when you have finished. If you do store your mower with the fuel in the tank, make sure the area is well ventilated to reduce the possibility of vapour ignition.

Steve said that Honda Power Equipment recommends fresh fuel, especially in warmer climates.

“I recommend that fuel should not be more than two to three weeks old, as its volatility can drop and it can become contaminated with water,” Steve said.

“Stale fuel will not atomise as well as fresh fuel and that can lead to incomplete burning in the combustion chamber and hence the motor running inefficiently.”

Using an ethanol-blend fuel can also increase the fuel’s susceptibility to water contamination.

Honda does not suggest one brand of fuel over another, but does recommend using a fuel with a research octane number of 91 or higher. Refer to the owner’s manual to be sure of correct fuel use.

“E10 ethanol fuel can be used with Honda Power Equipment that is made after 1990, although it is not recommended,” Steve said.

According to Steve, ethanol fuel can damage paint work and cause rubber fuel system parts to degrade more quickly.

Given the two major intakes for the engine to work properly are fuel and air, special attention should be paid to the air cleaner.

“If you are using the mower regularly, you should really check the air cleaner each time before use,” Steve said.

Attention should also be given to the engine’s spark plug. First disconnect the sparkplugs lead, then use the correct sized spark plug spanner to remove the spark plug. If the plug is damaged or badly fouled, it should be replaced.

Key maintenance points to remember:

  • Used engine oil can be carcinogenic and should not be disposed of as household rubbish.
  • Do not store fuel for long periods, especially in warmer weather. Keep only what you need for a few weeks.
  • When working on small four-stroke engines, always remove the spark plug to avoid any accidental start-ups.
  • Keep children and pets away while maintenance is being carried out.
  • Only do maintenance when the engine is cold.

All Honda Power Equipment products come standard with an industry leading 4 year domestic warranty, and with over 400 authorised Honda Power Equipment Specialists across the country, there will always be support and advice when you need it.

For more information visit: http://powerequipment.honda.com.au/