Lawnmower Winterizing Checklist
While our lawns take a reprieve and go dormant, it’s time we start thinking about putting our lawnmowers away for a long winter nap. However; before we just move them to the back of the garage, let’s ensure they will start right up come spring.
We know after a long hot summer it would be just as easy to push it aside and worry about it next year. But, putting off winter lawn mower maintenance may end up costing you time and money in the long run.
We’ve come up with a winterizing checklist for you to use as a guide before you store your mower for the winter:
- Empty Fuel – Siphon or drain all gas from the tank. Once you’ve emptied the tank as much as possible, start the mower and let it run dry. If you can see the fuel lines and they are easily accessible, you can disconnect them and let them drain. Alcohol in fuel will dissolve plastic and rubber parts in the fuel system if left in all winter. It can also gum carburetors, corrode metal parts, and attracts moisture.
- Keep Your Battery Charged – To lengthen the life of your battery, it’s best to remove it from the mower and store it in a cool, dry place for the winter. Clean and inspect all cables, terminals, tray and hold-downs, and battery case for leaks and cracks. Throughout the winter keep the battery fully charged with a battery minder.
- Check the Spark Plugs – Replace spark plugs about every 100 hours of operation. Before putting your mower away, remove the spark plug and inspect it. If it is corroded, replace it. For plugs that are still in good shape remove the plug and add an ounce of motor oil to the cylinders and pull the recoil handle a few times to make sure the oil is evenly distributed.
- Inspect all Filters – Air filters and fuel filters should be inspected and/or replaced at least once a year. Refer to your owner’s manual for specific recommendations and instructions.
- Change the Oil – Drain all oil and replace it with your engine owners-manual recommendation. If you plan on using your mower a few times throughout the winter, be sure to use the correct oil for cold-weather operation.
- Keep the Deck in Tip–Top Shape – It is always a good idea to scrape the underside of your mower deck throughout the mowing season. However, you must give it a good cleaning before storing it for the winter to prevent rust. Give it a good spray of water and use a bristled brush to remove all debris. After it has dried completely give it a liberal coating of WD-40.
- Inspect the Blades – Over time mower blades can wear away and become dull. If the blades are in good shape, you can sharpen them to prepare for that first fresh-cut in the spring. Caution: Before removing the blades, take out the spark plug to prevent accidental starting.
- Give it a Good Once Over – Inspect all belts and tires for signs of wear. Nicked, frayed, and warped belts will slip and break if not replaced. Look for low pressure and extreme wear on all tires. Replace all tires and belts that are showing signs of excessive use.
- Clean It Good – Give the whole mower a good cleaning before you put it away. Remove all dried grass and dirt from crevices and use a solvent such as WD-40 to remove any oil or gas stains. Make sure all standing water has been blown off and dried before storing it away.
Taking the extra time to follow these winterizing tips will ensure your mower will last and be ready to make your lawn beautiful year after year.
If you are looking for quality outdoor power equipment and/or lawn mower repair in the Jacksonville, Florida area, Power Equipment Sales Corp. provides both professional and residential equipment to match all of your lawn and garden equipment needs. Conveniently located on the corner of Hamilton Street and St. Johns Avenue in Jacksonville, our service department carries a full line of OEM replacement parts to keep you up and running. Visit our showroom at 4545 St. Johns Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32210, or call us at 904.387.1512 with any questions. Be sure to visit our “Factory Promotions” page for the latest manufactures sales and specials available.