Tips To Properly Winterize Your Lawn Mower For Storage
It's almost that time of the year again here in Minnesota, time to swap out the lawn mower for a snow blower. But before you do that, here are some great tips for you to properly winterize your lawn mower so it is in pristine condition come next spring!
Whether you have a riding or push mower, you want to make sure that piece of equipment is running to its full potential with no issues or problems. Lets face it, lawn mowers are expensive and fixing them can be more costly and with proper maintenance, that issue can be avoided entirely! By following these tips from Popular Mechanic on how to properly winterize your lawn mower, you can make sure it has no issues when you pull it back out in the spring to enjoy that first fresh cut grass smell of the season!
- Remove or Stabilize the Fuel: This is the biggest and most important step to make sure your mowers engine works come the Spring. You can either drain or siphon the gas tank or use a fuel preservative to save it until next spring. If the gasoline has not had a preservative added, you need to use up the gasoline as soon as possible. Allowing it to sit over the winter will cause the ethanol in the gasoline to separate and its other chemical components to degrade.
- Remove the Battery or Disconnect Spark Plug: If you mower has a removable battery, remove it from the mower and store in a cool dry place. Also wipe down the battery of any dirt, dust or grease before storage. For the Spark plug, remove the plug from the mower and evenly spray a shot of oil into the cylinder. Replace the old plug with a new one.
- Replace or Clean Filters: Remove and clean or replace the mower’s air filter and fuel filter. Check the owner’s manual for more specific maintenance information.
- Change the Oil: Most newer mowers do not require the oil to ever be changed, BUT if you have a mower that requires the oil to be changed drain all of the oil from the mower and replace it with new oil thats recommended by the manufacture. If unsure the specific oil needed, you can check the owner's manual for what is recommended. Recycle the old oil at a local transfer station, car-repair shop, or auto-parts store.
- Scrape the Mowing Deck/Sharpen Blades: After insuring the spark plug has been disconnected, unbolt and remove the mower's blades to remove any caked on grass clippings from the deck. A putty knife or any dull blade would work perfect. After removing the blades, you can sharpen them and inspect them for any impurities. If the blades are bent, chipped or cracked, replace them with new blades. Before reinstalling the blades, don't forget to balance them!
- Clean and Lube the Mower: Using a clean, damp cloth, thoroughly wipe down the engine housing, wheels, handles and top of the mowing deck. Dry mower with an old towel and lubricate all exposed cable-movement points and pivots with quality spray lubricant.
- Cover up and Store: Move the mower in to a cool dry place and cover with a tarp if possible to keep dust off. If mice are an issue, place a pet safe and humane trap down under the mower, that will discourage mice from climbing into the mower and chewing any exposed wires.
After all steps are done, your mower is good to go for the winter!