Cold weather has hit but are you done with your mower. Learn what you need to do to have it ready for next season. taking care of a few things now will save you time, money, and frustration in the spring.
Run the gas tank empty or add fuel stabilizer
There are two ways mower owners can store their equipment: first, they can get rid of the gas completely by running the mower or draining the fuel. Second, they can add a fuel treatment and stabilizer. Gas begins to degrade and go stale only 30 days after pumping it and stale gas can cause varnish and gumming that clog the fuel system and carburetor jets. Plus, over 90 percent of fuel in the United States contains up to 10 percent ethanol, which attracts moisture and can cause corrosion. “We recommend mower owners get in the habit of treating their fuel every time they fill their red fuel can.” And according to Briggs & Stratton, it’s important to use a fuel treatment and stabilizer that does not contain additional alcohol.
Change the mower’s oil
Either in the fall before storage, or during a spring tune-up, it is important to change the oil to remove any dirt and debris that can prevent the oil from lubricating and cooling the engine.
Remove the battery if equipped
On riding mowers, removing the battery during the winter season can help prevent potential damage from corrosion of the battery and battery terminals.
Clean the undercarriage and remove debris
After a full season of cutting, dirt and grass can build up on the blades and get stuck on the mower’s undercarriage. Cleaning it now can help ensure a quality cut and can help keep the mower running smoothly for the next season.
Store your lawn mower in a clean, dry place
Leaving a mower outside can lead to damage caused by moisture. According to Briggs & Stratton’s recently released poll, nearly 10 percent of homeowners leave their mower outside unprotected from the elements. Storing a lawn mower in a clean, dry place will ensure it is protected from the damaging weather elements.
Submitted by Andrew Rideout, Agent for Horticulture, Henderson Co. Cooperative Extension Service