As winter approaches, mowing is ending. What do you do with your mower?
Winterizing Your Mower
Change the Oil
If your answer is "leave it next to the house with a half-tank of gas and covered in old grass clippings," you'll want to review these few steps for winterizing your mower.
Winterizing your mower is a very important part of maintaining its longevity. Leaving it to rust beside the house during the off-season will have you shopping for another mower in no time.
Drain the old oil & replace it with fresh oil to the "fill" line. Be sure to fill it exactly to the fill line marked on your model. By changing your oil, you ensure that you'll have a much easier time starting it in the Spring. You are also cutting down on corrosion of the engine parts, which will help your mower run well for years to come.
Change the Battery
Remove your battery from the mower and use a charger to recharge the battery to 100% full power. When you run your mower, it does not fully charge the battery like a car does, so fully charging it in the off-season helps to keep the battery in top condition while also providing a much easier start in the Spring.
Clean the Deck
Throughout the mowing season, grass clippings build up thick on the underside of your mower deck. These grass clippings hold a great deal of moisture which can lead to rust. Turn your mower over and scrape the thick, caked-on layers of grass clippings off of the deck. Then, using an old dry towel, wipe the remaining grass residue off so the decking is clean. For better results, coat the underside of your deck with WD-40 to help keep it clean and prevent rusting. Not only will this prevent rust from forming on the decking; it'll also improve the performance of your mower.
Change Spark Plugs
Remove and check each spark plug. If a spark plug is corroded, replace it with a new one. They are only designed to be used for 100 hours of mowing, and they're a lot cheaper to replace than the mower itself. This is an easy way to maintain the performance of your mower.
Dull blades mean poor performance. Each season, either sharpen or replace your mower blades. Just clean away all remaining debris, sharpen the blade with a sharpening stone, and then lubricate the blade with a light coat of WD-40 to prevent rusting.
Replace the Air Filter
Check your owner's manual for instructions on how to replace your air filter and what type of air filter to use. Replacing the air filter will go a long way in helping extend the life of your mower and maintaining performance of the engine.
Fill your gas tank with non-ethanol gasoline or add fuel stabilizer. Store your mower in a shed or garage to keep it clean and dry. If you don't have a shed or a garage, completely cover your mower so that snow and rain won't reach it. Be sure to store your mower battery in a cool, dry place away from gas cans or water heaters.