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How to Winterize a Lawn Mower

Post Date: November 6th, 2012

 

If you care about keeping your lawn mower running for a long time, don’t just throw it in the garage over the winter time without winterizing it. Lawnmowers should be properly cared for just like any other motorized device if you want to ensure a long and useful life.

 

Here are some common problems that may arise over winter:

-   the fuel system can get clogged by old gasoline

-   the lawn mower just won’t start at the beginning of next season

-   internal parts in your motor can rust

-   the blades can get rusty and become dull

 

1. Fuel System Maintenance

sta-bil fuel stabilizer

 

To empty the tank, pour out the remaining fuel in a gas pan or other approved gasoline container until the last drop by turning it over. Make sure it is dried out by turning on the mower until the engine stops. When the engine will no longer start, it means it is all used up. When adding fuel stabilizer, run the motor for 3-5 minutes to circulate the stabilizer.

Empty the fuel tank or add a fuel stabilizer in it to prevent water condensation, fuel deterioration and formation of gum, varnish and rust in the fuel system.

 

refuelling lawn mower

 

Another tip is to fill the fuel tank with the highest grade of gasoline offered at your local gas station. High grade fuel often contains cleaning agents and fuel stabilizers that are sufficient to keep the fuel in good shape until the following season.

 

2. Piston Care

If your mower has 4-cycle motor, you will need to remove the spark plug and add a tablespoon of engine oil into the case. Make sure to disperse the oil by slowly turning over the engine several times using the starter rope or key. Put the spark plug back but do not reconnect the wire until after the winter when you are ready to use it again.

 

lawn mower sparkplug

 

If your mower has a 2-cycle motor, just slowly pull on the starter rope until you feel some resistance, then slowly release the tension on the rope. This step closes the engine valves to keep air from corroding the cylinder. Another way of vapor-proofing the intake and exhaust ports is placing a piece of aluminum foil over the tank cap and then securing the foil with tape.

 

If your mower has a battery, remove the negative cables of your battery or the entire battery and
fully charge it before storing.

 

3. Cleaning and Rust Proofing

 

lawn mower air filter

 

Clean the mower thoroughly, including air filter, as described in your owner’s manual. Clogged air filters are a leading cause of starting problems. Remove rust on all metal parts by rubbing it with steel wool or fine sandpaper. Spray on a little primer afterwards. You may also retouch on the paint job if the paint is starting to chip. Lubricate all moving parts and spray rust inhibitor like WD-40 on the blade and surrounding unpainted metal parts to prevent rust from forming.

 

lawn mower blade WD-40

 

4. Storing
Store in a cool dry place, away from moisture and direct sunlight. Your lawnmower is now ready to hibernate.

 

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