Winterizing your lawn mower is a key step in preparing your property for the cold winter months ahead. By following this simple checklist you can significantly extend the life of your mower and keep it running in tip top shape for when you’ll need it again next spring.
Empty the Gas Tank
Old fuel that is left in any gas mowers can be exposed to air and condensation that weakens the effectiveness of the fuel. This creates a residue that builds up on the inside of the various parts causing the mower to run poorly and less efficient. Once the gas tank is empty you can add seafoam to the inside of the gas tank. This will keep the lines clean and ready to be started easily after sitting for months.
Change the Oil
This is always recommended at the end of the season. With regular oil changes (i.e. once per season) you extend the life of your mower exponentially. Be sure to read the owners manual to ensure you’re using the correct oil for your specific engine. When you drain the old oil out please abide by local disposal bi-laws to ensure it is disposed of in an environmentally friendly way.
Air Filter and Spark Plug
Be sure to check the air filter and either clean out or replace if required. This will keep the engine running at full efficiency. A spark plug will likely last a full season or two but for winter maintenance it is best to remove it from the machine to prevent the machine from starting accidentally while you’re following the next steps
Clean Off Undercarriage
Now that the oil and gas are removed you as well as the spark plug it is time to turn the machine on its side to clear off the underside of any grass or dirt that may have collected over the season. The best method is with a small putty knife to scrape along the edges and any flat surfaces. Once you get the debris off its best to spray it down with water and wipe the underside clean with a towel to prevent any rust.
Sharpen Mower Blade
This is something that is often overlooked by homeowners because it’s a bit of a pain; however, it is a critical step in the overall health of your lawn during the growing season. Think of it this way, if you cut your hair with dull scissors your hair gets split ends that result in the health of your hair to decline. Lawns are the same! Whether your do the sharpening this winter or before spring it doesn’t really matter but we definitely recommend at least once per year. Whatever you do, please consult the owners manual for specifics and be safe
These steps will extend the life of your lawn mower, improve its performance on your lawn as well as save you money in the long run. Even though you may not be thinking about your lawn, winterizing your lawn mower will simply make your life easier each spring. Please remember to always consult your lawn mowers specific owners manual as these are general guidelines.