Winterizing is an important step in the care of your lawnmower. This prevents wear on the components of your tractor and ensures proper starting, moving, and braking of mower deck.
A cold winter is tough on all lawn equipment. Here are some tips to help you get your lawn mower tractor ready for storage, and what to do if you’re having trouble getting it started in the spring. If you live in an area where temperatures drop below freezing in the winter, be sure to drain out all of the gas from your lawn mower before putting it away for the season. Also clean off any debris that may have accumulated when cutting grass or leaves during fall cleanup.
7 Steps how to winterize a lawn mower tractor
Step 1: Inspect your lawn mower tractor
First step of winterizing a lawn mower tractor is to give it a general inspection . Check all nuts and bolts for tightness , especially those that hold on the mower deck . If you find anything loose or broken work fast because once the temperature drops below freezing those parts can become extremely brittle and break easily. Check for any cracks in the plastic as well as both your brake pads (the back wheels) and make sure they are not worn down too far . Once everything has been checked drive around with the blades off to ensure moving parts such as bearings, spindles, pulleys, etc. aren’t damaged .
It doesn’t matter if you have a push or riding mower, check it over from head to toe before putting away for the winter. This includes all belts and hoses, as well as anything that may be loose or rubbing against another part of the machine. Tighten up any loose bolts and other parts that may need attention. Also, change your blade or sharpen it if it is dull. If you can’t do these things yourself, find a professional repair person to help you out before putting away your mower tractor for storage. Maintain fuel stabilizer levels Put a stabilizer in your tank when filling with gas this fall so that the ethanol content used in gas today doesn’t cause serious damage to your lawn mower tractor. It won’t keep your mower tractor running forever, but it will help the internal components last until you go back to using regular gas next spring. Check battery levels
Step 2: Clean the mower tractor deck
The first thing you want to do is clean out the entire mower deck of any grass clipping and dirt that may be in it. If necessary, use an air compressor with a blow gun attachment to clear the deck of debris. Once all visible debris has been removed from the mower deck, spray a cleaning solution into it and scrub it down using a bristle brush attached to an electric drill.
Step 3: Change lawn mower tractor oil
You would also want to change your oil if you have not already done so this season. Drain and refill your oil as per the mower owner’s manual instructions, which is typically done with a drain plug located at the bottom of the motor or near to where you refill oil into it.
Step 4: Stabilize the fuel
You will also want to stabilize your fuel for storage by adding a fuel stabilizer such as STA-BIL. Fill up the container with gasoline and add stabilizer according to manufacturer instructions listed on product label. Allow several minutes for the stabilizer and fuel to mix before filling up mower gas tank.
Step 5: Disconnect the battery
A weak or dead battery is no good for any machine, especially one that needs a powerful start come spring time. Generally speaking, the colder it gets outside, the harder it is on batteries so be sure to check their level at least once every couple of weeks during storage. If you have a trickle charger or other way of keeping them charged up that’s even better! It’s also recommended to double-check all cables and connectors before putting away your lawnmower for winter because these can corrode in cold temperatures.
Step 6: Remove or sharpen your blade
You’ll save yourself a lot of hassles in the spring if you take care of these things in advance. If you can’t afford a new blade now, at least make sure that it’s sharp for easy cutting come springtime.
Step 7: Properly cover your mower tractor
Once these steps have been completed, you can store your lawnmower both indoors and outdoors depending on where you plan on storing it for an extended period of time. If you plan on storing it inside, ensure you cover your mower with a tarp to protect it from moisture and dirt. If you plan on storing outside, allow ample ventilation for the motor and store in an area where there is no chance for it getting wet.
When storing your mower, cover it completely with a tarp or other covering. This will not only protect the body from damage due to rain, snow and ice but keep mice and other rodents out too! If you plan on keeping it in an unheated garage or shed simply run the machine for 15 minutes or so after filling its tank to help evaporate any excess gas left inside. Since ethanol acts as a drying agent this should help prevent rust, corrosion and other winter sicknesses that come along with non-use. Finally, if your lawnmower won’t start right up in spring there are several things you can do including checking the oil level (too full is just as bad as too low), checking the spark plug for damage or dirt, checking all of your connections, and cleaning out the carburetor if needed.
There are many different ways to store a lawn mower. Some people choose to keep their mowers in a shed or garage where it will be out of the elements and easier to reach if they need it. Others opt for storing their machine inside their home. While this might not work as well as an outdoor option, there are still some benefits associated with doing so.
Storing gasoline over winter can be difficult because it can become very thick and cause problems like hard starting and fuel lines freezing up. Using fuel stabilizer will prevent damage and ensure that your equipment starts next season.
Some good brands to look for include Sea Foam, Sta-Bil, and STA-BIL 360 Performance Stabilizer Plus Fuel Stabilizer. These products are very effective at preventing problems related to gasoline during storage periods.