Lawn Mowers | How to Winterize
In most parts of the US, mowing season is over, so its that time to winterize your lawn mowers and store them for the winter!
A lot of folks don’t bother to winterize their lawn mowers – they just cover it and stick it in the corner of the yard or in a storage building. By taking some simple steps, you will save yourself a lot of time, energy and headaches when spring comes back around. You can have your lawn mower cleaned and stored in less than an hour. Wouldn’t you rather spend an hour now, when you don’t need your mower, than to scramble around trying to make it start when you need it?
Follow these steps and you are sure to have less headaches in the spring!
How to Winterize Your Lawn Mowers
Remove the gasoline from your Lawn Mowers
It is very important to remove the gasoline from the tank because gas breaks down when it sits around for months and months. This causes you to have “bad gas” and is the primary reason for lawn mowers not starting up again in the spring.
You can remove the gas a couple of different ways:
- Run the lawn mowers until all the gas is gone (only if you have have a small amount of gasoline left in the tank)
- Use a turkey baster to siphon the gas, then allow the mower to run until it shuts off
Empty the Oil
Its important to not only empty the gasoline tank, but to empty the oil as well. If the oil sits for months on end, through cold, ice, or snow, it will gunk up and clog up – causing the mower not to restart in the spring. Make sure you dispose of the oil and gas at a local station that handles petroleum waste products.
Change the Sparkplug
You will save yourself a lot of time and headaches if you remove the sparkplug and replace it with a new one in preparation for next year.
Lubricate the Inside
Squirt some oil into the sparkplug hole and try to crank the piston a couple times. This will lubricate the inside of lawn mowers for the winter.
Disconnect the Battery
This is an optional step, but one I highly recommend – especially if you have very harse winters in your area. Disconnect your battery and store it away from the motor in a safe area, away from the elements
Clean the Blades
Not everyone does this, but if they did, they would notice a much better cut in the Spring! Remove the blades and clean them with a good solvent. It would be best if you could sharpen them as well, or take them to a professional to have them sharpened. You can also opt to buy new blades and store them until spring.
Check the Tires
Check the tires for signs of wear – like gashes, scrapes and worn spots. You might consider replacing them if they have scene better days! Check to make sure they are properly inflated and have no leaks. .
Clean or Replace Air Filter
If you have a foam filter in your mower, you can usually clean them by soaking in soapy water, wringing out and allowing it to dry completely before putting it back in. If you have the paper filters, you can replace these very inexpensively.
Clean the Outside
Basically, just give the outside of the mower a really good cleaning. Remove all the dried grass and dirt from crevices. WD-40 can be very helpful with this!
Store your Mower
Always try to store your lawn mowers in a dry area where it won’t be exposed to the elements. Invest in a good lawn mower cover as well.
For more tips, please visit the Lawn & Garden section of our website!