How To Winterize Your Lawn Mower

Today, we will discuss how to winterize your lawn mower.

Proper storage of your lawn mower over winter is important to keep the engine healthy for when you will need it come spring.

A winterized lawn mower will start first try, remain rust free and continue to work as new for many years.

First you will see a quick-step guide (of the most important steps to complete) with a short video instruction how to winterize your lawn mower and then further down the article you will find more details about if you need to winterize your electric mower as well and how to properly cover/store the mower.

Let jump in.

Quick-Step Guide How To Winterize Your Gas Walk-behind Lawn Mower

Watch this 4 minute video or read the instructions below.

Option 1: Add Fuel Stabilizer

  • Add fuel stabilizer to gas tank.
  • Start and run mower for a few minutes to ensure fuel stabilizer made its way through the carburetor. This will protect the carb.

Option 2: Empty Gas Tank 

  • This is the preferred method if you use ethanol based gasoline.
  • Open gas tank and empty as much fuel out as possible with a large turkey baster. Put fuel into your other power equipment or discard it.
  • Run the mower for a few minutes to empty the fuel lines and carb of all fuel that could cause damage over winter.

Required:

  • Use a wire brush to remove all grass clippings from underside of mower deck. Be thorough. Leftover grass will cause moisture and rust the mower deck over time. You should even spray some WD-40 on the underside of the deck for extra protection.
  • If your mower has an electric start – disconnect battery.

Suggestions:

  • Remove spark plug and spray engine storage spray product into the cylinder. Pull starter cord a few times to get it all over the components. Re-install spark plug. This helps protect from moisture damage.

 

What Steps Are Required For A Riding Mower?

  • The main cause of winter damage is gas left in the carburetor.
  • The second cause of winter damage is battery damage. If left out in the cold it will freeze and you will likely need to buy a new battery.
  • Some areas experience high humidity in snow conditions of winter and the humidity can cause rust in the engine cylinder.
  • Grass left stuck under the mower deck can cause rust.

Okay, so how do you protect from these things?

Watch this 3 minute video or read the instructions below.

  • Step 1: Add a fuel stabilizer. Just like with the push mower you will need to add fuel stabilizer and run the riding mower for a few minutes so the carburetor is protected from gumming up.
  • Step 2: Protect engine cylinder from rusting. Remove the spark plug and spray in a rust protector like WD-40.
  • Step 3: Remove battery. Remove battery to store in a warm area where it won’t freeze.
  • Step 3: Clean mower deck. Remove all the grass and dirt from the mower deck. Be sure it is squeaky clean before covering and storing for the winter.

Do You Need To Winterize Your Battery Powered Lawn Mower?

Yes.

  • Clean the mower deck before storing for winter.
  • Be sure to keep your batteries in a warm place over winter. Charge them full then bring them inside.

Okay, so that’s the quicl-guide now let’s go into further details.

Make Sure The Mower Is Clean

Winterizing your lawn mower is important to do every year before you put it away for the cold season. By taking a few simple steps to prepare your mower now, you can avoid costly repairs and prolong its life.

Remove all of the grass clippings and debris from the deck and engine area. If there’s any built-up dirt or grease, use a garden hose to spray it off.

Be sure to oil all of the moving parts, including the blades, wheels, and gears.

Sharpen The Blades 

Before you put the lawn mower away for the winter, it’s important to take care of some basic maintenance. One thing to do to make your mower spring ready is to sharpen the blades. Dull blades can tear grass, leaving it susceptible to disease and pests. They can also make it difficult to get a clean-cut, which can make your lawn look unsightly.

Change The Oil & Air Filter

Another key step is to change the oil and air filter. This will help to remove any dirt and debris that has accumulated over the course of the season, and it will also help to improve the efficiency of the engine.

Check The Spark Plugs

Over time, spark plugs can become fouled with oil, dirt, and other debris. This can cause the engine to misfire or run rough. Checking the spark plugs before winterizing your lawn mower will help ensure that the engine is in good working condition when you need it again. Replacing any damaged or worn-out spark plugs now will also save you time and money in the long run.

Add Fuel Stabilizer 

Stabilized fuel helps to prevent the formation of gums and sludge, which can clog fuel lines and the carb. It also helps to keep the fuel fresh, so that it will be ready to use next spring.

Get A Lawn Mower Cover 

Robot mower personal shed

A great and fun storage idea for a robot mower.

A lawn mower cover can help to protect your investment by shielding it from the elements, rodents and dust. Most covers are made from waterproof materials, and some even have a built-in heater to keep the engine warm.

Store The Lawn Mower In A Dry Place 

One way to help protect your lawn is to store the lawn mower in a dry place so it doesn’t rust when you winterize it. By doing this, you will help to extend the life of your lawn mower and ensure that it works properly when you need it. In addition, storing the lawn mower in a dry place will also help to prevent rust from forming on the blades, which can damage the grass and make it more difficult to cut.

Wrapping Up:

So there you have it. A few simple tips to help you winterize your lawn mower. By following these steps, you can help to extend the life of your lawn mower and keep it in good working condition.

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About your guide: Jamey Krames is a NALP certified Lawn Care Manager and a Mechanical Engineer by trade. He has been writing about power equipment for 12 years and has been quoted in NYTimes, Popular Mechanics, Wirecutter, HowStuffWorks, iFixit, MSN, Realtor.com, and more. He owns 194 acres in the country (and mows 50 acres of it) but lives on 1/4 acres in the suburbs. He currently owns and uses 6 different lawn mowers and has hands-on tested nearly 30.