I just got a new homemaker merit badge — lawn mower repair!

Our lawn mower was working just fine and then, poof, it wasn’t. Jason and I went back and forth over the last month about whether to take it to get repaired, try to fix it ourselves, buy a new one, or just hire someone to mow the lawn.

After getting the lawn mowed once (it was an emergancy and needed to be done), I couldn’t help but feel like I was throwing money down the toilet because I actually don’t mind mowing the lawn. I actually kind of like it. Our lawn mower was working fine so I was sure it had to be something simple. Maybe a clogged filter or line or the spark plug or who knows what.

I decided to call someone to fix it.

And then I decided that first I would at least go through the regular maintenance things and see if it was one of those.

I watched several youtube videos. Read the manual. Went to Lowes and talked to the guy there. I think the guys at Lowes are always extra helpful to me just by the fact that I’m attempting it myself. It’s like they think it’s cool I’m a girl and fiddling with small engine repair. I’m actually surprised more women don’t attempt these kind of tasks, it’s so rewarding and saves so much money. I do get that it can be really intimidating though. But that’s what youtube is for right? Anyway…..

I spent about $20 on a new spark plug, air filter, oil, and a funnel. I also got a dremmel attachent so I could sharpen the blade.

Came back home and within 45 minutes I had

changed the oil (which was like tar it was so dirty),

air filter,

 

cleaned the outside, scraped the underside,

 

switched out the spark plug,

and discovered the cause of the problem — the cuff that holds the engine release wire in place was loose so it wasn’t releasing the switch all the way. Which is why it wasn’t even turning over. Ha. I fixed that with masking tape.Instead of spending $100 repairing it + getting the seasonal maintenance taken care of (which is the average cost) or $150+ replacing it, I spent $20 on parts. Sweeeeeet.

And here’s a tip I learned, put a piece of plastic under the gas cap before screwing it on to keep gas from leaking out when you tip it over to clean the underside.

 

Some days, I really love the internet and it’s ability to open doors and enable me to do things I wouldn’t have been able to do otherwise — unless I had one of those sweet encyclopedia sets of home repair from better homes and gardens like my dad did growing up.

 

Have you done maintenance on your mower this season? Maybe you should give it a shot. It’s more fun than you might think!

 

Best wishes,

Kristin