How to Winterize Your Lawn Mower in 7 Steps

winterize your vehicle

As the mowing season winds down, now’s the time to winterize your lawn mower. This way, it’ll stay in good working order and be ready to go first thing in the spring. To prep your lawn mower for the cold months ahead, follow these steps!

Step 1. Remove the Spark Plug

To stay safe, it’s important to disconnect the spark plug first. This ensures the engine does not unintentionally start, which could lead to serious injury.

Step 2. Remove or Stabilize the Fuel

Unused gas can go stale, gum up the carburetor, and invite rust into the fuel system. In fact, gasoline can start to expire in as little as 3 to 6 months. Since manufacturers recommend different ways to store their products, refer to your owner’s manual to know if you should remove or stabilize the fuel.

Step 3. Remove and Sharpen the Blades

Removing the blades will make it easier to change the oil and clean the undercarriage. With thick gloves on, detach the blades by unscrewing the bolts. Give the blades a look over and replace them if they’re bent, chipped, or cracked. This is also the opportunity to sharpen them.

Step 4. Drain the Oil

While you can have oil in the lawn mower over the winter, it must be fresh. Otherwise, the chemicals and soot in old oil will damage the motor. With most, you can lie the lawn mower on its side and open the plug to let the oil drain into a container.

To add new oil, first ensure it’s the type recommended by the manufacturer. Then run the mower for a few minutes, so all the parts become coated.

Step 5. Clean the Undercarriage

It’s likely that the undercarriage will have caked-on grass, dirt, and leaves at this point, so it’s best to take it off before it goes into storage for the winter. Remove the dirt and debris with a dull chisel or another scraping tool.

Step 6. Change the Air Filter

A dirty air filter will restrict the air needed for combustion and thereby keep the engine from burning gas efficiently. Before you can change it, you’ll need to know if your mower has an oil-soaked sponge filter or a paper filter.

Since an oil-soaked sponge filter is reusable, remove yours and wash it with soap and water. Let it dry completely and apply a little clean oil before putting it back. To replace a paper filter, put in a new one with the paper edges facing out.

Step 7. Replace the Spark Plug

Finally, it’s time to replace the spark plug! This essential component ignites the mixture in the combustion chamber, giving power to the machine.

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