DIY or Go Pro with Mower Maintenance and Repairs?
Every lawn mower owner has to make a decision at some point—do I do the annual maintenance and make repairs myself, or do I hire a professional? For some, the choice is easy. For others, not so much. Briggs & Stratton has a ton of helpful guides for routine maintenance, but for the more complicated repairs below are some important questions to ask to help you make the decision DIY or go with a pro?
- Do I have the time?
If you take the time to maintain your lawn mower properly, it will start quicker, run better and generally save you time in the long run. Routine maintenance can be performed in a few easy steps that take very little time. But, more involved projects might take longer. Are you willing to go without your equipment for an extended period of time?
- Do I have the money?
If you are short on funds or are naturally thrifty, it makes good sense to at least do regular maintenance yourself. Dealers and mechanics are professionally trained and certified to do the job well and as result will charge for the part, but also the expertise of their labor
- Do I have the correct tools
The tools needed to do simple maintenance on your lawn mower are generally ones that most people keep in their garage anyway. Some necessities are:
- A set of socket wrenches
- Straight and Phillips screwdrivers in a range of sizes
- Drain Pan
- Torque wrench
- Drop Cloth or Tarp
- Am I experienced enough to do the job well?
This is where it gets interesting. If you don’t recognize any of the above tools or if you have no idea what a spark plug is, you may need a little instruction on simple maintenance. The good news is that your operator’s manual can provide many of the step-by-step instructions you need to keep your lawn mower in good shape.
Briggs & Stratton also has a number of individual how-to articles and videos to teach you the tricks of the trade. More difficult maintenance/repairs for more advanced mechanics could be things like rebuilding your carburetor or sharpening your mower blades. Consult your operator’s manual and determine if you are comfortable with your skill level for the work needed.
- Will I enjoy doing the work?
For some of us, it comes down to passion. There are a lot of folks out there who really enjoy rolling up their sleeves and taking apart an engine. Springtime means tuning up all their equipment and gasoline is their favorite perfume. But such work is not for everyone and there are plenty of professionals out there who can help you keep your lawn mower in good repair. If you’re one of those people who are fine with lawn care but not so happy about equipment maintenance, that’s ok. Just be sure to find your local dealer and stay on a good maintenance schedule.
Whether you’re a seasoned mechanic or just bought your first socket set, there are plenty of resources out there to help you make your decision about how much to do or when to call a professional about your lawn mower. As long as you keep up with maintenance and repairs, you’ll be able to use your mower for years to come.