Winterizing your Lawn Mower

Winter is coming. Is your mower ready? Here's what you need to do to winterize your riding mower

Keep your riding mower in top shape this winter with these tips

A lawn mower that starts right up immediately after switching on is the definition of efficiency. Want your lawn mower to start up readily in the spring after a long winter's nap? The key is properly winterizing it before you put it away. During the long winter months, your lawn mower stays idle, and winterizing it makes it ready when needed.

Learn the best way to store your lawn mower over the long winter months. What most lawn mower owners don’t know is that gasoline left in your mower could cause some serious damage down the road. If your lawn mower fails to immediately start after winter, you probably missed a few winterizing steps. Follow the guidelines below and be assured of having a lawn mower which starts immediately.

Clean the Deck

This should be done throughout the entire duration you have a lawn mower. Keeping the housing clean at all times guarantees optimal mower performance. This step is crucial before winter as it prevents moisture from gathering in the grass clippings. Ideally, this prevents grass clippings from causing rust and corrosion. Using the garden hose will be enough to remove any clippings found on the mower. In case you have dried–up clippings, try using an old bristle pot scrubber or plastic paint scraper. Be cautious and wear heavy gloves to protect hands from sharp mower blades.

Put a container of mothballs near the deck to prevent any rodents from nesting near the mower. This should be done when finally storing your lawn mower.

Change the Oil

Did you know old oil contains acids, gasoline, moisture, and soot which easily corrode internal engine components? A remedy to this problem is changing the oil and running the mower for a few minutes. Make sure to coat all the internal parts with clean oil which will make the lawn mower run smoothly.

Use a fuel Stabilizer or Empty the Gas Tank

Add a fuel stabilizer according to the package directions and fill the mower gas tank to the brim. Run the engine for a few minutes, this ensures the as treated with fuel stabilizer circulates throughout the engine.

Drain the Fuel

First, remove the fuel tank cap by tipping the mower over a dry pan. Next step should be looking for a drain valve or bolt on the carburetor bowl. Open the valve and drain the gas into a container.

Unplug the battery

Most people have shifted to all-electric lawn mowers. On the other hand, some have traditional mowers with batteries. These batteries also need care. If working with an electric mower, remove the battery and store it in a battery storage case. This ensures the battery is protected from all elements and keeps batteries from draining.

For those using a traditional mower, a good idea is to place a battery maintainer on the battery.

Store when clean

Make sure to store your lawn mower knowing it will be ready for use at any time. If your lawn mower is dirty, don’t think of putting it away. Dirt and grime will probably freeze to your lawn mower. This will cause visible damage to the paint job at the very least. Take the time to thoroughly clean your lawn mower before storage. Start by cleaning the mowing deck and make sure the debris and grass are removed.

Wet grass is known to stick at any place it can, washing and properly drying will do the trick. Washing ensures all outdoors particles are removed. Next step is to check the air filter. If you find your air filter is nasty beyond repair, toss it and replace it with a new one. An air filter which is dirty and can be cleaned should be cleaned!

The last step is to take time oiling all movable parts of the lawn mower. If the parts are sticking now imagine what a few months of cold temperature will do.

Where to store a lawn mower

Store your lawn mower in a cool and dry place. You should not store your lawn mower near the furnace or water heater.

It’s imperative to note, before starting to prep your lawn mower for winter, read the mower manual. Follow all safety precautions listed by manufacturer. For any questions, feel free to contact a simplicity dealer near your area.

By properly caring for your lawn mower over the winter, you'll ensure it'll be ready to make your lawn gorgeous when the weather warms up!

Resources—Consumer Reports, Popular Mechanics, Family Handyman, Simplicity Manufacturing, Gardening Products Review