The time of mowing your grass is almost at an end.
Most people are happy to have one more chore off their plate for a while. Yet, some people look at mowing their yard as a form of therapy and exercise.
Regardless of which side of the fence you land on, you should take this time to winterize your lawn mower.
It’s important to look after any mechanical investment, and your lawn mower will need special protection over the winter since it will go unused.
Curios how to go about winterizing your lawn mower? It’s not hard. Here’s all you need to know to take the best care of your lawn mower this winter:
1. Cover is Important
If you expect any piece of equipment to last, one of the most important steps you can take is to give it proper cover from the elements.
We all know winter can bring anything from cold temperatures, rain, ice, and snow. None of which is great for your lawn mower.
2. Iron Sharpens Iron
You guessed it. Before you put your mower up for the year, it’s time to perform basic maintenance on it. Basic maintenance could be anything from sharpening the blades, to oiling exposed moving parts on the mower.
If your mower has been having issues over the season, it’s a good idea to fix the problems before retiring it for the season too.
This will take one more thing off your busy spring to-do list. Before putting your lawn mower up for the season be sure you’ve made all necessary repairs, oiled everything down to make sure it won’t rust or worsen over the winter, and also sharpen your blades to make sure the lawn mower will be ready to use when spring rolls around again.
3. Time for an Oil Change
After running your mower all season, it’s a good idea to put fresh oil in it before putting it away.
Some people prefer to change it after a season’s use because they don’t want dirty oil sitting in the lawn mower all winter.
However, some prefer to do it at the start of spring to make sure there’s no moisture in the oil. The danger of changing the oil before winter is condensation could build up in the mower and add moisture to it.
However, if you top off the fluids in the lawn mower, theoretically, there shouldn’t be room for condensation to form. This is a personal decision you must make. Either way, be sure the lawn mower gets an oil change before use the next season.
4. Ditch the Fuel
Ditching the fuel is perhaps the item of greatest importance on the winterizing list. Be sure you drain the lawn mower of all fuel.
When you are positive you’ve removed it all, crank the lawn mower to let any remaining fuel which may have found a place to hide, burn off.
The issue with leaving fuel in your lawn mower is it becomes stale which isn’t good for your engine, but it also draws moisture to the mower.
Moisture is a problem because it can cause corrosion inside your mower. This damages parts and can create unnecessary expense.
Also, fuel can eat away at rubber and plastic parts in the fuel system. Again, this causes an unnecessary headache and expense.
Do yourself a favor and be sure to drain all the fuel from your mower before putting it away for the winter.
5. Unplug the Battery
Some people have shifted to all-electric mowers. Other people have traditional mowers with a battery. Either way, your battery needs care.
If you’re working with an all-electric mower, be sure to remove the battery over the winter and store it in a battery storage case. This case should protect it from the elements and keep the battery from draining.
If you’re using a traditional lawn mower, it’s still a good idea to either place a battery maintainer on the battery to keep it from draining or to remove the battery and store it in a safe location from the elements of winter.
6. Mr. Clean
One of my biggest pet peeves is when my husband tries to put something away knowing it isn’t ready for its next use.
Well, a lawn mower is no different. If your lawn mower is dirty, don’t put it away. You don’t want the dirt and grime to freeze to your lawn mower. It can’t be good for the paint job at the least.
Therefore, take the time to clean it well before storage. You should clean the mowing deck. Make sure all grass and debris are removed from under the mower.
Wet grass tends to stick to any place it can. Check the lawn mower to make sure it’s washed, dried, and all outdoor particles are removed.
Next, check the air filter. If it’s nasty beyond saving, toss it and replace it with a new one. If the air filter is dirty but can be cleaned, clean it.
Finally, as I mentioned above, take the time to oil any exposed movable parts of your lawn mower. If they’re starting to stick now, imagine what a few months of cold temperatures, damp weather, and sitting still will do.
Try to stay ahead of the game and anything which might need maintenance in the spring, go ahead and do it now.
7. Pay Attention to Where You Store
You may think if you store your lawn mower in a garage or carport, you’re good to go. Well, not exactly.
Accidents happen over winter. People rummage through garages and carports looking for items, they spill things, said items get all over everything, and many times the messes don’t get cleaned up because it’s cold and no one wants to freeze while cleaning it up.
In these instances, it matters where you park your lawn mower. Be sure you don’t leave cleaning supplies or fertilizers near your lawn mower.
If they get spilled on the lawn mower, they’ll cause corrosion. Again, this will hurt the lifespan of your mower.
Being careful to provide cover for your lawn mower and double checking what you park it next to can be the difference between a beautifully winterized lawn mower or a springtime headache.
We trust these tips will help you store your lawn mower in the best possible setting over the winter months.
Remember, the idea is to do what you can to prolong the life and health of your mower. An unhealthy mower will begin to give you problems. An uncared for lawn mower will eventually give out.
Lawn mowers are too expensive for them not to last. Do yourself and your wallet a favor by taking the time to properly winterize your lawn mower, as it is one of the biggest assets in caring for your yard.