You won’t be using your lawn mower much during winter.
Once you are done with mowing during the active summer months, it can be easy to simply put your lawnmower away and wait until spring comes around, but this isn’t the right thing to do.
To ensure that your lawnmower is in perfect working condition during spring, properly winterize it.
How do you winterize your lawnmower?
Different lawnmowers have different procedures, and how you go about the process depends on the type of lawnmower you have. To help you out, here is the process you should follow to winterize your unit:
How to winterize an electric lawnmower
When many people think and winterizing lawnmowers, their minds go to gasoline-powered units.
You should know that even if you don’t have a gasoline engine to winterize, you’ll need to take other precautions to keep your lithium-ion batteries safe during long periods of storage.
Some of the things you should do include:
Store the batteries indoor
Many homeowners keep the tools in a garage or shed. If you do this, don’t leave the batteries there. Instead, remove them from the lawnmower and bring them inside.
The reason for this is that extreme temperatures can reduce the life of battery cells and lead them to fail prematurely.
Keeping the batteries inside reduces temperature fluctuations.
Keep the battery at 40%
To extend the battery’s life, charge or discharge it to around 40% of its capacity. The reason for this is that it has been shown that most batteries perform best when stored between 40° F and 80° F.
Some batteries show the charge status immediately on the battery or charger and all you need is to look at it.
Others rely on four LEDs to indicate if the battery is at 25, 50, 75, or 100 percent capacity.
If you have one of these, use it in a tool until the 50 percent light turns out, indicating that the battery is between 25 and 50 percent charged.
Remember to always check the owner’s manual—some batteries contain incorporated software that will discharge to the appropriate level after being inactive for an extended period of time.
Clean the lawnmower
Besides removing the battery and storing it at a safe place, you also should clean your lawnmower including under the decking then store it. This way, it will be ready for the next mowing season when you need it.
How to winterize your gas powered lawnmower
Remove the spark plugs
You need to unplug the spark plugs to avoid sparks during cleaning. You should also clean the spark plug, especially if it’s covered with carbon from a long summer of work.
Remember to always read the product documentation for guidance and important safety instructions before proceeding.
If you are having a problem removing the spark plug, lubricate the spark plug by pouring a spoonful of oil into the spark plug hole. This will help lubricate the cylinder walls.
The best thing to do is to pull the starter cord a few times slowly to turn the engine but do not start it. This aids in the distribution of the oil.
Remember that a riding lawn mower may have two spark plugs, so be on the lookout for them and lubricate and remove them.
Drain old oil
The next thing you should do is to remove leftover gas from your gas lawn mower. The safest approach to drain the tank is to use a siphon hose, such as this KATUMO Gasoline Siphon Hose which comes in a variety of lengths and inches to fit your needs.
Before storing the lawn mower, make sure the gasoline tank is completely empty. If you leave petrol in your mower for more than 30 days, it will become stale and deteriorated.
This could damage the engine or impair the mower’s overall performance, and you don’t want this.
If you don’t want to siphon the gas out, you can use the mower to mulch the autumn leaves and run it till the engine dies.
If you decide to siphon the gas, don’t throw away any leftover petrol. Simply pour some Sta-Bil Fuel Stabilizer Treatment into your car’s tank if it isn’t already mixed with oil.
Clean the lawnmower
You should remove mud, grass, leaves, and other debris from the mower deck, blades, and air vents with an outdoor brush.
Cleaning the lawnmower before storage will not only prevent blockages on vital components, but it will also limit rust buildup.
To get into microscopic nooks or hard-to-reach areas, use a smaller, stiffer brush or stick. For obstinate filth, scrub with soapy, warm water and rinse with a garden hose.
Keeping your mower clean will keep it running at peak efficiency and make grass mowing a breeze when cutting time comes.
Clean the air filters.
You should clean the lawn mower air filters on a regular basis during the mowing season, but it is especially vital before storing it for several months.
Cleaning paper filters is as simple as tapping them against a flat surface to remove debris. If you have foam filters, clean them using a pail of water and some detergent – just remember to properly dry it before placing it back in the machine to store.
Store the lawnmower in a dry place.
You should store your lawnmower in a dry and protected area throughout the winter season. This can be a garage or shed.
You should never leave your lawnmower outside and exposed to the weather elements as this exposes it to a variety of problems and can limit its lifespan.
If you don’t have a shed or covered area to store the lawnmower, cover it with a tarp.
Besides storing the lawnmower indoors, also consider storing it elevated. You can use a platform or place it on wood blocks.
When you raise the lawn mower off the ground, you ensure that there is adequate air circulation around the deck.
When should I winterize my lawnmower?
The best time to do it is before the winter season begins. Remember to always do a final mowing before you store the lawnmower.
There is no specific date and month to do the winterization. It’s all dependent on you and your location.
If you have never done the winterization procedure before you might have the impression that you have to hire a professional or you need to take the entire day doing it, but this isn’t the case.
Simply take the user manual, and you will be able to do everything.
In most cases, it will take you no more than an hour to winterize your unit.
Why won’t my lawnmower start after winter?
Often, this will happen due to improper storage preparation.
If you didn’t drain the fuel, it might have dried out, leaving sticky deposits in the fuel lines. The worst is if you have a two-stroke lawnmower, as the fuel-oil combination will be problematic.
The best way to go about it is to empty the majority of the unused fuel into the mixing container before running the engine till it quits.
By doing this, you ensure that the fuel lines have been completely depleted and your lawnmower is safe for winter storage.
If your lawnmower has an electric start, remove the battery and put it up for an occasional trickle charge. You should then spray on the spark plug connector with WD40.
If you have a cord-pull start, a single pull will tell you whether or not the engine has seized. If it turns, another tug or two should get it going.
If you pull and the engine doesn’t start, you’ve probably filled the cylinder. Remove the spark plug and set it aside for a bit to let the surplus fuel evaporate.
If it still does not start readily, repeat the process.
If you’re still having trouble, it’s time to take it to a trustworthy dealer for service.
Lawnmowers are quite inexpensive to replace, so don’t be scared of the dealer charging you a hefty bill. If you have a ride-on lawnmower, you should be ready for a higher price, especially if you are undertaking significant servicing.