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How to Winterize a Lawn Mower

Home Contractor

Most people assume that you just park your lawnmower in the garage or shed when you are done with it for the season. If it is a brand new one, this may indeed work out for a season or two. After that, you will probably be buying another brand-new lawn mower.

There is another way, however, which is to take care of the tools which take care of you. That way they will last much longer. You will also have more money to spend on the things you really want rather than the things you must have and need to replace because they’re busted.

powerful commercial mower are actually quite durable items so long as they are properly cared for. Like any other form of machinery, they work best when they’re kept clean, filled with the proper fluids, and used according to their recommended guidelines. Yet people simply assume that they can be shut down for months and will be ready to go as soon as the days get long again.

In truth, it is a good idea to do some basic winterization on your lawn mower before letting it hibernate. That way it will be ready to roar as soon as you take it out of its cave in the spring. There is nothing worse than having a non-running lawn mower in the spring. Here is how to avoid that problem.

First off, make sure the bottom half of your mower is ready for winter. This means that you need to get every bit of clinging grass and muck off the bottom of it. What is gunk today can harden into a rocklike consistency over the winter. The first time you spin your blade in the spring, it might hit that obstacle and then bend the blade, blow out the side of the mower deck, or snap off the crankshaft. Even if this doesn’t happen, that mess down below can rust out your mower deck. Keep it clean.

lawn mower

Once this is done, you want to fire up your mower and let it run completely dry. Most gasoline today has alcohol in it. Alcohol literally sucks water vapor out of the air and binds with it over time. This means your gas tank and fuel system components will be full of a watery broth that will not start but will ruin the aluminum parts in the fuel system via corrosion. Also, you’ll go crazy in the spring trying to get it to start when you know it has “gas” in it.

A second school of thought is to not run your tank dry but to keep it filled with a gas stabilizer additive so the gas doesn’t go bad over four months of sitting around. Your choice, but while we’re on the subject of fuel, you should consider not running standard pump gas in your small engines at any time. Buy alcohol-free gas at a station that offers so-called “blue gas” or pick up specialized small engine gas where you bought your mower. This will greatly extend the life of your equipment

Next, you want to change the oil in your mower. It’s been picking up dirt and sludge all summer long. Clean it out now and you will be ready to roll for next season. Plus all those contaminants in your old oil won’t be gnawing away at the internal parts of the engine all winter long.

Finally, treat your lawn mower to a new spark plug. Small engines are very hard on spark plugs, which have been known to go bad just by sitting around. Do these things and you will have an easy time starting up in the spring and have a mower that will give you many years of trouble-free service.