It may be time to put away your lawn mower for the season, but it’s important to winterize it first. Doing so will prevent damage, extend your mower’s lifespan, and prevent unwanted surprises in the spring.
The following are some tips to winterize your lawn mower and have it ready for the next West Texas mowing season:
1. Clean the Deck
Keeping your mower’s deck clean is a maintenance practice you should do any time of the year, but it’s essential before winter because it will prevent moisture from grass clippings causing rust and corrosion. Also, keeping the blade housing clean ensures optimal mower performance.
2. Stabilize the Fuel
By leaving gas in your mower’s tank all winter, you can easily clog the carburetor and then need an expensive professional cleaning in the spring. If you store your mower in the garage, fill the tank – which will prevent condensation – and add fuel stabilizer which you can find at most hardware stores, home improvement stores, and gas stations.
The alcohol in fuel not only attracts moisture, but also dissolves plastic and rubber parts in the fuel system. Even if your engine isn’t damaged, it won’t run as efficiently because of chemically degraded fuel. Adding a fuel stabilizer will help prevent these issues.
3. Change the Oil
Routine oil changes extend the life of your mower’s engine, and changing the oil before winter is ideal preventive maintenance. Just make sure that you fill to the designated mark on the dipstick; too much oil is as bad for the engine as too little.
4. Charge the Battery
It’s always a good idea to periodically charge your mower’s battery during the winter. If not, you run the risk of your battery failing because it can't hold a full charge. A mower battery does not fully recharge while you’re mowing.
5. Sharpen the Blades
You’ll save yourself a lot of hassle and time by having your mower blades sharpened now rather than in the spring.
6. Change the Plugs
Your spark plugs should be replaced every 100 hours of operation, or when you notice excess corrosion on the plug. If you don’t replace it, remove it and pour in a small amount of motor oil into the cylinders and then reinstall the plug.
7. Storing it
Finally, always store your mower in a clean, dry place and away from chemicals, cleaners, or fertilizers that could cause corrosion if spilled on the deck.
Don’t have the time to winterize your mower on your own? The certified technicians at Hurst Farm Supply are happy to do the work for you.