Power equipment, especially your lawn mower, not only makes many of our yard and garden chores a lot easier, it’s a big investment as well. A little time spent on maintenance before storing your equipment for the winter will pay big dividends next season and for many years to come. Below are some general guidelines for winter power equipment storage. Also remember to check your owner’s manual for your equipment for more specific maintenance procedures.
Clean you Lawn Mower
Clean off any dirt or garden debris from the engine, machine frame, and underside of lawn mower deck, using a cloth, stiff brush, compressed air or a shop vacuum. Water can be used to clean the frame, but take care not to spray any directly on the engine. Pay special attention to cleaning the engine cooling fins underneath the blower housing.
- Run the engine to use up all the gasoline in the tank or add a fuel stabilizer to the tank to prevent the gasoline from oxidizing and gumming up the carburetor. If you use a stabilizer, top off the tank and run the engine briefly to circulate the stabilizer before storing the machine.
- While the engine is still warm, drain and replace oil; consult owner’s manual for proper grade and amount. Change the oil filter as well if your machine has one.
- Remove spark plug(s); clean and replace if cracked or discolored. Check and adjust gap according to your owner’s manual.
- Clean foam air filters in warm soapy water and replace paper filters.
Give your lawn mower a thorough going over. Check belts for excessive wear, fraying, or cracks and order new ones if needed. Make sure pulleys are properly aligned. Consult your owner’s manual for specifications. Now is also the time to sharpen dull mower blades. If applicable, check and maintain tire pressure according to the manufacturer’s instructions.
You’ll need to consult your Owner’s Manual for specific information. We’ll just emphasize here how important it is make sure your machine is well lubricated before you put it to bed for the winter. Proper lubrication guards against corrosion-causing moisture that can build up during cold weather even on equipment stored in a dry location.
Electric-starting power equipment is a real convenience, but not if the battery is dead in the spring. Proper winter storage will ensure a longer life for your battery. Store it in a dry area where the temperature remains between 40-50 degrees; you’ll need to remove the battery if its machine is stored in an unheated area. Charge the battery fully before you store it, then recharge it every 4-6 weeks with a 12-volt battery charger. Clean battery terminals and wire connections with steel wool if necessary and coat with petroleum jelly to prevent corrosion.
Want to learn more about the DR Power Equipment line-up?
Order your FREE catalog!
- Information about the full line of DR equipment
- Money-saving promotions
- Product ordering information