Some lawn mowers can cost a significant amount of money. But regardless of the cost, you are going to want to protect your investment and make sure that your electric or cordless lawn mower is maintained and remains reliable. This is especially important during the winter months when your mower may spend a prolonged period sitting in an outbuilding or shed and is therefore susceptible to standing damage.
But there are some simple things that you can do to ensure your lawn equipment remains in good working order. If you use a petrol mower, it is also extremely important to ensure proper maintenance, you can find my full guide here – 10 Simple Steps to Maintaining Your Petrol Lawn Mower.
Electric and cordless mowers require far less maintenance compared to a petrol mower, however to get the best performance and reliability from your electric or cordless mower, you still need to carry out some basic maintenance.
Taking Care of Your Batteries
Being an internal component of the lawn mower, a lot of people forget that the battery needs to be well maintained. For the most part, cordless mowers run on a lithium-ion battery which provides you with a reliable and long-lasting source of power. But when they aren’t properly looked after and stored, these batteries can have a drastically decreased lifespan.
Lithium-ion batteries tend to hold their charge relatively well, but this does not mean that they should be left charged at extremes. When you put your lawn mower away for the winter, it is a good idea to avoid fully charging it but at the same time, you don’t want to store it while it is totally out of juice. Keeping the batteries at half charge is the best option and over the course of winter, you should give them a boost, should the charge drop significantly.
When storing lithium-ion batteries, you must be mindful that any extremes in temperature can have an adverse effect on the batteries, therefore shortening their lifespan. For this reason, it is essential that you store them at a consistent and ambient temperature. Anything that exceeds 30ºc will affect the battery cells, whereas storing the batteries in extremely cold temperatures will diminish their performance.
Replacement lawn mower batteries are not cheap, so taking care of them will save you money in the long run.
Lawn Mower Blade Care
What good is a lawn mower without decent blades? It certainly wouldn’t be very effective. Before using your lawn mower, especially after it has been stored for a long time, you should check the blade to make sure that it is sharp, free from damage and ready for action. If not, you will need to sharpen or replace it. Details on how to do this will be included in your mower manual, so it’s important never to throw this out. That said, most appliances have an online manual if you happen to misplace yours. Whether the blade simply needs a sharpening, or a full replacement will depend on how dull or damaged it is. One thing that is important to remember is that mowing with a dull blade won’t only mean that you don’t get a good clean cut, it could also cause damage and stress to the lawn.
It is also essential to keep the blade clean, which is something that can be done at the end of each mow. You don’t need any specialist equipment or cleaning products as a simple wipe down should be enough to remove any grass that has built up. Again, it is worth wiping down the blades after each use as this will prevent a build-up and solidifying of the grass making cleaning harder. Moreover, it will prevent damp grass from rusting the blades.
Lawn mower blades are relatively cheap and easy to replace, however with some manufacturers replacement blades can be difficult to source, so bear this in mind.
If you are using an electric lawn mower then it doesn’t take me to tell you that there are dangers involved in using equipment with faulty wiring. One of the first things you should do before using your lawn mower is to check the power cord for damage. This should be done before each use, but is even more important when you come to use the mower during the spring. It is possible that animals may have chewed on the wire while in storage or that other equipment in your shed may have fallen or rubbed against the cord and caused damage.
Cables normally wear around the point at which the cable exits the mower and also around the mains plug, so pay careful attention to these areas.
If there is any visible damage to the power cord, you should avoid using the lawn mower until this has been repaired or replaced. You will find that, for the most part, your lawn mower manual will have details on how to change the cord, but if you are in any doubt you can take it to a specialist to have it repaired.
Some mowers have the mains cable hard-wired into the mower and some have cables that can be plugged and removed from the mower. If hard-wired, the cable will need to be changed by a qualified electrician. Always consult the user manual for detailed safety instructions.
Keeping Things Clean
I have already covered cleaning your mower blades, but this isn’t the only part of the machine that will require regular cleaning; if you want it to remain at its best. The deck will suffer a rapid build-up of grass clippings, so this will need to be regularly cleaned. If this isn’t done, there is a risk of corrosion to any metal parts as well as grass clippings clogging up air vents and other outlets reducing the performance of your mower, particularly when it comes to collecting the clippings.
When you are cleaning your lawn mower deck, it is vital to ensure that the power is completely disconnected. This means unplugging it from the mains or removing the batteries and safety key to avoid an accidental start-up, which could result in a serious injury. Again refer to your user manual for detailed safety instructions.
Cleaning the deck can be done by using an old cloth to wipe away any excess grass and a soft brush to remove stubborn grime. It’s important not to use water as this could damage the electrical components of the mower. Any air vents will need to be kept clean and free from debris as having blocked vents can affect the air flow, which in turn could cause the mower to overheat.
Don’t forget, if you have a mower with a rear roller this will also need to be cleaned at the same time as the deck and blade, as damp grass and mud can get stuck and cause issues with the height consistency of the cut.
You will also need to make sure that the grass box is kept emptied, but this doesn’t just involve tipping out the grass clippings. You should also check that no clippings are lodged in chutes or other nooks and crannies. Also check for any damage caused to the grass collection bag, especially if it is cloth.
If you have not been regularly removing the clippings from the deck and blade, and they have become difficult to remove with a cloth, then you may require a stiff brush with and added scrapper.
Last update on 2021-09-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Mower Hardware – Tightening the Nuts and Bolts
As your mower runs, the motor will vibrate, and this can affect the hardware. Most noticeably, any nuts and bolts or fastenings could loosen. This isn’t a huge problem and requires nothing more than a little tightening before you can use the mower again.
The wheels and handles may also become loose over time, again owing to the vibrations of the motor. Checking these regularly will prevent fastenings from coming so loose that they fall off altogether. In which case, you’ll need to replace them. When tightening these fastenings, you can also take the time to check for damage to the handles or wheels and respond appropriately should you find anything from a general inspection.
Preparing Your Mower For Winter
At the end of summer, the chances are that you will put your lawn mower into storage for the winter. After that last mow of the season, it is a wise idea to check over all the components of the machine and perform any repairs or maintenance. Your future self will thank you come springtime!
You should also take this opportunity to give your lawn mower a good clean to make sure that there is no grass or moisture present that could cause rust over the winter. Once you’re ready, ensure that you find a clean, dry environment for your lawn mower to be stored. It may also be a better idea to bring the batteries into the house since, as I have discussed, extreme temperatures may affect their performance and longevity.
A cordless or electric mower is one of the most convenient types of lawn mower and they are incredibly popular with domestic gardeners. However, while they are much simpler to maintain compared to a petrol mower, you still need to ensure that they are kept in good working order.
Taking care of your cordless or electric lawn mower doesn’t take a lot of effort and some simple cleaning and TLC will help to make sure that your mower serves you for a long time to come.
If you are looking for a new cordless or electric mower, I have two resources to help you out. The first is my comprehensive guide to purchasing a lawn mower. The second is a tool that will enable you to select all your specific requirements, features and size of your lawn and then will present you with a shortlist of best mowers for your needs. Click the image below to try this now.