Thursday, April 28, 2011

DIY Spring Tune-up for the Lawnmower

Maybe it's because I've always been a tomboy, but I love the idea of being able to fix things.  But to know how to perform maintenance on an engine, even a small engine like a lawnmower, one has to be taught.  And my husband is way too busy at the end of this semester to do that.  This is why I offered to take our mower in to a shop for a spring tune-up.

Can you guess how much a lawnmower tune-up costs, though?  I would think around $25 to $30 for a simple little engine would be fair.  But I was wrong.  Try double that.  And that's just for labor, not parts!  Oh, and there's a one to four week wait time.  Well, while I've been procrastinating finding all this information out, our front yard has been drinking in lots of rain and sunshine and looks like this:

In another week, I am sure my girls would love to dress up and pretend they are Laura and Mary in Little House on the Prairie.  But our neighbors and a city ordinance would likely object.  It was past time for an intervention.

However, to get to this point, our little 148cc mower needed an oil change and a little TLC.  So I sought expert advice from YouTube and Lowe's.  (Later, I realized the guy in the video sounds just like Troy McClure in the Simpsons.)  Anyway, with my confidence and knowledge boosted, I picked up the items I needed from the hardware store.  Cost for oil and a spark plug: $6.98 plus tax.

And I am happy to report that after following "Troy's" instructions, I completed the tune-up and started the lawnmower on the second attempt.  We now have a mowed front yard.   And while it felt good to have gained a new skill, I still have to resist the temptation to covet a pollution-free reel mower.

Instead I simply need to want what I have.

After mowing the very thick front lawn, I breathe a sigh of relieved satisfaction.


Anonymous said...
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Alicia said...

Wow, Julia, you're awesome. I would have probably donned the dress-ups with your daughters!
It really is amazing how much money you save when you do things yourself!! :D

Katie said...

What an impressive endeavor, way to go!

My mom grew up on a farm and is a do it yourselfer, I got a little of that. My husband's (not so) favorite move is when I use butter knives to tighten screws on cabinets or drawers in the kitchen haha. In his defense there is a tool box about 30 feet from the knife drawer.

Unknown said...

That's really great simplicity lawnmower parts Is doing a great job today.