How to repair a lawn mower

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How to repair a lawn mower

A lawn mower is a mechanical device utilizing one or more rapidly rotating blades to cut a grass surface to an even height. The first lawn mower was invented by Edwin Budding in 1830 in Thrupp, just outside Stroud, in Gloucestershire, England. 

If you plan to operate a lawn care service business or you’re just planning to take care of your own lawn, this is one of the very first equipment you will need. Since a lawn mower is essential for you to maintain your lawn or your customers’ lawn, taking preventative measures is helpful to avoid damage. Take care of it so it will take care of you!

Easy maintenance

You can use a light coating of spray lubricant to the underside of your mower deck to keep the grass clippings from sticking. Grass clippings hold moisture and cause rust to your mower. Also, tilt the machine after use to expose the air filter. Sharpen the cutter blades, empty the fuel tank, and clean the bottom of the machine before retiring for the day. 

The reason why you need to be proactive in maintaining your lawn mower is because even a small patch of rust that begins to eat into metal of your lawn mower deck can spread if not properly treated. 

A tiny tear on your lawn mower seat can be problematic if neglected as well. A rip or tear on your riding lawn mower seat’s covering gets bigger each time it is used which may allow some of the foam to come out and create a dent of missing material in the seat. 

If the damage has been done, you need to know how to fix or repair minimal issues to avoid getting behind your schedule by having to send your equipment to a shop and wait for them to fix it.  

You do not need to buy a new lawn mower if the issue is a rusty deck or a ripped seat because you surely can salvage your lawn mower by fixing it yourself. If you choose to hire a lawn mower repair professional to fix your lawn mower, you can simply walk into a Home Depot or any local lawn mower repair shop near you. You will likely spend between $40 and $90. Price may vary by region and even by zip code.

Rust repair

Protect

To fix your rusty lawn mower deck yourself, start by wearing your gloves, goggles, and mask for protection. Disconnect the spark plug and remove the rotor or cutter blades.

Prepare the surface

Next, prepare the outside and underside surface of the machine by cleaning off the rust using a wire brush or P40 sandpaper. Get off as much rust as possible, you do not want to go through all the hard work just for the rust to show up again after a few days. You also need to remove all the rust down to the bare metal of the deck, removing paint and exposing the shiny part to give the patch the best chance in sticking

Once you are done, apply etch to quickly dissolve any rust left on your lawn mower deck, leaving a zinc-phosphate coating. Prime with a rust-inhibitive primer to prevent rust from going back. You can apply two coats of primer, allowing the first application to dry first before spraying the next. 

Repair

If removing the rust left you with a big hole, use a patch or a malleable aluminum to cover and shape for it to be strong again. You can use a piece of paper or cardboard to get a rough shape and size of the surface for template. If the hole is too big, you should cut the patch one inch bigger than the hole.  Stick the aluminum or the patching and just mold and glue it on the inside the deck. To do this, combine equals parts of epoxy resin and hardener, it will work both as a filler and as an adhesive. Spread the mixture over the rust holes on the lawn mower deck from the inside. Apply the same mixture to the outside of the deck if needed and let it cure for about 24 hours.

Smoothen the surface 

Tidy up the area being treated. Sand down using a P80 sandpaper to smoothen and level the surface to the deck. Clean the surface to remove rust and dust before painting.

Paint

To finish off, you can just paint the surface you are trying to fix with the existing color or you can repaint the whole deck. I’m sure your neighbors will wonder how many lawn mowers you have!

Lawn mower seat repair

A lawn mower seat allows you to be comfortable while working, so having a ripped or worn out seat cover will cause you discomfort. When it rains, a tear on your seat cover will let the rainwater soak the foam which will eventually give you a wet bottom! Otherwise, the foam will harden and be very uncomfortable to sit on. You have an option to change your whole seat cover or just patch-up your existing one.

To repair torn or ripped lawn mower seats, clean the torn area and remove any debris or loose foam. You can use foam repair fillers to fill the empty gap of the foam. Once it has risen and spread, check for any more gaps until you reach the level of the existing foam. Let it cure according to the manufacturer’s instruction. 

When the foam has already dried up, remove excess foam from its surface using a knife, then  sand it down to make it smooth. To patch, you can buy a vinyl repair kit which includes the adhesive and the vinyl leather patch. 

Choose a repair kit with colorant that matches the leather of your seat. Cut a patch that is an inch bigger than the area treated. Tidy up by trimming ragged edges around the tear and wiping with a washcloth or cotton soak with alcohol. Apply the adhesive from the kit to the back side of the custom-cut vinyl patch and press it down to the damaged section. Let it cure according to the instructions on the label.

Conclusion

Remember to correct any rust on your lawn mower or any tear on its seat as soon as possible. Do not wait for it to get worse. Always clean your mower before you rest for the day to avoid bigger problems.

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