Your lawn mower needs to be stored away during the harsh winter to ensure a long lifespan. You need to clean it, drain the gas, and oil and stabilize it, then put it in a dry and protected place in the garage or storage room.
In this article, I’ll discuss how to store lawn mower for winter to preserve its longevity and lifespan.
How Important Is It to Store Lawn Mower for Winter?
Here are some benefits of properly storing the lawn mower during the winter season:
- Lawnmowers are a big investment in proper housekeeping. Storing it during the winter helps protect this important asset. For homeowners, it is a must tool to have and you want to preserve its lifespan.
- Storing it properly prevents a few fuel system issues. If you don’t prepare it properly for storage it can cause carburetor clogs and oil degradation.
- You can prevent starting problem if you store the mower well.
- Last but not least, you won’t deal with a stubborn jammed mower on the first day of the season.
How to Store Lawn Mower for Winter: Step by Step
Keeping a lawn mower out of the environment during the winter should always be the highest priority. You need to make sure that snow or rain doesn’t get to the mower.
Step 1: Cleaning the Lawn Mower
Storing a dirty mower will give you heaps of problems when you try to start it back up. There is a surefire chance that parts of your mower will corrode and have a rust build-up.
Thoroughly clean the mower deck. Get rid of grass dirt or debris that is stuck inside.
Users are split between cleaning a mower with soap and water. If you are unsure blow the mower with a leaf blower once a month and before storing.
Step 2: Preparing It for The Winter Season
After cleaning you can also wax the mower as well. Any regular automotive wax will do the trick.
But remember that the paint itself protects the mower better than micro-thin wax. However, dirt and dust clean off better from a waxed surface so there’s a double standard there.
Remove the battery, disconnect, and separate the spark plug from the mower. Remember to plug it in before trying to start it in the spring season. Replace and clean the air filters before storing them.
Step 3: Managing the Fuel
There are two ways to manage the fuel before putting the mower away for the season. An empty tank or a full tank of fuel. Anything in between will cause serious issues with the carburetor.
Small amounts of fuel left in the tank can clog the carburetor and cause gumming issues so it is best to run the mower dry before storing.
Start the mower and keep it running until it stalls. Add a fuel stabilizer like blue stabil gas and run the engine for a few minutes if it doesn’t stall. This helps prevent fuel deterioration.
The only thing you can do other than bone drying the fuel is to keep it full. Removing airspace from the fuel system is also good for shorter periods of storage time.
Fill the tank with treated fuel to the very top up to the filler neck. Set a reminder once a month during winter to run the mower for 5 minutes to burn up the fuel sitting in the bowl.
Step 4: Storage Location
This should come as no surprise but finding the right spot to store the mower is very important. You want a dry and cool location that isn’t heavily affected by the winter elements.
A garage or shed is the most ideal place to store it. Especially if these places are thermally controlled.
If you don’t have access to a garage use a tarp or cover to protect it. Secure the cover properly to prevent moisture from getting in.
You should also elevate the mower off the ground slightly on a shelf or table. If you have multiple lawn mowers then it is best to build a storing ladder for them.
Step 5: Battery Maintenance
Many lawnmowers use lead-acid batteries and you have to special care of these during the winter season.
If you have followed the steps so far then you already removed the battery. Mix baking soda with water and use a brush to clean the terminals. Rinse it off with the clean water afterward and let it dry.
Don’t store the battery directly on concrete as it can discharge the batteries over time. Charge it up to full and let it sit inside a drawer during the winter. Keep it covered with a clean cloth or plastic.
Step 6: Additional Precautions
Tighten loose bolts and nuts. Pay close attention to the blade bolts and engine mount. Disengage the drive and belt decks to release tension. For riding mowers put it in neutral transmission mode.
Check and adjust tire pressure because under-inflated tires develop flat spots when sitting idle for extended periods.
Lubricate moving parts and parts that are prone to corrosion. To get rid of humidity in the storage space use a dehumidifier. Keep pests under control using mothballs or pesticides.
Storing Lawn Mower for Winter – FAQs
Can I drain out fuel for diesel mowers?
No, do not run fuel out of the diesel mowers. These mowers are the only exception. Instead, keep a full tank to avoid compression during the winter.
Is it okay to keep the lawn mower inside the house?
A lawn mower is a safety hazard if you keep it in the house. It has sharp blades so keep it out of contact with children or pets.
How long does a lawn mower last?
It varies but the average lifespan is anywhere from six to ten years. With proper care and a bit of luck, it will give you over ten years.
Storing lawn mower on the wall safe?
Lawnmowers are heavy machinery, too heavy to hang vertically on a wall. But if you have an electric model lawn mower, where the manufacturer gives the green light, you can store it vertically.