Content posted by OLD Lawn and Auto Spares

Blog entry
16/01/2018 - 10:46

Well, can you believe destiny....

After my last post about radiators (car), my pick up decided it was time to blow it's radiator & cost me a whack of money. Thank goodness for Prolong though, (what's that?). Oh, Prolong is an American oil product that is awesome, read about it here ( . Long story short, all the water blew out of the radiator, the wife thought the engine had blown up (she was using the vehicle at the time) & she was in a state of panic & fear (of my wrath) as there were clouds of smoke/steam billowing out from under the hood. Can you picture it?

This situation should have caused major damage to the engine from overheating & possible engine seize, but hat's off to Prolong, I was spared thousands of Rands /$. No damage to engine, only had to replace radiator which took me 1/2 hr & about R2000.00. Lesson learnt: modern vehicles are now fitted with aluminium core radiators & most have aluminium engine blocks. It is essential to put Anti Freeze/ coolant in the system as this prevents corrosion, lubricates the water pump & improves cooling ability.

If you only have water in your system, drain it & put in coolant TODAY, it could save you loads of cash. Coolant is that luminous green liquid.

Oh, what happened to the wife? I gave her a reassuring hug & said it was ok, we have Prolong.

L8r, Craig

Blog entry
16/01/2018 - 11:32

Changing car engine oil is not as bad as some may think. It should be done when oil has turned black (too late actually) or after 15 000 km. A few items are required,
• Drain tray 5-6 liter (for average car)
• New oil & filter (check manual)
• Oil filter wrench (to remove old filter)
• Spanner to remove sump plug (at bottom of engine sump)
1. Park car on level site with engine slightly warm (helps get oil out quicker)
2. Loosen sump plug, push drain tray under plug & screw plug out (be careful if oil is hot, not to burn yourself)
3. Fit oil filter wrench over filter & loosen, some oil will drip out so have a tray to catch it. Spin filter off quickly to avoid mess
4. Dip finger tip in some clean oil & rub onto rubber ring of new filter (oh & be sure the filters are the same before applying). Spin new filter on & hand tighten only
5. Replace sump plug when oil has finished draining & tighten with spanner
6. Add new oil in filler cap on top of engine, (usually 3.5 liters, but check owners manual) & check dipstick till correct level is reached. Remember that the filter is still empty, so level will drop when engine is started & will have to be topped up again (+/- 500 ml-1 pint)
7. Clean up, wipe any spillage, last check of level after engine is started. PLEASE DISPOSE OF OLD OIL RESPONSIBLY, not down the drain. Take it to a workshop or oil recycling depot
There, you are done. Not so bad hey?

Blog entry
16/01/2018 - 10:56

Many people make the mistake of letting trimmer line get too long. This puts extra strain on the motor whether it's petrol or electric. Nearly all trimmers/brushcutters have a skirt with a cut off knife to trim the nylon to length when they are new. Unfortuneately these break with age or are removed to make grass cutting easier (bad idea!!!) If the skirt is gone...rule of thumb is: nylon length should be eye to eye, ie.the tip of the nylon should only reach to the opposite eye when wrapped around the cutter head (half way round).
Longer line creates more wind resistance & combined with cutting grass makes the trimmer motor work much harder than necessary, causing costly damage. Also don't use nylon that is too thick, same scenario applies. Oh...beware of stones when trimming...they become bullets (if you haven't learnt that already)

Till next time

Blog entry
16/01/2018 - 10:56

Let's look at petrol mowers, same as electric plus a few extras

1. Clean around filler cap before refuelling so dirt doesn't get into the tank
2. ALWAYS check oil before working, do not overfill either (almost as bad as too little)
3. Make sure airfilter is clean (can you imagine doing a marathon with a sock in your mouth)
4. When working under a petrol L/M, it's a good idea to remove the sparkplug cap first for safety (don't want engine starting while fingers are underneath)
5. Lift L/M so that the sparkplug is up (this will stop oil running where it shouldn't)
6. Same story as with electric, if you can, check for any oil leaks where shaft comes out of engine, it should be dry, have it seen too if wet
7. Remember, if oil is turning black, change it. (see old oil article)
8. Keep your machine clean & maintained & it will serve you much longer & cost far less in repair bills

PS.Avoid steep slopes with a petrol mower, the oil runs to one side & engine gets damaged
PPS. Don't forget old fuel/long storage, (see old fuel article)
Any questions? Give me a shout.

Blog entry
16/01/2018 - 10:57


Here's another poor machine that gets neglected & abused. Electric mowers are less finicky than petrol, but also need some TLC now & then.Let's have a look...

1. Always make sure plugs & leads are in good order (avoid that shocking experience)
2. After every mowing session, unplug & turn mower on it's side & brush off grass that is stuck underneath (this causes body to rust if left on)
3. Check blade condition, look for holes appearing in wing section of blades,especially in sandy areas.Replace before they break off, fly out & hurt someone...

4.Spin motor by hand & listen for rumbling sound of bearings, they should be quiet. If there's a noise, they need to be replaced before they disintergrate & cost you a packet for a motor rewind
5. Make sure the air intake slots are free of grass so motor can cool when working
6. Lastly check the body for any signs of cracks & have them fixed, oh yes, don't forget the wheels,if they get wobbly, get new bearings or bushes fitted (otherwise you end up with grooves in the grass)

That's all folks

Blog entry
16/01/2018 - 12:46

check out the new look Lawn & Auto. See our photos, or pop in & see for yourself. New shelves, new products & new sales lady. WELCOME to Theolien. Free advice from Craig

Blog entry
16/01/2018 - 10:59

Summer is on the doorstep & soon you all will be out & about in the garden. The old lawnmower,etc will be woken up from it's long sleep after winter & drought, so don't wait till Sunday afternoon to get it started, it'll be like a lazy teenager & spit at you refusing to work. Let us check it out & get it ship shape to spare you the frustration. Remember that petrol in the carb & tank goes stale in 2 weeks, so store all petrol machines dry between uses.
Till next time

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