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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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