Tips for Winter Lawn Mower Maintenance
It’s always a good idea to take care of your lawn mower, even when the weather is cold and snowy. Properly storing and maintaining your mower during the winter will give it a longer lifecycle, and you’ll be able to get the absolute most out of it when it’s mowing season again.
These tips will help you make the most of the winter, whether you have a walk-behind mower or a riding mower. For more information about storing your trusty machine, check out Mistakes to Avoid When Storing Your Lawn Mower.
Replace and Treat Leftover Fuel
Untreated gas will leave deposits in the tank, fuel lines, and carburetor. They can corrode the fuel system and damage your mower.
The most effective option is to remove the gasoline, using a siphon pump, and running the engine until the fuel is gone. Then, replace the tank with fresh gas that has been treated with a stabilizer. Run the engine for another few minutes using the treated fuel.
Change the Oil
Oil has always been the engine component that requires the most regular maintenance. Lawn mower engines are no exception. Contaminants can build in the engine when old oil is left unreplaced in the winter.
Before your mower becomes dormant for the winter, be sure to drain the oil and replace the oil filter. Using fresh oil will also help the engine be ready when it comes springtime.
Clean the Air Filter
Depending on how old and dirty the air filter is, it would be beneficial to either clean it thoroughly or replace it. If you mulch grass and leaves with your mower, your air filter is particularly susceptible to dirt and debris. Be sure to clean it and have it ready to go when spring arrives.
Look over your mower, and see what else you can quickly fix. If nuts and bolts are loose, tighten them. If the blades are dull, sharpen them. If the tires need to be replaced, change them. If belts are showing serious wear and tear, replace them. If the spark plug is corroded, replace it.
If your mower has an undercarriage to catch grass, clean it out. Sometimes the buildup of grass and other debris can cause rust over the winter months.
Obviously, you know your mower better than anyone else. You usually know when parts are loose, or damaged, or need to be replaced. The bottom line is: if you take care of your mower, your mower will take care of you. Do what’s necessary this winter, and when the spring comes you’ll be raring to go!