After I first moved into my home and invested in a good lawnmower, I made the mistake of not preparing the mower for the winter. As a result, when I went to start using it in the spring the mower would no longer work correctly. I called a lawnmower repair specialist who explained my mistake. Of course, it cost me a lawnmower and a repair bill but now I can teach you how to properly winterize your lawnmower.
Winterize Your Lawnmower – A Few Steps
First, you need to remove any liquid from your lawnmower. Remember that anything liquid is capable of freezing in cold weather and that can cause serious damage to your mower. The two main liquids you have to worry about are fuel and oil.
To empty the fuel tank safely start the engine and let in run for a couple of seconds, then siphon out the gas or take the gas tank off and pour the remaining gas back into your gas container. Put the tank back on and start the mower and let it run until the engine dies. This way all the fuel is used up. When you do this, make sure you will not be using your mower again so you can leave it empty until the spring.
You’ll also want to empty your oil tank but make sure you drain the oil into a proper container and dispose of it properly.
Next, you should thoroughly clean your mower. Use a hose to remove any grass or dirt that is sticking to its sides. Grease can be removed with hot water and soap. After the mower is cleaned, rinse off the soap, and leave it outside to dry under the sun. You need it to be completely dry before you put it in storage.
As far as storage goes, the best choice is to keep the mower indoors. A garage, shed, or basement that is completely protected from the elements is recommended. If you simply don’t have this type of facility, then you can purchase covers for lawn mowers. Choose the right cover for your mower’s size.
Winterize Your Lawnmower – Additional Steps
While the above steps are the most necessary, there are a few other steps you should consider taking as well. For example, you should check your mower for any rust spots. If you locate some, use steel wool to rub it off before you place the mower in storage.
Another good idea is to clean or replace the air filter. You’ll need to refer to your owner’s manual to determine which method is preferred. In general, paper filters are replaced while plastic ones are cleaned. You should already have changed the filter a couple of times during the mowing season but it’s a good idea to do it again before storing the mower so it will be ready to go this spring.
Additionally, you can remove the mower blade and have it sharpened. While you can sharpen it yourself, I recommend taking the blade to a professional who can do it safely and without damaging the blade.
When the spring rolls around, you’ll need to bring your mower out of storage, refill the gas and oil, and you’ll be all ready to go. Plus, you’ll be extending the life of your mower and avoiding costly lawnmower repair just by learning how to properly winterize your lawnmower.