Lawnmower storage preparation is essential if you want to get the longest life out of your machine. Now that the fall is in full swing and the growing season is coming to an end, you need to consider how you will store your lawnmower. Before you put it away for the season, it’s important to clean and protect your equipment. This will leave it in good working condition and ready to go when you start the Spring season.
Let’s take a closer look at the important steps you should take to prepare for winter lawnmower storage.
Preparing for Lawnmower Storage
Just like a home or a vehicle, you’ll need to winterize your lawnmower before you put it away for the season. This will ensure that it’s in great working condition when the next growing season rolls around. A little time, a few extra dollars, and some effort can really help you save money on expensive repairs in the long run. Prepping in this way can even say you from having to replace your equipment prematurely.
Read Through Your Owners’ Manual
Your owner’s manual should come with tips for maintenance, winterizing, and lawnmower storage. If you can’t find your manual, search for it online. You can use the manufacturer’s website or try a website like ManualsOnline.com.
Check Your Fuel
Lawnmowers should never be stored with a partial tank of fuel. As time goes on, Ethanol in the fuel can begin to stiffen the plastic and rubber parts in your tank. This could cause moisture that results in rust. After months of sitting there, your fuel can thicken and prevent your lawnmower from starting.
You have two options when it comes to dealing with your fuel supply. The first is to empty your fuel tank. You can do this by running the tank dry or by emptying it yourself. The second option is to add a fuel stabilizer and top off the tank. You should let the mower run for a few minutes to get the stabilized fuel circulating through the engine. Be sure to top off the fuel tank one more time.
Give It An Oil Change
Having a fresh oil change is a great way to keep your lawnmower in excellent working condition. Check back to your owner’s manual to see what type of oil and how much should be used. If you don’t know how to change the oil yourself or feel uncomfortable, take your lawnmower to a maintenance shop that can do it for you.
Clean It Up
Grass, dirt, and debris can get built into many different places of your lawnmower. That’s why you should give your equipment a good cleaning before you put it away. Remove the sparkplug before you try to clean any of the undercarriages, just for safety precautions. A good cleaning can prevent corrosion and rust. Eliminate grass clippings, caked-on dirt, and peeling paint chips. Dry your equipment thoroughly. You may even consider coating it with a silicone spray to prevent future buildup.
Check the Spark Plugs and Air Filters
Spark plugs should usually be replaced every other year, but they should be checked regardless. Remove the spark plugs and check them thoroughly. See if there are any areas where they are corroded. If new spark plugs are required, replacing them can help improve the performance of your equipment. This is an inexpensive fix.
Next check the air filters. Clogged air filters can make it impossible to start your lawnmower in the future. A clean air filter allows for an easy, steady flow of air to help the engine burn gas effectively. Replace paper filters. Wash oil-soaked sponge filters with soap and water. Check the cooling fins and remove any dirt you find. Let the filter dry thoroughly, add some clean oil, and reinstall.
Sharpen the Blade
As the season goes on, your lawnmower’s blade can get worn. Not only does cutting the grass cause wear and tear, but hitting things like rocks, branches, tree roots, and other hard things can damage or dull the blades. If you don’t sharpen your blades throughout the season, you should at least sharpen them before you put away your mower for winter. Although you can sharpen the blades yourself, it’s not recommended. Sharpening your lawnmower blades can be dangerous if you don’t have experience. Leave it for the professionals.
Finally, if your lawnmower has a battery, charge it in full. Before you put away your equipment in lawnmower storage, disconnect the battery and spark plug. Store your lawnmower in a dry, sheltered storage area. Put plastic underneath and cover it with a cloth covering. Don’t store your lawnmower near anything that has a pilot light, such as a furnace, water heater, or other appliances.
While these steps are simple, there’s also an easier solution if you don’t want to do the work yourself. Find a local lawnmower service or maintenance provider and have them prep your mower for storage for you. Remember, a few extra steps and a little extra money will leave your mower sharp, clean, and ready to go when the warmer weather comes around and the grass starts growing again.