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Can A Lawn Mower Explode? What Can I Do To Prevent It?

Written by William
Last Updated on July 19, 2021

Is It Possible For a Lawn Mower To Explode?

Like most power tools on the market, any tool that has an engine or a motor has a risk of explosion due to poor maintenance. 

All kinds of lawn mowers are no exception to this rule, although the chances of a battery-powered lawn mower exploding are smaller than the chances of a petrol conventional lawn mower exploding, it is still very possible without regular maintenance and under the wrong conditions. 

To find out what can cause a conventional lawn mower to explode and the safety precautions you should be taking to try and prevent this from happening, we have composed a guide below that will give you all the essential knowledge you need to know. 

Common Causes For Lawnmower Explosion 

Although the chances of your lawnmower exploding are small, when it does happen, it's usually because of a fire in the engine components or some unauthorized tinkering that has happened to the modern lawn mowers engine.

To help identify why your lawn mower has exploded or to prevent it from happening at all, we have listed the most common causes as to how this can happen below. 

It's The Weather Conditions

Believe it or not, although it's unlikely to happen, it is very possible that the weather could cause lawn mower explosions. 

If the temperature outside during the summer gets hot enough it can increase the chances of lawn mower models overheating, combined with harsh patches of grass is a recipe for disaster!

To prevent your lawnmower from overheating during the summer it would be best to hold off till evening when the sun is less harsh, or, alternatively, you could try putting water to make wet grass which would be easier for your mower to handle. 

Grass Clippings 

Another reason as to why you might have fires in lawn mowers is due to tall grass. It is important to always try and keep dry grass at a low height, not only as it is easier to maintain but also due to it being a fire hazard. 

It is very possible that tall grass blades get manage to get over the top of your lawnmower while mowing and make their way into the engine or motor of your lawnmower, this could cause them to catch fire and start burning in the engine. 

Objects Have Got Stuck 

You should always make sure that your lawn is clear of foreign objects for mowing, not only because they can damage the blades of your mower, but also because they are a fire hazard too. If a rock or stone hits the blades of your mower it could ignite sparks, these, in turn, could cause dry leaves to catch fire. 

Even though mowing wet grass is not recommended, you always have to be careful and focused when mowing dry grass too, as these objects can cause your lawnmower to catch fire before you even realise it and will spread quickly. 

You Have Not Been Cleaning The Lawn Mower Deck 

Cleaning the deck of all kinds of lawn mowers is essential daily maintenance to be doing after you mow. By letting grass clippings build up under your lawn mower blades you can cause your machine to overwork and put stress on the motor and engine, this will lead them to overheat eventually and explode. 

You should additionally never let these clippings dry as they can contribute to an accumulation and become much harder to clean over time. 

It's The Fuel & Oil Mix  

The fuel and oil inside of your lawnmower are highly flammable substances, accidental fuel spillages on the grass can become a fire hazard, so you should always wait for them to evaporate before taking your mower anywhere near them, as the heat of the mower can be a problem when combined with a bit of fuel mixture on the floor.

Not only do you need to be careful with fuel spillage but you should always take care when refilling your lawnmower with the proper fuel mix. Never refill the fuel supply in your lawnmower until the machine has managed to cool down. Spilling any fuel supply on your hot mower is a fire hazard.

Unwarranted Changes To Your Lawnmower 

One of the last reasons as to why a lawnmower can explode is due to any unauthorised changes being made to the mower and its engine. 

For example, changes to the motor, carburettor connections and fuel system in two-stroke engines could cause a risk of fire and cause the engine to overwork and overheat. 

Never try and change any parts of your mower without professional guidance to avoid this accident from happening. 

Why Is My Lawnmower Smoking?

Now we know the most common reasons as to why your lawnmower could explode, it's also a good idea to troubleshoot any smoking problems that could be happening in your lawnmower.

Most of the time, smoke from your lawnmower is not a major reason for concern, but a lot of people might assume this means a fire could happen.

We have discussed a few common smoke signs you might be seeing in your mower below and why they are happening to put your mind at ease. 

White & Blue Smoke 

If you are seeing blue smoke or white smoke coming from your lawn mower, then it might be due to the following reasons. 

First of all, if you see your lawn mower blowing smoke, it could potentially be the oil burning with the fuel in your machine or perhaps the crankcase in your mower has been overfilled. Any accidental fuel spillage could further produce smoke on your mower until it evaporates. 

Also, if your lawnmower machine is brand new it may produce white smoke which will disappear when first started up, you should take care when cleaning your mower too not to leak any oil into the combustion engine when tilting it on its side as this could cause smoke. 

Always double check you have a clean air filter and your mowers engine parts are in prime condition if you detect blue smoke, will we get on to maintaining your mower later on to avoid this.

Black Smoke 

So, if you are seeing black smoke coming from your mower then the machine might be restricted from the air and burning too much fuel instead. Make sure you clean a dirty air filter or check the carburettor to fix this issue. 

If you try all the solutions to your smoke issues above and none of them is working, then you might have a more serious issue on your hands. Worn out gaskets or seals could cause a smoke problem in your mower and would need to be replaced as they can potentially be quite dangerous. 

Never try and meddle with your lawn mowers engine yourself, as sometimes you can make the issue worse and void any warranty on your machine, always take your model to a professional who can identify and fix the problems with experience.

Best Ways To Maintain Your Lawnmower To Prevent Explosions

To avoid fire issues and explosions from your lawn mower or having to do lawn mower repair, you should ensure that you are maintaining your lawnmower properly with essential daily maintenance. 

We have bullet pointed the most important ways to be taking care of your mower and its engine below. 

  • Maintain your lawn well - Although this does not directly relate to your mower, it can help prevent damage and explosions from happening to it. Ensure you never let your lawn get too tall and avoid cutting your garden when it's wet. Always cut your lawn down to manageable height with other tools beforehand, especially if you are trying to tackle tall dry grass which is a fire hazard.
  • Sharpen your blades - Make sure you sharpen the blades of your mower regularly, failure to do so can cause issues when trying to cut your lawn with dull blades and put unnecessary strain on the mower.
  • Keep the air filter clean - Use compressed air to keep your lawnmowers air filter clean and avoid debris build-up.
  • Don't use it on hot days - Make an effort to avoid using your lawn mower on hot days in high temperatures, instead operate it in the morning or night.
  • Cooldown before refuelling - There is always a risk of spilling fuel when refilling your lawnmower, wait for your mower to cool down instead before refuelling.
  • Use the right fuel - In a 2-stroke engine ensure you are using quality fuel and the right ratio of fuel mix for the engine and model. The wrong ratio can cause damage and smoking in your machine. 
  • Remove foreign objects - Before lawnmowing make an effort to survey your lawn and remove any foreign objects on the ground such as sharp metal objects and rocks that could cause sparks if your mower hits them.
  • Clean the mower deck - Keeping your mower deck clean is essential maintenance needed to prevent clippings and debris from causing damage to the lawnmower and putting strain on the engine. You can use a steel wire brush to take off any clippings or hose the deck down after use.
  • Take care when tilting the lawn mower - When tilting your lawnmower over for maintenance you should check you are being careful not to leak any oil into the combustion engine which could cause smoke.

Frequently Asked Questions About Lawn Mowers Exploding

Why does my electric lawn mower keep overheating? 

Your electric lawnmower might keep overheating due to a faulty heat sensor, battery or loose connections inside of the machine.

What is the most common cause of a fire in a lawnmower? 

The number one most common cause of a fire in a lawnmower is dry tall grass getting caught in parts of the machine it shouldn't such as the motor.

Is it possible to mow in high temperatures?

It is highly not recommended to mow in high temperatures on dry grass, doing so is a fire hazard, instead, you should wet the grass beforehand or mow during the morning hours or evening hours when the ground is not so hot.

Final Words 

Overall, to conclude, the risk of your lawnmower exploding is possible but very unlikely, always avoid issues that could contribute to your mower overheating such as grass clippings and hot temperatures and take care to perform regular maintenance on your lawnmower to keep it in the best condition possible. 

About the author
Written by William
I have always had a passion for gardening and that with a background in selling lawn mowers for the past 10 years, I have become very knowledgeable in all types of gardening tools. The site TheBestMowers.co.uk was created as a hub where I can review and write about all of the tips around gardening.
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