Hibernating Your Lawn Mower

It’s almost time for that much deserved long Winter rest. However, there may still be a few things left to do on your fall gardening checklist. And usually because mowing the yard one last time is the last chore, the lawn mower is one of the last tools to be put up for the Winter. Make sure you maintain it right in the Fall and it will serve you well for years to come. In the following article, Woods Houghton give a few good tips and advice for putting your lawn mower up for the Winter.

HIBERNATEING YOUR LAWN MOWER

Woods Houghton

Well you have mowed your lawn for the last time this year and it time to put it to bed for the winter. A few simple steps, before putting it and other summer use small engines to bed for winter, helps ensure starting up and good performance for seasons to come.

The first winterizing step is caring for the engine’s fuel system. The best way to do this is to run the engine out of fuel until the engine dies. This removes all the gasoline from the carburetor and prevents gum deposits. A gasoline stabilizer may be added to the fuel tank instead, but if you chose to use a stabilizer you need to run the engine for about 5 minutes to get the stabilizer in the total system. The remaining fuel can be left in the tank over winter.

The next step is to change the engine oil, even if the oil in the engine has not reached the 50-hour service mark. Remove the spark plug while the oil is draining. Pour about a tablespoon of engine oil into the spark plug hole and pull the starter cord two or three times. Replace the spark plug and add new oil to the engines crankcase. The engine is ready for long-term storage.

I also recommend cleaning caked on grass from the underside of the deck. This prevents the deck form rusting and makes it last longer. Also, do not store the clipping bag with clippings. They will mildew and rot.

Put the machine where it will be dry and out of the weather. A shop rag or old towel over the top of engine helps keep out blowing dust and dirt. Do not use a plastic cover because plastic acts as a vapor barrier causing condensation under the cover that can oxidize ignition parts and make starting difficult in the spring.

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