We just bought a lawnmower for our new house because our awesome manual reel lawnmower couldn’t cut the type of grass we have at our new house.
It just wasn’t made for our species of grass and would leave a ton of tall blades in our lawn.
That wasn’t going to cut it.
The first thing I did with our new lawnmower, after opening the box, was look for the owner’s manual.
I wanted to ensure I set up my brand new lawnmower correctly so I wouldn’t cause any damage that would shorten the life of my lawnmower.
Why? Last time I owned a gas lawnmower it died. Repairing it would have cost more than it would cost to buy a new lawnmower. The sad part is, I only had myself to blame.
What I Found In The Owner’s Manual
When I read through the Owner’s Manual I found some pretty important stuff including safety precautions (you should always read these), how to put my lawnmower together the correct way, how to adjust my lawn mower and a routine or preventative maintenance schedule.
Due to the fact that I work in a manufacturing environment, the first thing I did was read through the safety manual. My job puts a lot of focus on safety and you should do the same around your house. You don’t want to hurt yourself and end up needing to use your short or long term disability insurance. Or… the worst case, you don’t want to have to use your life insurance.
Next I read how to put the lawnmower together and how to adjust the settings. While the safety and general instructions were important, the last thing I read was the most important to my finances. That’s right, the routine or preventative maintenance schedule has the largest potential to have an impact on your finances.
Why Routine and Preventative Maintenance is Important
Remember how I said I killed a lawnmower in the past? It’s because I didn’t read the preventative and routine maintenance schedule. That indirectly caused me to buy the awesome reel lawnmower, because I no longer had a lawn mower that worked, and our new lawnmower, because I don’t still have the original gas lawnmower I bought.
So what is so important about maintenance? If you properly maintain your purchases, they’ll be less likely to break which means less repair costs AND less replacement costs.
How I Killed My First Lawnmower
I had no clue you’re supposed to change oil in a lawn mower after the first 5 hours, then again every 50 hours after that. I had no clue I was supposed to add fuel stabilizer to lawnmower fuel AND I should avoid using gas with any ethanol in it. I had no clue there was an air filter on a lawnmower and that I needed to clean it.
Had I done these simple tasks and followed the rest of the preventative and routine maintenance, I’d say there is a 95% chance that original lawnmower would still be running today and I would have saved myself hundreds of dollars. But wait… didn’t I say preforming routine and preventative can save me thousands of dollars? It can!
How Performing Routine and Preventative Maintenance Saves Thousands of Dollars
You don’t just perform maintenance on lawnmowers. You need to preform maintenance on a lot of high dollar purchases including houses, cars, boats, RVs, computers, air conditioners, motorcycles and a ton of other things too. If you don’t perform the maintenance, you probably won’t get the full potential life out of your purchases.
While some items might only require repairs if you don’t perform maintenance, other items could die completely without warning. Wouldn’t it suck if you didn’t ever change the oil in your car and have your engine seize up after only 10,000-20,000 miles. I hope you planned on getting a ton more miles than that out of your car. If you don’t, you must have a ton more money than I do!
Buyer Beware – Not All Maintenance Schedules are Created Equal
As with any purchase or transaction, you need to be fully aware of the fact that companies might not be giving you the most advantageous information for you as a customer. They’ll likely err on the side of caution when it comes to how often you should perform maintenance. After all, if you’re using their supplies and parts, they make money when you perform maintenance.
You can always do some research and talk to qualified technicians to see if the recommended preventative or routine maintenance schedules are accurate or just there to make the company more money. You can also do research on the internet, but I always take everything I see on the internet with a grain of salt. You never know who is giving the advice and what experience they have.
Do you read owner’s manuals and perform preventative or routine maintenance? Have you ever had something break due to the fact you didn’t perform maintenance? Share your stories below in the comments so we can all learn!