Once the long and grueling summer mowing season ends, and you’ve reached the point in fall where your grass isn’t growing, it’s understandable to have the urge to just store your lawnmower in the garage for the winter.
You’ve had your fill of mowing and lawnmowers for the time being and don’t want to have to think about your mower until next spring.
Then you need to winterize your lawnmower before you store it to the garage or you’ll regret it.
However, don’t just throw it in the garage, you need to ensure that it’s stored properly to ensure that it works when you next need to use it. Follow my guide below to help you store your mower properly in winter.
How-to Guide to Prepare Your Lawn Mower for Winter
Follow our checklist to properly winterize your lawnmower, or use this list to confirm that the winterizing professionals you hire are taking the necessary steps to protect your mower from the harsh winter elements.
- Clean Mower Deck
Either use a garden hose or pressure washer and give your lawnmower a thorough cleaning. You need to wash off the accumulated dirt and debris that is plastered all over your mower from a long, hard season of mowing.
If there are any thick, dried on clods of dirt, just take a stick and scrape them off.
Furthermore, check and see if the mower blades require sharpening or need to be replaced. Dealing with this now will save you time and aggravation next spring.
You know that when you bring your lawn mower out from hiding once again, you are going to want to get started cutting the grass as soon as possible.
You won’t want to spend time and energy sharpening or replacing blades when the job could have already been done.
- Drain the Fuel or Stabilize
An essential step to winterizing a mower is deciding what you want to do with the remaining fuel. If gasoline is left to sit for a prolonged period of time it will start to degrade, eventually damaging the fuel system and the carburetor.
Also, when spring comes and you want to use your mower for the first time, the engine might not start-up.
Now there are two ways in which you can deal with your lawnmower gas for the winter: either drain the tank completely or top it off by adding gas stabilizer. The best way depends entirely on personal preference.
- Fuel Stabilizer and Topping Off
The act of adding a fuel stabilizer to your leftover gasoline can make it last several months longer. Filling up the tank and adding some stabilizer will keep the gas fresh until next season.
Now, you should be aware that the fuel stabilizer can only be added to new gas and will not have the desired effect if used in old gas. In fact, it may be harmful.
Once you’ve added the stabilizer, run the engine for several minutes so that it has a chance to work its way through the entire fuel system.
You want your mower to be ready to use in the spring, so you need to be sure that the improved fuel makes its way throughout the mower.
- Draining the Fuel Tank
If you have only a little fuel left in your mower, then your best bet is running the tank dry. Also, if you are going to store it in the basement, then you should definitely drain the tank. Having a mower inside with fuel left in the tank is a fire hazard.
If your tank is still filled with gas but it’s getting old, drain it and dispose of it properly.
First, use a turkey baster or siphon to and take as much gas as possible out. The next step is to run the engine a few times until it won’t start up anymore.
If it’s a push mower you’re using, then you need to get a drain pan, tip the mower over and empty the tank into it. You should find a bold or drain valve on the carburetor.
Then start the engine and let it run out until it doesn’t start anymore.
- Change Oil Filter and Lawn Mower Oil
Now it’s time to examine your oil. If you’re close to 50 hours of use without an oil change, then change it. Then let the mower run for several minutes to coat the inside with the new oil.
This should be enough to keep the machinery lubricated during the winter.
- Replace the Fuel and Air Filters
It’s the air and fuel filters that prevent things that shouldn’t from going into the carburetor. They should be changed at least once every mowing season. Because they literally collect everything that tries to get inside, they take quite a beating, so it’s very important to do this.
- Storing Your Lawn Mower
Be sure to park your mower somewhere so that it won’t be in the way. It’s going to be staying there all winter, so put it someplace where you won’t need to move it during this time. Also, cover it with a tarp or some other type of covering so that it won’t collect dust.
You might not realize it at the time, but as the winter progresses the dust could be slowly but surely clogging your mower.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do the Spark Plugs Have to Be Replaced?
Changing the spark plugs is a good idea because they need to be replaced around once a year and are cheap to buy. It’s a good time to change them when you are winterizing your lawn mower.
Since they are essential for your lawn mower to run you can’t just brush this task aside, so if you don’t do it now, you will surely have to in the spring.
Does the Battery Need to Be Disconnected?
One of the things to remember when learning how to store a battery-powered mower for winter is that while you don’t have to but disconnecting the battery will help save power. So it’s really something you ought to do.
If you follow the above advice when learning how to winterize a lawn mower, then you should have no problem when spring comes and it’s time to use it again. Neglect these tasks now and you might not have a working mower to use when you’re ready to get started cutting your grass again.