In previous blog posts we've talked about maintenance of your lawnmower by changing filters, plugs and keeping blades sharp but we haven't covered how important an oil change is to your engine. It is the key ingredient that keeps everything mechanical inside from grinding to a halt. And nothing is more unforgiving for lack of proper oil changes than bearings and bushings.
Bearings are built to have a rotating component inside such as a ball or cylindrical shaft on its side. These have been used for moving heavy objects dating back to the pyramids. A lawnmower bearing just has small steel balls or small shafts inside to create what is known as roller bearings. These will allow the blade pulley to turn freely and drive the lawnmower blade for example. But inside a bearing is metal on metal and requires a lubricant to keep them from grinding to a halt.
Bushings eliminate the mechanical moving piece and instead typically have small grooves inside to hold lubricant similar to the way a tire has grooves to channel water away while driving. The grooves overflowing with lubricant keep the crankshaft from grinding to a halt as it drives the lawnmower blade.
In either type of bearing or bushing, clean oil and fresh oil make bearings/bushings last longer. Sometimes bearing are needed in places where having flowing oil is not possible so manufacturers use sealed bearings which have the oil or grease packed inside a sealed unit but the seals can get old and leak.
Nothing lasts forever even if you change the lubricant regularly. Bearings will let you know they are getting old by typically making an ever increasing grinding noise or vibrational noise. These are signs you need to find the source of the noise and replace those bearings. This is probably best left to a professional mechanic but if you know the part making the noise then check out our bearing selection and save yourself a lot of money by fixing it yourself.
Mr Mower Parts carries a wide variety of bearings and bushings for your power equipment. We also list them based on manufacturer so you can easily find the right one for your machine.