Stop Making These Lawn Mower Winter Storage Mistakes
Most of us got our great advice from our parents as we were growing up. While we totally respect your parents, you may want to reconsider some of that advice – at least when it comes to your lawn mower!
There’s nothing more frustrating that getting your mower out in the spring and find that it won’t start. We hate that too – which is why we want to make sure you’re not making this three most common mistakes when storing your lawn mower for the winter.
- Draining the Tank While in your parents’ day this was an acceptable practice – it isn’t any longer. Not only is it bad for the environment if you incorrectly dispose of the drained fuel, it’s just plain bad for your lawn mower. If you’re using regular gas, the ethanol could build up and damage your engine. The solution? Use canned fuel, or you can add fuel stabilizer to the tank and run the engine so the treated fuel will run thru the carburetor.
As with all things, read your manual before doing anything. Some manufactures recommend emptying the fuel tank and running the engine until it stops if you’re storing your mower for more than 3 months. This will get all of the fuel out of the system.
- Using the Wrong Fuel If you’ve been going to the corner gas station to fuel up your lawn mower – don’t! Each mower has a recommended canned/bottled fuel to use. The gas you put in your car is ethanol-based and goes bad in about a month. Canned fuel lasts longer and is kinder to your carburetor. If you’ve made this mistake and have an unhappy carburetor, these carburetor repair kits may help.
- Ignoring Regular Maintenance There are basics you should do to take care of your lawn mower every year. Sure, you could wait until spring … but why not do them now so your mower will be ready to go in the warmer months? The basics include changing the oil, spark plug and fuel filter.
- Not Washing Hopefully you’ve been a good lawn mower owner and rinsed off your mower each time you’ve used it. If not, then you better get washing! Even if you’ve been diligent, you’ll want to make sure its squeaky clean before storing it. Use the washout port (on most newer models) to help rinse off the blade. You may also want to gently tip the mower over and carefully wipe any clippings off by hand. You may also want to spray the clean, dried mower deck with non-stick spray to help stop grass buildup in the future.
If you need other help with your lawn mower or need to find your model number to order a new part, the Lawn Mower Repair Help page on our website has the answers. Don’t forget to check out our lawn mower repair video library for additional assistance.