Troubleshooting a Lawn Aerator

A lawn aerator.

The lawn aerator is a very important part of keeping a lawn looking nice. A healthy lawn needs to have nutrient-rich oxygen move throughout the roots and soil. The aerator does this by leaving small holes in the ground that allows the roots to be able to branch out, get oxygen, and for water to be able to soak through to them.

How a Lawn Aerator Works

There are two different types of lawn aerators available to consumers for working on their landscape. They are an aerator that has either spikes or a core mechanism. The spike lawn aerator has small spikes that penetrate into the ground to puncture the thatch of roots under the soil and make tiny holes. The core aerator actually removes small pieces of the lawn that creates little gaps in the lawn.

Troubleshooting Lawn Aerator

Like any type of machine that has an engine, a lean aerator requires maintenance and troubleshooting from time to time. Knowing a little bit about the machine will help you a great deal in determining the problem, as well as being able to repair it yourself. A periodic maintenance schedule will also help to keep major problems from happening, thus making the troubleshooting much easier.

Engine Does Not Start

When the engine of a lawn aerator does not start there is usually a few different things that can be looked at. A basic understanding of the engine, and the components, will help in this determination.

If the spark plug is not tight in the socket, or the wire is not connected properly, the engine will not start. It will not have the adequate spark to ignite the gas in the chamber.

Another important part of the combustion process is oxygen. After using the lawn aerator several times, and through storage, dust can accumulate in the air breather. This stops the flow of oxygen and the engine will not start.

Engine Runs Rough

Another common problem is that the lawn aerator engine will begin to run pretty rough. This is usually caused by the choke being out of adjustment. You can adjust the choke with the set screw that connects to the cable.

Engine Produces Smoke

Small engines, like the one on a lawn aerator, usually need to have a mixture of oil and gas in order for the engine to run efficiently. The oil that is mixed with the gas is a special oil that lubricates the internal workings of the engine. If there is too much, or not enough, oil in the gas, the engine will smoke. You'll notice a bluish smoke coming from the exhaust.

Tines Not Aerating Lawn

After a few uses, the lawn aerator may need to be adjusted for the height of the spikes or core. The adjusting nut can loosen and cause the aerator mechanism to either raise or lower. This causes the tines not to dig into the ground for adequate aeration.

Aerataor Arm Not Turning

If the aerator does not turn when you depress the lever, you will need to check the grease fitting or the camshaft. If there is no grease, the camshaft will not turn and can heat up until it warps.