In the previous 2 parts of our series, we outlined the problems that extreme Winnipeg temperatures can cause to your yard care equipment. These are problems that we deal with as a snow and lawn care company on a regular basis. It’s just a part of life in Winnipeg.
In this section we are going to point out a few more issues unique to Winnipeg, as well as a normal maintenance service schedule for your small equipment.
Other than temperature, Winnipeg is an incredibly dry climate which can cause dusty conditions which can harm your yard care equipment. Dust can contaminate your engine’s oil causing it to turn to sludge. If left long enough sludge can cause the engine to seize. For this reason it’s important keep a clean air filter if you mower uses one. In high dust conditions, blow the air filter out every couple of mows so that the air going into the engine will be cleaner and the oil will stay cleaner. Not only will this be better for the mower, it will make the oil last longer which saves you more work in the future. An air filter is a much easier job than an oil change so chalk it up as preventative maintenance.
Sooner or later the oil will need changing. If you check the oil and it’s very black and thick it needs to be changed soon. The typical oil service interval for a lawn mower is every 50 hours but be sure to swap your oil a minimum of once per year. In Winnipeg, that means either in the spring right before your first cut or in the fall after your last mowing of the year. Your mower will usually require generic small engine oil like SAE 30, but check with your owner’s manual for exact recommendations.
The owners manual will also provide exact instructions to service the oil and if there is a drain plug beneath the mower. Or if the best way to drain the fluid is to tip the mower upside down and drain it from the top of the fill spout. Either way, be sure to lay down some cardboard to prevent spills. Winnipeg regulations are very strict on spilling petroleum products so exercise extreme caution when servicing your equipment.
Also, it’s best to change warm oil so start your mower up and let it run for 5 minutes (even better do it after you have just cut the grass), so the oil has a lower viscosity and can flow out of the mower easier. If you change oil from a warm mower you will also mix the shavings and debris into the oil so they can flow out when you change it, making for a cleaner change. Oil filters should be changed ever 100 hours but I typically change them every oil service at 50h intervals.
Other important scheduled maintenance service including changing your spark plugs, air filter, and fuel filter. Swap your air filter once per season or earlier in dusty conditions. As mentioned above, if you have just mowed in dusty conditions try to remove the filter and blow it out with an air hose to prevent debris from entering the engine. Spark plugs and fuel filters (if equipped) should be changed once per season.
A trick to making for easy mower servicing is to buy 4 or 5 years worth of service supplies (oil, oil filters, air filters, spark plugs, fuel filters) so that you have a nice inventory to complete your own work. Then, you run out of all supplies at the same time and can make 1 trip to the store every 5 years instead of many trips at offsetting intervals throughout that time period.
Last but definitely not least, mower blades need to be sharpened! The more the better but at least once a month so that your grass us cut clean and the blades of grass can heal strongly without losing all of their nutrition. A simple grinder can do the trick for blade sharpening or you can take the blades your local Winnipeg small engine shop.
As you can see, mower maintenance care can be a bit overwhelming even if you know what you’re doing. It’s important if you want your mower to last a long time and be reliable for you in the future. If you aren’t interested in doing your own work you can hire a small engine mechanic, but be prepared to wait as the ones in Winnipeg are typically very busy and costly at $60-$100/hr.
When you factor in the costs of having a mechanic service your mowing equipment, the time to get it to the mechanic, wait time, hassle, and your time to still have to mow your own grass; you might as well just hire Hero Winnipeg to come mow your lawn for you. Our typical pricing is around $100/mth and just requires a 3 minute phone call to us with your credit card and we manage the rest. We service our equipment, we do all the logistics, we work around the rain, we haul the grass away, and we use our property maintenance skills and more powerful mowers to ensure a more professional look on your lawn. After all is said and done, hiring us to do your lawn care can be a great benefit to you and your property.