How to Winterize Your Lawn Mower: A Step-by-Step Guide

The lawn mower is a very important tool to have in the backyard. It's a tool that should be winterized regularly and properly. But, there are many people who do not know how to winterize their lawn mower.

Winterizing your lawn mower is not as easy as it seems. There are a lot of things that need to be done beforehand and the most important one is to get the lawn mower ready for winterization.

You should also consider whether you want to winterize it or not. If yes, then you will have to perform some maintenance on it during the cold winter months. There are different ways of winterizing your mower and you can do it yourself. If you want to do it yourself, then there are some things that you should know before doing so.

The main thing here is if the parts go bad or not and if they will last long enough for a long time. If they will not last long, then perhaps it is not worth doing this. There are also some things that you can buy as well and they will be cheaper than others.

Lawn mowing is a very important chore that you should perform properly to maintain your lawn. Learn how to winterize your lawn mower, and possibly prevent costly problems in the future.

A lawnmower is a device that cuts grass in the same height to level the lawn surface. It is equipped with rotating blades that cut the grass tip. There are several types of lawn mowers.

Blade- These mowers come with either one blade or multiple blades and are either used in small yards and gardens or in large areas such as golf courses and parks.

Power- Lawn mowers are either powered by batteries or electric motors. Furthermore, some lawn mowers can be operated manually as well.

Rotation – Both cylinder and rotary mowers. They can also be categorized under size, such as a small lawn mower for a small space, or a big lawn mower for a larger space. There are also robotic lawn mowers, which are much more convenient since they operate on their own.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Winterizing Your Lawn Mower

You need to follow a few steps in order to have the most effective winterizing. If the steps are followed properly, you will have an effective winterizing process.  

The first step is to empty the gas tank

The extra gas left in a mower during the winter can stale up the carburetor and cause rust to form.

  • Start by adding fuel stabilizer to the tank and then run the mower to distribute it throughout.
  • After you turn off the mower, let the engine cool, then siphon the excess gas into a clean can. (This gas can be put in your car if it is not mixed with oil.)
  • Run the mower until it stops, then restart it and repeat until the engine does not perform any more and there is no fuel left in the lines.

The second step is to unplug the spark plug

  • Before proceeding with the remaining maintenance steps, you should disconnect the spark plug to prevent the mower from starting accidentally, which could result in serious injury.

The third step is to remove the blade

  • First, unscrew the bolts that hold the blade in place, so you can easily change the oil and clean the underside of the mower. You should wear thick gloves to handle the blade.
  • It is a good opportunity to sharpen the blade while it is off (see Sharpening Mower Blades).

The fourth step is to drain the oil

  • In the case of a 4-cycle engine, you will need to change the oil. Some lawn mowers and most trimmers use two-cycle engines which allow the oil to be mixed with the gasoline. Prepare a pan and place a tarp underneath the mower to catch any spilled oil.
  • If possible, turn the mower on its side, so that the air filter and carburetor are facing up, to prevent oil and residual gas from spilling into them.
  • By removing the plug from the oil reservoir and tilting the mower slowly, the oil will begin to drain into the pan.
  • Once the oil is completely drained, replace the plug.

The 5th step is to clean the undercarriage

  • Clean the mower deck using a putty knife and wire brush. As a result, rust is prevented, the discharge chute is cleared, and the deck can work according to its design.
  • Reattach the sharpened blade after cleaning the deck.
  • Fill the oil tank with fresh SAE 30 or 30-weight oil after you've finished and turned the mower upright. Recycle the used oil at a service station. Do not use thicker oil, such as 10W-40.

The sixth step is to change the air filter

When the engine’s air filter is dirty, it restricts the amount of air available to burn the gas efficiently.

  • You should replace a paper filter if your mower has one. Paper edges should be facing out. It's best to remove an oil-soaked sponge filter, wash it with soap and water, let it dry completely, and then add a small amount of clean oil to it before replacing it.
  • Using a screwdriver or popsicle stick, remove any dirt and debris from the cooling fins.

The seventh step is to replace the spark plug

Replace the spark plug with a spark-plug socket that is lined with neoprene to safeguard the porcelain casing. In spite of the old spark plug being in good shape, it's better to upgrade for a few dollars to ensure a smooth start come spring.

Lastly, store any combustibles safely

Gasoline should be stored in a shed or detached garage. Keep the container at least 50 feet from any ignition source, and only use approved containers. If you add fuel stabilizer to your generator or snow blower, you can use it for up to two years.

Batteries with lithium-ion cells can lose their charge, and can catch fire in the cold, so move them from your lawn equipment and store them and their chargers at above 50 degrees F. Cold temperatures won't degrade propane, so store it above grade with good ventilation.

Tips for storing your lawn mower during the winter

Spark Plug: Be sure to use the spark plug in a smart way while performing the above steps. Be sure to disconnect it while cleaning your lawnmower, then replace it after you're done. Injuries can occur if you are not careful, such as when the mower suddenly starts.

Storage: Because winters bring heavy precipitation, you may need to store your lawn mower outside in an open area and then cover it with plastic. In case you want to store it in a basement or garage, make sure it is elevated and away from any source of ignition or fire hazard materials.

Final Verdict

Now that winter is approaching, we need to care for our lawn tools. It is only during the winter that lawnmowers receive the best treatment. A lawnmower that is not properly maintained will clog up and lose its effectiveness. Not only that, but grass will grow quickly after the winter ends if your lawn mower doesn't perform properly. That's why winterizing them is important.

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