How to Winterize a Lawn Mower
How to Winterize a Lawn Mower winterizing your lawn mower can mean two things.
Either you want to prepare it to keep it going during the cold days of autumn or you just want to store it for the winter.
Winterizing these small engines is a must because the freezing temperature can bring about many problems on the machine’s parts.
It can stall your machine, makes it difficult to start or just go dead once exposed to colder temperatures .
This is why you should know how to winterize a lawn mower before storing it away for a few months as preparation for the next mowing season.
Usually, people with lawn mowers and yard machines store them over winter without doing anything to them.
With long cold days ,about 90 of them, has a bad effect and when it’s spring again and your machine doesn’t want to start.
This is because the old gasoline and old oil has solidified inside your machine causing you all sorts of issues.
So there are good reasons why we have to winterize our lawn mowers.
This can be simply giving a final tune-up for the year before we put them in storage during winter.
But what could happen if we don’t winterize them? We can explain that through simple basic science.
Problems When Not Winterizing Lawn Mowers
Machine parts including the engine are generally made of aluminum alloys, cast steels, stainless steels and with iron quantity in them.
As long as these metals are properly lubricated, they will work well in fine weather conditions.
However, metals tend to shrink with freezing temperature.
What to do?
Without the right choice of engine oil that will protect your lawn mower internal components ,
Your lawn mower might become seized or stall.
That’s why you have to have the right type of engine oil ideal for winter days that will keep your lawn mower protected.
Stalling Due To Wrong Choice Of Oil Viscosity
Oil plays a major part in the performance of lawn mowers during winter.
Because oil is also a form of a liquid, it may also thicken if you choose the type of oil that doesn’t have the right viscosity.
Oil can also break down which can cause wearing of metals during winter.
So if your oil does not suit the cold weather, your engine may commonly stall.
What to do?
Ideally, you better use engine oil like the SAE 30 grade only during spring or summer because this type of oil is more fluid and suited for fine weather conditions.
But for winter
You need oil with SAE 10W-30 which is specially formulated for cold weather.
This oil has a thicker viscosity so it’s prone to freezing and breaking down.
The SAE 30 and the SAE 10W-30 are the traditional oils that you can switch between according to your region’s surrounding temperature so that your machine is from stalling and malfunctions.
More so, always rely on your Owner’s Manual to see specifically what oil your machine needs for cold weather. protection.
Hard starting due to carbon-ridden spark plug
The role of the spark plug is to create spark or electricity in the combustion chamber.
But if the mixture of air and fuel is not properly proportioned, a small quantity of gas can rise up and ends to the spark plug chamber and cause misfiring.
When the carbon deposits on the spark plug continually get soaked with gasoline, this can harden and will be difficult to clean out from the spark plug.
When you store a lawn mower for a few months, best to replace the spark plug if there’s a lot of carbon buildup on the electrode to avoid misfiring.
Part of winterizing a lawn mower is to totally clean it and tuning it up.
Now let’s Go To How To winterize A lawn Mower
Steps To Winterize Your Lawn Mower
When winterizing, you have to replace all of the consumables your lawn mower uses so they will stay fresh for storage.
For this, you need engine oil preferably SAE 10W-30, a new spark plug and air filter, empty container for the old oil & gas, drain pan, a ratchet, gas stabilizer and carburetor cleaner (both optional).
You will also need a hose with a powerful nozzle, a bucketful of water with dishwashing detergent and a large cleaning brush for cleaning off dirt.
Take your machine on a well-ventilated area where you can drain and replace the oil and the gasoline.
Start the machine for about five minutes to let the oil and gasoline circulate.
Remove the cap of the spark plug.
To drain the gasoline, place the lawn mower on flat ground, locate the fuel line.
Unclamp the end of the fuel line where it connects to the carburetor to release the gas and into the empty container.
Once the gas is drained out, secure the fuel line back in its place.
With your lawn mower on the ground tip it sideways towards where the oil reservoir is located.
Place the drain pan under the oil cap and release the cap and put it back once oil is completely drained.
While on its side, detach the blade using a ratchet and keep it aside for sharpening later.
Using the hose with nozzle, spray a powerful jet of water under the deck until all the accumulated dirt has been blown away.
Soak the brush into the bucket of water and brush under the deck to take away hard dirt deposits.
Spray again with water and wipe with a clean cloth if you want.
Sharpen the blade and screw it back or replace it with a new blade.
Tip the mower back to its upright position and put fresh gasoline on the tank.
You don’t need to fill it up.
It is also advisable that you add to your gas a gas stabilizer.
This will protect your gas from breaking down as this is specifically formulated for storing gas for a long time.
Put new oil preferably SAE 10W-30 and use the dipstick in measuring the oil level.
Replace the air filter if necessary as well as the spark plug.
As a final part of the cleaning,
Blow the top of the engine with a leaf blower if you have one and then brush the top deck with the brush dipped in detergent water and spray water on it slowly.
Avoid spraying the top of the engine with water.
Wipe excess water and you can also use your leaf blower for quick drying.
Start the engine for about 5 minutes to allow circulation of oil and gasoline.
Then wait for it to cool down.
You can now store the mower for the winter.
How to winterize your lawn mower is much the same as tuning it up except that you do it just before you put it away for winter storage.
Including the rust spots.
Rust can eat metal slowly so if you don’t pay attention to the dirt that has collected on your mower.
Over time, this could produce corrosion and more rusts.
Best practice is to change your spark plug for a new and the air filter once a year to ensure that once spring comes and the grass starts growing, you are ready for new mowing season.