Like all machines, lawn mowers need to be properly taken care of to prevent them from breaking down. One crucial factor in maintaining a lawn mower is making sure the engine doesn’t overheat. But how hot does a lawn mower engine get?
Lawn mower engines get as hot as 204.44°C (400°F). However, the temperature may rise beyond that when the mower is used for a prolonged period or if it’s used to cut thick grass. Therefore, it’s best to keep the engine well-ventilated and to check the oil level regularly to avoid heat damage.
Read on for a rundown of how lawn mower engines work, what can cause them to overheat, and tips for keeping your engine cool.
How Do Lawn Mower Engines Stay Cool?
Lawn mower engines stay cool by air-cooling or liquid-cooling. Air-cooled engines have fins on the outside of the engine that help to dissipate heat. Liquid-cooled engines have a cooling system that circulates water or antifreeze around the engine to keep it cool.
To put things into perspective, here’s a rundown of how the two cooling systems work:
Air-Cooled Mowers Dissipate Heat by Circulating Air
The engine in an air-cooled lawn mower is cooled by the movement of air through the fins on the outside of the engine. The air is typically moved by a fan attached to the crankshaft.
As the engine runs, the pistons move up and down inside the cylinders. The motion turns the crankshaft, which in turn rotates the fan. The fan pulls cool air through the fins and over the engine to cool it while simultaneously pushing hot air out of the machine.
An air-cooling system is simple and effective, but it has some downsides. One is that the fan can only move a certain amount of air, so it can only cool the engine so much. Another downside is that the air circulated around the engine can pick up dust and debris, which can clog the fins and reduce the engine’s ability to dissipate heat.
Liquid-Cooled Mowers Use a Coolant To Dissipate Heat
The engine in a liquid-cooled lawn mower is cooled by a coolant circulated through the machine. The coolant picks up heat from the engine and then dissipates it in the radiator.
The coolant is circulated through the engine by a water pump driven by the crankshaft. As the engine runs, the pistons move up and down inside the cylinders. The motion turns the crankshaft, which then turns the water pump.
The pump pushes the coolant through the engine to pick up heat and then out to the radiator, which releases the heat. The coolant is then circulated back through the engine to pick up more heat.
A liquid-based cooling system is more effective than air-cooling because the coolant can dissipate more heat than the air. It’s also less likely to clog because the coolant doesn’t circulate air around the engine.
However, liquid-cooling systems are more complex than air-cooling systems and require more maintenance. The coolant needs to be changed regularly, and the radiator needs to be cleaned.
When Does a Lawn Mower Engine Overheat?
Lawn mower engines overheat when they’re overworked or not properly maintained. Additionally, hot weather can also cause an engine to overheat. Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure your mower is well-maintained and avoid overworking it.
Here are a few things that can cause a lawn mower engine to overheat:
Overworking the Engine Causes Overheating
The most common cause of engine overheating is overworking the motor. The engine will overheat if you use your lawn mower for a prolonged period or cut thick grass with it.
That’s because the engine has to work harder, and the cooling system can’t keep up with the heat being generated. Besides, if the engine is already hot from use, it will overheat more quickly if you try to push it too hard.
That said, here’s a video demo of how a running mower’s engine heats up with time:
Not Maintaining the Engine Causes Overheating
It will eventually overheat if you don’t maintain your lawn mower engine. That’s because the cooling system will become clogged with dust and debris, and the engine will become less able to dissipate heat.
In addition, the coolant will break down over time and will no longer dissipate heat effectively. If you don’t change the coolant regularly, it will eventually cause the engine to overheat.
Hot Weather Causes Overheating
Hot weather can also cause a lawn mower engine to overheat. That’s because the engine is already working hard to cool itself, and the hot weather makes it harder for the cooling system to do its job.
Therefore, it’s essential to be careful when using your lawn mower in hot weather. If possible, try to mow in the cooler hours of the day and take frequent breaks to give the engine a chance to cool down.
Tips for Keeping Your Lawn Mower Engine Cool
You can do a few things to keep your lawn mower engine cool and prevent it from overheating.
Here are a few tips:
Change the Engine Oil Regularly
One of the best ways to keep your lawn mower engine cool is to change the oil (check out what oil to use in this article here) regularly. That’s because the oil helps to dissipate heat, and it also lubricates the engine.
If the oil isn’t changed regularly, it will break down and will no longer be able to do its job properly. Besides, if the oil isn’t changed, it will eventually cause the engine to overheat.
Clean the Engine Regularly
Another way to keep your lawn mower engine cool is to clean it regularly. That’s because the engine will eventually become clogged with dust and debris, making it harder for the cooling system to do its job.
Ensure you regularly clean the cooling fins, the radiator, and the engine. That prevents the engine from overheating.
Change the Coolant Regularly
As I mentioned earlier, engine coolant breaks down over time and becomes less effective at doing its job. Check your owner’s manual to see how often you should replace the coolant in your particular lawn mower model.
Remember, if you don’t change the coolant, it will eventually cause the engine to overheat.
Use the Right Type of Fuel
Another way to keep your lawn mower engine cool is using the correct fuel type. That’s because some fuel types are more volatile than others, and they can cause the engine to run hotter.
Make sure you use the type of fuel recommended by the manufacturer. That way, you’ll prevent the engine from overheating.
That said, if your current mower is damaged beyond repair, check out this Greenworks 40V 16″ Cordless Electric Lawn Mower from Amazon.com. It’s lightweight, easy to maneuver, and doesn’t produce emissions, making it a great choice for people looking for an eco-friendly option.
Lawn mower engines can heat up quickly, and this can cause severe damage to the engine. Therefore, it’s essential to be careful when using your lawn mower and to take the necessary steps to keep the engine cool.
Following the tips I’ve mentioned can help prevent your lawn mower engine from overheating.