Cutting your grass regularly is important if you want a neat and healthy lawn. We recommend getting the mower out twice a week during the summer months, and once a week in spring and autumn. (Check out our Lawn Mowing Tips for more information.)
Of course, lawn mowers - like any piece of technology - sometimes malfunction, and it can be quite alarming when they do. Picture the scene: you're out in the garden, mowing your lawn and enjoying the scent of the freshly-cut grass, when suddenly a cloud of smoke billows out from under the mower.
There are a number of possible reasons why a lawn mower may start blowing smoke, and you will need to diagnose the problem before you can fix it. So let's do some troubleshooting...
Petrol mower blowing white smoke
If your petrol-fuelled mower is blowing white (or blue) smoke, it probably means that there's oil where oil shouldn't be. Perhaps you recently tipped your lawn mower on its side to change the blade, and some oil leaked out - or maybe you just overfilled the mower when you last changed the oil.
In any case, it's likely that the white smoke is being produced by burning oil. To stop the smoke, you will need to wipe away the stray oil and ensure that oil is no longer leaking out; once that's done, run your mower for a minute or so and you should find that the smoke clears.
Petrol mower blowing black smoke
Black smoke is usually a sign that your mower's engine is 'running rich', i.e. getting too much fuel and not enough air.
The most common cause of black smoke is a clogged air filter. Replace your mower's air filter and this should resolve the problem. If you're still seeing smoke, the air-to-fuel ratio may be off, in which case the lawn mower's carburettor might need to be adjusted (ideally by a lawn mower repair specialist).
Electric mower blowing smoke
So far, we've been focusing on petrol-fuelled mowers. But what if it's an electric lawn mower that's smoking up your garden?
In that case, a burned-out motor is the most likely explanation. It's also possible that the belt or another component is overheating.
Whether you have an electric lawn mower or a petrol-fuelled model, you should be extremely careful when dealing with a smoking mower as it could be dangerous. If you're not sure why your lawn mower is malfunctioning, contact a lawn mower repair expert - they should be able to diagnose and resolve the issue safely.
More Lawn Mowing Tips & Advice
Photo from Pexels