What Brand of Lawn Mower Do You Recommend?

At Mark The Mechanic, we get asked this question quite frequently. Most of the time it is because the current owner of a lawn mower is having problems with their push, self-propelled or riding lawn mower and want a recommendation for something that is better quality or has the features they need.

My answer is always the same and that is to “Get a Honda lawn mower”. Why Honda? Because they have extremely reliable engines and are well designed overall. Honda pays great attention to details and the quality of the parts that go into their lawn mowers.

Sometimes I hear them say that they can’t find a Honda lawn mower and if they cannot, I recommend to them that they buy a lawn mower with a Honda engine on it. It may be made by Husqvarna, Troy-Bilt or Toro etc., but as long as the engine is a Honda, that will make it a much more reliable machine. Honda Self-Propelled lawn mowers are the best.

Even the larger mowers such as the Zero Turns or larger lawn and garden tractors should have a Honda engine in them. For Zero Turn lawn mowers, Mark The Mechanic recommends the Hustler brand with a Honda engine in it. Hustler Zero Turns are built tough and combined with a good Honda engine, they really make a great combination that will keep on running for years.

It is important which brand of lawn mower you choose because a poor grade lawn mower will only result in poor performance and a lawn mower that will not last very long. You will pay a little more for the Honda, but it is worth every penny in the long run.




Outdoor Power Equipment Tips

Preparing Your Summer Lawn Equipment for Winter Storage

I don’t like to say this, but summer is coming to an end as fall quickly approaches. And when it does come to a close, it is time to start thinking about how you will store your Outdoor Power Equipment. A little preparation here will save you a lot of aggravation later.

Let’s start with your riding lawn mower. If you have an indoor place to store it that is best as to leave it out in the elements severely reduces the lifetime of the mower. Rust and mildew set it and these are never good for a machine.

The end of the mowing season is the best time to have your rider serviced instead of waiting in long lines in the spring. The oil should be changed as well as the oil filter if it is equipped with one. The air filter and spark plugs are the next items to change out. The inline fuel filter is another part that is something to change to keep your fuel as clean as possible before it reaches the carburetor or fuel injectors.

Next item on the list is to sharpen the blades and scrape the deck clean underneath and clean the grass off of the top. Check your deck and drive belts for wear and cracking. Fill the tires with air and lubricate the grease fittings. Lubricate your linkages and cables with cable lube, dry lubricant or whichever your maintenance manual calls for.

Add some fuel stabilizer to the tank and let the engine run for 10 minutes at idle.

Check the overall condition of the mower for any defects and then wash it. Make sure the battery is fully charged and then remove it if storing the machine outdoors or in an unheated area. If you have a trickle charger, put your battery on it for the winter. It is a good idea to check the battery acid levels before you do so.

For push and self propelled lawn mowers, the task is much easier. You just do all the steps above and if you have a battery start mower, then you need to address that as well.

Pressure washers are the one machine that doesn’t see much use throughout the year which causes issues of its own. The other problem is that they are stored in an outside shed which freezes the water in the pump and hose which can break them.

These machines need their oil changed, fuel stabilizer added and the engine ran and the pump should be treated with a product such as Pump Saver. This pushed out the water and lubricates the pump. The machine should also be stored inside in a heated area or one that does not freeze.

Your 2-cycle machines should have fuel stabilizer added to the fuel as well and run for 10 minutes.

Be sure to use all safety precautions when working on your machine as laid out in the applicable owners or service manual.

Just a few simple things can make your next lawn management season a much less frustrating one.

And of course we can do all of the above for you so you don’t have to!


Outdoor Power Equipment Tips

Preparing Your Lawn Mower and Outdoor Power Equipment for Winter

As summer fades into fall, it is a good time to start thinking about how to wind down your season. Most people just shut their lawn mower off, push it in the garage and then forget about it until next spring.

Bad idea. After the season is over, this is the best time to prepare your lawn mower or other outdoor power equipment for next year.

It is time to clean and tune the machine and treat the fuel with stabilizer or better yet to run it completely out of gas. One important reason to do your maintenance at the end of the year is that if your machine develops a problem in the spring, you won’t have to wait in a long line of other people who are in the same boat as you.

You were wise and took yours to the shop months ahead and now it is ready to go when the chores need done outside come springtime.

At Mark The Mechanic, we prepare a machine for winter by doing a tune-up on it, sharpen any blades, scrape the deck, check the drive, fuel system, electrical, belts and anything else on that machine. We can treat the fuel or remove it and let the engine run out of fuel.

By preparing for the season early, you will be a step ahead of the game and will not have to worry about if your mower will not be fixed for weeks.

Call us to schedule your outdoor power equipment for storage when your season has come to and end. 304-395-3330

Outdoor Power Equipment Tips

Getting Your Lawn Mower Ready for Spring in WV

It’s won’t be long before the Robins will be hunting for worms in the lawn and you will begin thinking about getting your lawn mower ready for another busy year!

The best time to check out your lawn mower is in February or March. When you find a problem and need it repaired, you will likely find the repair shop is not extremely busy like they are in April.

There are certain things that need to be done to ensure you have a trouble-free lawn mowing season.

First, clean your lawn mower of dirt, debris and any oil leaks.

Next, start the lawn mower and let it warm up for 10 minutes. After the warm up, drain the engine oil and remove the oil filter after the oil has drained. Install a new oil filter and then install the drain plug and add engine oil. Make sure you put in the correct type of oil that is required for your specific engine.

Moving on, you want to check the air filter. If it is dirty, change it out. Check around the blower housing and engine cylinder head for grass and debris and blow this area out with compressed air.

Check all your belts and control cables to ensure they are not fraying or breaking. Cables can become stiff inside their outer sheaths and may rust and snap.

Now comes the hard part, sharpening the lawn mower blade. This is a safety item in a couple of ways. You must remove the spark plug boot before turning the blade to prevent the engine from firing while you are in the blade area. Next you must have a way to secure the blade while you remove and reinstall it. After you sharpen the blade, it must be torqued to the proper specification to ensure that it does not come loose.

After you put the blade back on, it is time to fire it up and test the drive system. If it is a self-propelled lawn mower, that is simply pulling the drive bail to make it move. It should pull the mower forward firmly and not be lagging or grabbing. Pull the PTO switch to turn on the blades to ensure they are working properly and not making any unusual noise or vibration.

If you have inflatable tires, bring them up to the proper air pressures. For most riders it is 13 psi in the front and 10 psi in the rear. Zero Turn lawn mowers vary according to the preference of the operator and the owner’s manual.

Check your tires and wheels for any damage and repair or replace as necessary.

We save the messy part for last. It is time to grease the machine. In your owner’s manual, it should tell you where all your grease fittings are. Lubricate each one and you are complete with this task.

There are quite a few items that need to be accomplished when you are getting your lawn mower ready in the spring, so do this job thoroughly and you will be rewarded with few problems all year-long.

Don’t feel like doing all of this work or you don’t have the tools or space to do so? No worries, Mark The Mechanic is your local lawn mower repair shop in Hurricane, WV that can do the job for you. Give us a call and we would be happy to take care of your spring tune-up!

Mark The Mechanic

305 Church Camp Road

Hurricane, WV 25526








Outdoor Power Equipment Tips

Mark The Mechanic attends Kohler 2016 Update Class

NGK Spark Plug Assembly Plant


Sissonville, WV

The NGK Spark Plug manufacturing plant hosted this year’s Kohler Engine 2016 Update Class.

This class is required of all Kohler Dealers to maintain their Expert status and to bring them up to speed of new products and updates to repair procedures on new and existing engine lines.

The class was taught by Donnie Johnson of Gardner Denver and there were 30 students in attendance. The topics covered were Electronic Fuel Injection, New Service Bulletins, New Power Generation Products and the Oregon company updated the class on their forestry and outdoor power equipment.

The class ended with a tour of the NGK Spark Plug assembly plant and the Sensor plant as well as the warehouse facility.



Outdoor Power Equipment Tips

West Virginia Power Outages Leaving You in the Dark?

With the recent violent weather, many have been left without power. Some for only hours and some for a day or more. Power is everything and without it, we are literally in the dark.

Did you experience your generator not working when you needed it most recently? This is an all too common problem with generators. Why? Because generators sit idly by for long periods of time between uses and do not get started on a regular basis.

All this sitting around works against these very important machines. The fuel in them if un-treated with stabilizers will begin to separate into different chemicals, dry up and then plug critical ports and orifices. If fuel sits more than 90 days without stabilizer in it, it could very well be bad and not fit for use in anything.

Other problems is that if your generator is stored in an outdoor shed or even the garage, the tires can go flat and rodents may move into the engine area. Mice in particular will fill the air cleaner and blower shroud with debris which cause the engine to run leaner (less fuel getting to the engine) and hotter as the blower cannot distribute the air to the motor for cooling.

How do you keep your generator in tip-top condition year round?

  1. Treat your fuel with a good quality stabilizer such as Ethanol Shield.
  2. Start it monthly and let it run for 30 minutes.
  3. Test the receptacles to ensure that they have power available.
  4. Treat for rodent control on a regular basis.
  5. Check tire pressures and fill as needed. Move the generator around or place it on blocks so the tires are not on the ground.
  6. Change the oil yearly.

With these simple steps, your generator will give you years of trouble free service and be ready when you need it most.

If you are having trouble with your generator, call Mark The Mechanic at 304-395-3330 for professional assistance by a Master Service Technician.

Mark The Mechanic

305 Church Camp Road

Hurricane, WV 25526

304-395-3330 – Voice and Text



We repair generators in Generators | Putnam County West Virginia’s Small Engine Repair Specialists// // // //

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Generators Outdoor Power Equipment Tips

Why Do I Need To Sharpen My Lawn Mower Blade?

First, they become dull over time and especially when you are cutting wet grass.

Secondly, objects such as sticks, stumps and rocks are hit from time to time and this makes the blade dull.

Third, keeping the blade sharp cuts the grass blade squarely. Cutting it in this fashion helps eliminate disease from entering the grass blade and keeps your lawn healthy.

Last of all, a sharp blade makes the engine run with less stress and uses less power. The result will be a longer lasting engine.

As you can see, there are many reasons to keep your lawn mower blade sharp and depending on how much you have to mow each time, you may have to sharpen it more than once a year. Small yards can get away with one sharpening a year, but larger yards should be done at least twice.

When you need your lawn mower blades sharpened professionally in West Virginia, call Mark The Mechanic at 304-395-3330.

Outdoor Power Equipment Tips