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Before you put away your lawn mower for the winter months, there are a few important maintenance steps to take. If you store your machine properly, it will start running in the spring at first try and be ready to do an excellent job.
Lawn Mower Winter Care and Storage Tips:
Scrape and clean every part of your lawn mower – the deck, as well as the engine – of debris, grass, mud, dirt and garden refuse. Wash any leftover residue thoroughly with a garden hose (make sure that you have removed the spark plug beforehand.)
- Sharpen your lawn mower blade professionally or replace with a new blade. You should sharpen your blade at least once a year – a dull blade can pull grass roots out permanently and damage your lawn.
Once the outside of your lawn mower has been cleaned and spruced up, it’s time to take care of the engine.
- Siphon out as much fuel from the fuel tank as possible, then run the engine until all the fuel is used up.
- If you can’t remove all the fuel easily, add fuel stabilizer to the left over fuel in your lawn mower – stabilizer helps prevent sticky gunk from forming in the fuel system or in the carburetor parts. Run the engine for a few minutes to circulate the fuel stabilizer through the carburetor.
- Once stabilizer has been added, fill the fuel tank to the top – a full tank prevents moisture from condensing in tank and stops rust from developing.
- Drain the old oil and refill the lawn mower fuel tank with fresh oil. Make sure to dispose of old oil properly by taking it to your local recycling center.
- Change the oil filter – if your lawn mower is equipped with one.
- To lubricate your lawn mower engine, remove the spark plug and pour a bit of oil though the port. Replace the spark plug, then pull the starter cord a number of times to distribute the oil through the engine.
- Clean lawn mower air filter or replace air filter if necessary.
- If your lawn mower is equipped with a battery, disconnect the negative battery cable from the battery terminal and remove the battery.
- Clean the battery terminals with battery terminal cleaner, and coat all terminals with terminal protector, then store it in a cool, dry place.
- Store your lawn mower in a cool, dry place in a shed or a garage. If you don’t have either one, cover your machine with a waterproof tarp and tuck well to prevent snow and moisture from damaging your equipment.