How to Winterize a Lawn Mower

Summer is over, and you’ve treated your lawn to prepare it for the fall and winter season, now it’s time to think about winterizing your lawn mower. No matter if it’s a riding mower, garden tractor, or a simple push mower here are some tips you can use to get your equipment stored properly.

Before getting too much further down the road, I should note that since we’ll be cleaning the mower engine there will be fumes can be dangerous to your health. If it’s not possible for you to work outside you’ll want to wear a mask. You might also want to get you owner’s manual out and keep it handy.

Cleaning removable parts

  1. Your first step will be to remove and properly dispose of your mowers spark plugs.
  2. Now thoroughly clean your mower of debris and grass clippings. Go ahead and remove your mowers grass catching bag and spray it all down with a pressure washer. Once this is done be sure to give it time to air dry before reassembly. Be careful not to spray water directly into the mowers bearings.
  3. One of the most important steps is a complete inspection of the mower. Checking belts, hangers and the deck for damage or wear. The onset of winter gives you a great opportunity to replace any damaged parts and still have time to be completely ready for the upcoming grass cutting season.
  4. Removing the deck from your lawn mower will give you the access you’ll need to maintain the blades as well. If this includes sharpening the blades in your case, please wear gloves to avoid injury. From here you’ll also want to clean or replace the air filter and fuel filter if necessary.

Moving on to the engine

  1. If you have any left-over gasoline in the mower’s engine you should add a little stabilizer to it, then start the engine and allow it to run until the gas empties. This will help prevent any carburetor clogs and deposits. Once this is done, you’re ready to transport your lawn more to the place where it will spend the winter.
  2. Your next step is spark plug replacement, which includes introducing a few drops of oil into each spark plug hole before inserting the new plugs. After this is done crank the engine a couple of times to help circulate oil within the cylinders. If you can do so, close the valves by turning the mower’s engine manually until you can feel its compression stroke.  Doing this ensures moisture cannot make its way into your mower’s engine.
  3. Now the final step, remove and charge the battery. Store the battery away from flames and heat. This includes pilot lights. Now cover it up and wait until next spring.

When it comes to preparing an electric or push reel mower for storage, it’s a much simpler process. Just make sure the entire unit is completely clean, and the blades are well sharpened. Go ahead and lubricate those parts that you can reach that need it, and then cover your mower and you’re all done.

Another option is the robotic lawn mower, and it only needs very minimal maintenance and is easy to quickly store just about anywhere in your shed. It’s a lot like those robot vacuums that I’m sure you heard about by now. It will even go so far as to recharge itself as required. This is a handy tool if you want something that lets you easily handle a quick yard trimming.

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