Winterize your Lawn Mower
Got a gas lawn mower? Winterize your lawn mower before the freezing temperatures set in! Keeping your lawn mower maintained is a must, from changing the oil to keeping it fresh with new air and gas filter. Winterizing your lawn mower is as important as regular maintenance to keep your investment running strong for many seasons of regular use.
Here are a few steps to winterize your lawn mower properly.
Dealing with Fuel
There are a couple of different ways to maintain your lawn mower when it comes to the fuel over the winter months.
You can drain the gas, or fill the tank. There are two schools of thought on this, and I actually fill the tank!
You can drain the gas completely, and use it in another piece of equipment (snow blower perhaps?). You can even put it right in your car if your lawn mower takes straight unleaded fuel. When you drain the gas, start your mower a couple of times until it no longer starts. This will assure that all the the fuel has been pushed out of the lines.
Fill the tank. This is the method I use. Fill the gas tank to the full line and add a fuel stabilization product. There are plenty on the market and one woks just as well as the next. Add the stabilizer and start the lawn mower. Allow the mower to run for a few minutes before turning the engine off. This allows the fuel stabilizer to move throughout the engine components and hoses.
Remove the Battery
There’s no sense in killing your lawn mower battery over the winter! Take the battery out and put it in a dry place until spring.
How To Remove Lawn Mower Battery
- Remove the battery by disconnecting the negative terminal first. Then disconnect the positive terminal.
- Replace the battery in the spring by connecting the positive terminal first, then the negative.
- Make sure the terminals never come into contact with one another, especially while connected to the battery!
Safety tip: Remove jewelry such as rings or bracelets and wear gloves. You don’t want a shocking experience.
Remove the Sparkplug
Remove the spark plug. You may need a special socket wrench for this, so get one and do it. This could save your fingers or a hand when removing the blade.
Remove the Blade(s)
Winter is the perfect time to get your blades sharpened, or replace your blades all together. You’ll beat the rush at the local sharpener guy — yes we have a guy in town who sharpens everything from lawn mower blades to scissors. He’s very busy in the spring, so over the winter is the perfect time to get it done! Make sure to put the nuts back on the mower deck as to not lose them!
Clean the Deck
Now is the perfect time to get out your trusty painters knife and scrape away all the shit that’s built up on the bottom of your mower deck over the past season. Hose it down with your pressure washer and dry it off before storing it for winter.
Change the Oil and Air Filter
- Add gas to your mower if needed
- Reinstall the blade
- Reinstall the battery
- Install a new spark plug
Now that your mower is put back together, fire it up! Run the mower for about 5 to 10 minutes before draining the oil. This will allow for the oil to get hot and drain easily.
Drain the oil completely, then change the oil filter. You may need an oil filter wrench for this part.
Put the new oil filter on and cap the oil drain.
Refill with oil. Check the dipstick to make sure you’re not over or under filling the oil.
If your lawn mower has grease ports, now is the time to inject some grease. Check the tire pressure if necessary and you’re ready for another season of successful mowing!
That’s how easy it is to maintain and winterize your lawn mower folks! These tips are interchangeable with pretty much all gas powered lawn mowers, including push mowers and riding mowers. Use the tips that pertain to your particular mower and you’ll be good to go!