How to Winterize Your Lawn Mower for the Cold Months

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Winterizing your lawn mower for the bone-chilling months is important to protect your lawn mower.

Here are the steps you must follow:

  1. Remove the remaining unused gas from the tank. If you don’t remove it, it’ll get stale during winter, clog the carburetor, and allow rust to invade. To accomplish this step, you first have to add a fuel stabilizer to the tank. To distribute it in the system, turn on the mower. After a few seconds, turn it off and give the engine some time to cool off. Next, siphon the excess gas into an empty can. Restart the mower and let it run until it halts. Do this again until the engine cannot start anymore and the fuel lines are empty.

Note: You can use the excess gas for your car as long as it hasn’t been mixed with oil.

  1. Disconnect the plug. This will prevent any accidents. Just to be sure it won’t be turned on, disconnect the spark plug. Also, we cannot continue on with the succeeding steps unless your mower is unplugged. If it accidentally kickstarts, it might cause serious injury.

  1. Remove the blade. Do this with a socket wrench while wearing thick gloves. First, unscrew the bolts that are keeping the blade in place. This will allow you to change oil and clean the underside of the mower easier. Take care when you’re handling the blade. This is also a good time to sharpen it since it’s already out.

  1. Filter the oil. When draining it into a pan, make sure that you have a tarp underneath to capture any oil that might splash. Doing this will make cleaning easier afterward too. Change the oil if your mower has a 4-cycle engine. If it has a 2-cycle engine just like other mowers where the gas is mixed with the oil, then you don’t have to change the oil. Place the mower beside the pan and ensure that the carburetor and air filter are facing up to avoid the spilling of residual gas and oil into them. Next, get rid of the oil reservoir plug. Carefully tilt the mower to allow the oil to drain into the pan you’ve prepared. Then replace the plug once all oil has been drained.

  1. Tidy up the mower’s undercarriage. Scratch the mud, grass, and other debris away using a putty knife and wire brush. Doing this will clear the passage to the discharge chute, permit the aerodynamics to properly work, and shoo away rust. Now that the mower deck is clean, you can now reaffix the blade you sharpened. After that, turn the mower upright, fill the oil tank with new SAE 30 or 30-weight oil, and reuse oil at a service station. Never use a thicker oil like 10W-40.

  1. Get rid of your dirty air filter. Your engine can’t efficiently burn gas if you have a dirty air filter since it will block the air the mower needs for combustion. If the mower is using an oil-soaked sponged filter, take it out, wash it with soap and water, and allow it to totally dry out. Put a bit of clean oil to it before you put it back. If your mower is using a paper filter, you need to replace it because paper edges face out. Clean the cooling fins and remove dirt and debris stuck to it using a screwdriver. You cal also use a popsicle stick.

  1. Get a new spark plug. Using a socket wrench that has a spark-plug pocket, remove the spark plug and replace it with a new one. The spark-plug pocket has a neoprene lining that protects the porcelain case of the plug. Don’t hesitate to replace the old plug even if it still works. Invest in a new one since it won’t cost much and you’ll be sure that it will perform better when spring arrives.