Having your electric lawn mower overheat can ruin your battery or motor. It is important to avoid overheating at all costs. In this article we will cover the most common reasons a mower can overheat, as well as address the best way to fix these issues.
Can Electric Lawn Mowers Overheat?
Electric lawnmowers can overheat just like combustible engines. The process between the engine types is the same, with the significant difference being that a spark is ignited with a battery and not a flammable fuel.
Whatever kind of electric mower you get, it can overheat and lead to the breakdown of the machine. However, batteries and tiny motors are expensive to replace, and caring for them will be a breeze. Read on and learn everything you need to know about electric lawnmowers and overheating.
Reasons Electric Mowers Overheat
An overheating lawn mower isn’t the end of the world, but you should know when the engine begins to sputter, or the blade seems sluggish that it is time to do some maintenance. Unfortunately, most people will power through these sluggish sessions while mowing in hopes to ‘blow out the soot’ or whatever archaic term is used for engines on the fritz.
Overheating is a common problem in all engines. The culprits responsible could come from several things, but you should know that the best way to prevent overheating is by keeping a steady maintenance schedule even in the winter months. If the machine is in top shape, it should perform to factory standard with no difficulty.
An Obstructed Blade
Blades in electric mowers often tackle the same rugged terrains as their gas-powered counterparts. If the blade has a problem moving because of excess build-up, you need to free up the area before running the machine. If your grass is deep or wet, it can do a number on the blade’s ability to cut.
The blade is significant when it comes to overheating. Since there are no internal combustion engine parts, the blade is the most significant moving piece of the machine. Therefore, any problems with the blade will harm the rest of the device. Spend lots of time caring for the blade to ensure it works properly.
A few things that could cause the blade to be obstructed are:
- Bad Bearing – The center of the mower blade will be attached to a bearing. This bearing will be directly under the engine and will have a ton of wires on the opposite side. The bearings will also be some of the most used pieces on the machine. Therefore, the main bearing will need regular cleaning to protect it from dirt and debris.
- Broken Socket – The bearing that spins the blade will be situated in a socket above the blade. This socket is the connection point for the bearing, and if it is broken will prevent the bearing from moving as needed. As a result, the blade doesn’t spin when the bearing stops, and the motor works until it overheats.
The blade is critical to the mower. By checking it before you mow, you give yourself time to stop a problem underneath before it gets out of hand. Check the bearing for dirt and gently pull to make sure it moves freely. If there is resistance, locate the problem and remove it.
There’s an additional set of louvers in the bottom on most electric mowers, usually close to the blade apparatus, which can be another overheating source. If these vents are packed with debris, the engine will cease to get enough air. Clogged vents are terrible for a mower. But, again, check them before and after usage for best results.
When tiny bits of dust, grass, and pollen combine, they create huge problems. If your machine has been cutting new grass or you are in the middle of Spring, pay close attention to the vents and clean them out as often as possible to keep the engine breathing.
Some ways to clean the clogged vents on your electric mower are:
- Air Hose – The most efficient way to clean the mower vents is with an air hose. Blasting jets of air into the vents will force them out the other side and free up any rocks or wads of grass bugging you. Using an air hose makes a terrible mess. Take your cleaning project outside to ensure you don’t ruin your garage.
- Hand Cleaning – If you were using a combustible mower, you could hose it down. Since we are using electricity, we must understand that slathering it in water could damage the batteries and other bits of electronics onboard. Take an old towel and wipe around the vents until you have cleaned the grates underneath.
- Wire Brush – Using a wire or soft-bristle brush to clean the housing around the blade is another way to free up debris around the vents. For best results, you should use the heavy wire before going to the soft bristle. Be easy around the vents and go soft on the screens that cover them.
Overheating an electric mower by strangling it is a surefire way to ruin the machine. You strangle the engine by allowing dirt and grass to clog the vents used for fresh air. However, you can keep your mower going and your yard looking like a PGA fairway by taking a little precaution and performing some simple tasks.
The Cutting Deck Height
Having the cutting deck too low while you are cutting is another way to increase the chances of overheating. When grass is cut too low, not only does it clog the mower, but it has the potential for flying rocks and debris that could seriously harm the user and the mower.
It is a very tempting idea to set the mower on its lowest setting and let her rip. That isn’t a good idea with any mower, but it is a terrible idea with an electric mower. Electric mowers will need a touch more clearance to ensure that the vents underneath can provide appropriate amounts of air for the blade.
Some tips to follow when setting the height for your electric mower are:
- Don’t Be Greedy – It can sound like a smart thing to cut the grass low and save yourself sometime later, but it is a colossal mistake. When the blade cuts too low, the machine has a better chance of picking something up that could damage the blade. So don’t get greedy and try to cut your lawn too low.
- Know the Terrain – When setting the height, you should know which areas of your yard could be uneven. Having a yard with hills can be hard on a mower. Having a plan to change the height of the cutting deck is a good idea and will protect it from crashing into quick rises in your lawn.
- Start High – If it is your first time cutting the lawn with this electric mower, you want to start with the highest cut setting and work your way down. Not only will you get an idea of how your yard is composed, but you also know which setting works best for which part of the lawn.
The height is significant for the mower. If you have a lawn with thinning grass or dirt patches showing through, it might be better to fertilize and plant grass seed instead of mowing. Keep in mind that most of the important parts of the mower can be affected by your height setting.
If you intend to cut grass with a dull blade, you are in for an overheating session. This is because a dull blade doesn’t cut the grass but rips it leaving ragged edges perfect for clogging the air vents on the machine. Once the vents are blocked, the batteries will overheat, and the device will stop working.
Blade sharpening, especially in mowers, is slowly becoming a part of the past. There aren’t many places to sharpen blades, and often, your best option is to replace the blade with a new one. However, the best way to keep your blade sharp is to take care of it by following a few guidelines.
The guidelines to follow when caring for your electric mowers blade are:
- No Rocks – One of the major pains of mowers is the tiny rocks around the yard. Nobody knows how they got there, but they will dent a mower blade easily. Keep your mower away from rocky areas around your property. The thing to do is stop your mower if you hit a rock and place it in your pocket or throw it out of the way until you can get rid of it.
- Walk the Yard – If you have children, it is always a good idea to take a walk around the yard before you begin mowing. There could be stray toys and balls that would be murder on a mower blade and break a child’s heart. Going for a stroll before you mow protects all the precious toys and kids involved.
- Baby the Blade – To be honest, people can improve the life of their blade by being careful when mowing. We all know spots in our yard where the roots are almost at the surface or bits of rock have chipped off the brick. Avoid areas like these in favor of a weed eater to keep your blade from becoming dull.
The blade is where the magic happens. When your yard is long and icky, having a sharp blade on your electric mower allows you to beat back the ick and get your lawn back in perfect shape. Take care of the blade by paying attention to your surroundings while mowing.
Ways to Conduct Maintenance on Your Electric Mower
Conducting maintenance on your electric mower will save you a headache in the long run. Just doing the little things will improve the mower’s performance and keep it working in your garden for years to come.
- Clean the Machine – The best place to start with any lawn implement is to clean it up. A bit of cleaning might seem like busywork, but in a lawnmower, it can increase the life of the machine and improve the quality of your cut.
- Tighten the Screws – Go around the machines and tighten any nuts and bolts that could be loose. The vibration the machine makes can do a number on the tightness of bolts throughout the mower. Giving them a once-over is a fantastic way to keep the engine from flipping a circuit and overheating.
- Get It Serviced – If you think there could be a major problem before cutting season, you should take the mower in to have it serviced. The manufacturer will be able to perform diagnostics and tests that the local repair shop could be decades behind on. They will get you up and going in time to hide the Easter eggs.
A regular maintenance schedule will be the best way to keep your electric mower running. The processes are simple and a great way to get familiar with small engines. Doing a quick search on YouTube will get you headed in the right direction; just be sure to have your mower’s correct make and model in your query.
- 2 blades in 1
- Quik-Knob pivots to rotate blade
- Attaches to extension pole to clean under lawn tractors
An electric mower can overheat just like a combustion engine mower. The difference is the batteries driving the electric engine will become too hot, and the rest of the machine will shut down. This shutting down can be avoided if you take the time to care for your device.
If your mower does overheat, give it ample time to cool down before attempting to restart. Be sure to check the four major issues listed above to prevent overheating in the future.
Doing maintenance is the best way to get out in front of any overheating issues that you might experience. If you take the time to inspect the blade bearing and the blade’s housing, you will often catch any problems before they get out of hand.
If your mower is beyond repair, or you are in need of a new one, be sure to check out The Best Electric Lawn Mowers to learn more about what is on the market, as well as view our top choices.