Winter ServiceOctober 26th 2021
We cannot stress enough that the storing of your machinery is probably the most important action you can take to increase your machines life span. Not only will the machine will be running come spring time, but can prevent minor issues developing into major ones whilst it is stored away. A common misconception is that if the machine is not being used it cannot break or deteriorate. It’s an occurring theme during March/April that machines do not want to wake from their hibernation. One of the most effective ways to prevent this happening is having the machinery serviced during the winter months. That is why Jenkins Garden Machinery have a cheaper service rate in the winter than the rest of year. A properly serviced machine can give you, the owner, confidence that’ll start again in the spring time. Keep reading to see what our winter service includes.
Issues over winter
Leaving a machine over winter that has not had a service will more likely see these common issues crop up.
* Cannot Start– Could be several problems, the important part however is that 90% of these problems could have been prevented with a service. Stale fuel could have been rotting the insides of the machine slowly all through winter. The engine could have seized up due to poor quality oil or lack of oil. Spark plugs may have needed to be replaced for winter storage. The list goes on but they’re all preventable with a Jenkins winter service.
* Loss of power – After a long time in storage the machine may wake up less powerful than before. Again these are mostly common problems that we see in machines that have not been serviced. Loss of power to the engine reoccurs as belts, blades & cables may be worn or broken. Filters could also be the cause of lack of power.
* Hunting – this is a term used to describe the sound of the engine when it is constantly working faster and then slower in a sort of rhythm. This is mainly caused by the engine not getting a constant and consistent stream of fuel. This of course then causes the engine to constantly work faster and slowly to try and find a rate which will supply a consistent stream of fuel. Unfortunately for the machine their is a problem somewhere inside the fuel mechanics which we would identify with a winter service. Causes of this are numerous, but mostly occur because of stale fuel or dirty fuel tanks, both of which are looked in the service.
So how does a Jenkins winter service help prevent the above problems? Well we’ve got this handy guide for you!
What is included
This is a typical Chainsaw Service. The machine is stripped down by our professional engineers. They then inspect the internal components to identify any underlying problems. As you can see it’s detailed examination, but we want to make sure that your machinery is running in top condition.
No repairs will be made on the machine without your permission, so you will not be surprised by an unexpected bill at the end of the service.
Oil change- This applies for all machinery such as chainsaws, strimmer’s, lawn mowers & ride on machines. Changing the oil before storing it away for the winter helps keeps the engine lubricated. You can also sleep safely knowing that the oil is of top quality.
Spark Plugs – We will replace your spark plugs as these are common problem for machinery not starting! We’ll save you the hassle and do this in the service. Depending on the fuel you use you may get a build up of carbon on the spark plug, this then causes the spark to weaken. Worst case scenario leaving the machine unable to start. The picture here shows why every machines’ spark plug is checked!
Check filters – All filters will be cleaned or replaced, depending on the condition. Another important component to prevent dirt and debris from entering the engine and causing permanent damage. Lawnmowers are especially more prone to having dirty/damaged filters due to them being low to ground where debris is being thrown about. The below image shows a clean filter and dirty filter, can you guess which one was causing a problem?
The black filter is covered in oil and dust which was part of a lawnmower. It may have been caused by a mower that had been toppled or put onto its side causing oil to leak out. Having a filter this dirty could prevent the mower from starting as the dirt and oil is blocking air and oxygen getting to the fuel. This would have gone unnoticed but luckily the owner brought into us.
These problems are often hidden within the internal components of the machine, our engineers leave no stone unturned and spot these problems!
Recoil Rope – Nothing is worse than the feeling of humiliation as you pull the recoil rope with all your might for it to snap. Sending your arm hurtling backwards as you spin out of control whilst the lawnmower sniggers at your bad luck. Well we’ll prevent the chances of that happening. If your rope looks damaged or in bad condition we’ll fit a new one. As the rope is used regularly it is often spotted before it does snap, however we’ll still check it out to save you any embarrassment.
Cooling Fins – These often get blocked up by bits of grass and dirt. We’ll give them a clean and make sure that cool air is getting to the engine. Preventing the chances of over heating. It also prevents any rust forming and protects the shell from corrosion. Corrosion could cause the joints to slowly weakened which then causes loose handle bars.
Check Safety Switches – We’ll make sure that all the safety measures that came with the mower are working as intended, safety of our staff and customers is paramount. Garden machinery has a lot of sharp, fast moving parts so where we can mitigate risks to the user, we will.
Sharpen Blades – More than just sharpening the blades we will also balance them. Balancing the blades means that potential damage to the crankshaft of the engine can be avoided as well as the potential for throwing a drive belt. Did you know that the main cause of fungal infection in a lawn is blunt blades? Sharpening the blades will allow for a much cleaner and even cut, we’ll do that here in the service. Below is an image of a typical blade that is brought in through service. Blades are often hidden away so are not always inspected. Here at Jenkins Garden Machinery we will make sure that the blade is nice and sharp to ensure you get a clean cut come spring time!
Grease moving parts – Does your machine sound like a Sherman Tank, screeching and grinding? Are the wheels just grinding and skidding across the grass, leaving you pushing with all your might? We’ll make sure parts are greased up and moving freely. Leaving the experience of cutting your lawn a much more enjoyable one! Cables will also be greased to insure that the throttle cable, drive cable and stop cable work effectively. For handheld machines such as chainsaws, the bar and various other components will be greased. This ensures when they are used again it’ll be running nice and smoothly.
Belts – Belts will be checked and replaced if needed. Any stretching or deformities in the belt can put pressure on the engine and pulleys as it causes vibrations. These Vibrations rip through the machine that can even cause a loss of drive. Ride on mowers and lawn tractors have more belts than any other machinery. We ensure that every belt is checked before it leaves our store. Below you can see a damaged belt. That kink would be hitting against the pulley wheels which over time could cause serious damage to the machine.
The Belt to the left has been burnt out. This would not have been found if our engineers did not inspect the internals of the cutting deck. The Belt has become worn due to the belt being burnt out by the pulley, as you can see it gets thinner towards the frayed end.
Test Battery & Charge– The sun is shining, the grass is long and dry, perfect day to cut that grass. You dig your mower out of the shed, go to start it up and meh… dead battery. We know the pain, we’ll take action to reduce the risk of this happening!
Clean the Fuel System – The fuel system will be cleaned out, if you use fuel that has ethanol present there is a chance that the carburettor will deteriorate slowly due to the effects of ethanol. It’s a problem that we are expecting to become more prevalent with the introduction of the E10 Fuel in Britain. You can find our more here about the effects of E10 on your machinery here.
Height Check – The final check will be making sure that the lawnmower’s height change system is working, it’s extremely important to have a lawnmower that is able to change it’s height to the job you need. It’s no good having a mower stuck scrapping and hacking at the floor!
Test – Now the maintenance team have done their job they test out the machine, all the machines would have been tested before we call you to say they’re ready.
As you can see the list is fairly extensive. Depending on which machine is being serviced this does change. But all our engineers will make sure they do an extensive service. You can book your machine in for a service here!!!