Some homeowners tend to scoff when their neighbors claim that they have set aside time next weekend to winterize their lawn mowers, but the truth of the situation is that preparing your mower for winter is a highly important task if you want it to start next spring. Use these tips to help you winterize your lawn mower and ensure it will be working when you need it next:
- Drain out any fuel that is left in the lawn mower's tank. You can do this by siphoning it with a hose and into a plastic can, or by tipping the mower on its side and draining it into a funnel.
- Turn the mower's engine on and run it until any fuel that is left in the engine has been completely used up; the engine will stop running on its own.
- Drain the oil from the gearbox and the crankcase. This can be done in a similar fashion to draining out the fuel. As lawn mower oil is a hazardous waste, it is very important that you dispose of it properly (such as a waste dumping station) and never pour it into the sewer or on the ground.
- Lubricate the mower's piston and crankshaft. You can do this by removing the spark plug, putting about 50 millilitres of lubricating oil into the opening and using the pull cord to crank up the engine.
- Turn your lawn mower over and clear the underside of any grass or other debris that has managed to attach itself to the blades and frame over the last season.
- For any stubborn debris that refuses to be brushed or washed away, you can use a piece of steel wool on the mower until it has been completely removed.
- Inspect the blades for any damage. If they need to be sharpened, carefully remove them from the lawn mower base and use a file to get them sharp once more. If they are overly nicked or bent, you should replace them.
- Pump up the tires with air until they are at full capacity, then wheel it to the place where you will be storing it for the winter.
When the following spring rolls around and it's time to get out in the yard to cut the grass that has grown to towering heights over the rainy winter months, your lawn mower should start straight away. Simply put some fresh fuel into the tank, top up the oil and you're good to go.