Sunday, June 6, 2010

How do you start a Lawn Mower

I'd really like to know.

The problem with this mower is not that it is a dead machine.  The motor is strong, it will start.  The mechanisms are fine, however there is one wrinkle. 

It is old.

Specifically, it is an old Lawn Boy with a Two Motor that requires that you mix oil with the gasoline at a 40 to 1 ratio.  Not necessarily a problem so far because the world has used Two Cycle Motors for decades, if not centuries.

The problem is that with oil in the gas, the motors tend to be harder to start.  To combat the harder to start motor, there is a primer bulb on the motor somewhere that you are expected to squeeze once or more per run.  I have the same problem with the string trimmer that I use.   It has a bulb that you press, and it injects fuel and oil mix into the combustion chamber.

Normally they will start with little effort, however I have found that in order to start that little strimmer, I have to take the spark plug out and scrape the plug clean of deposits and then replace in order to get it to run.  It hasn't run in a month because after a half hour of trying to get it started, I gave up with a stiff right arm.

The lawn mower eventually started after working its pull rope for about 10 minutes, but it resulted in our getting quite tired.   I'm sitting inside while someone else is mowing the lawn.

I'm thankful that the lawn's getting mowed by that person.   My allergies won't allow my doing it.

On the other hand, the problem isn't the motor specifically.   It is that little bulb.  The thing cracked through years of use and needs replacement.  A small soft vinyl or rubber bulb that most likely snaps in place and costs a dollar or less means that this lawn mower will either have an expensive repair or it will end up being replaced.  Since it is running well at this moment, I don't want it replaced. 

Hopefully the part will be easy to find.  It does reflect on our disposable society though.  I have a lot of appliances that through the years have been replaced.  Sometimes they have been patched together and gave many years of service like that lawn mower.  On the other hand, I am sure that if the TV or Stereo started acting up, I'd make a token attempt at a repair and out it would go.

The quality of equipment has not gotten appreciably better over the last few years, although over the last couple decades it has.  When all the manufacturing of electronics moved out of the United States, some got better some got worse. It all depended on country of origin.  

Now I look to see where something is made before I buy.  If I have a choice between Made In China and Made Anywhere Else, even if the Chinese made item is cheaper, I leave that on the shelf and look for something made anywhere else.  With people jumping off of roofs at the Foxconn Factory so we can have Apple Products, I think we may have to reconsider our priorities as well.   At this point, in the middle of the Second Great Depression, we have a good reason to step back and leave Chinese Junk on the shelf.

At least I have a good chance of repairing my lawn mower.  My Television Set won't ever get repaired.

No comments:

Post a Comment