How to Winterize Your Lawnmower (and Why You Need It)

Even though it still seems like summer, autumn officially starts in a few days. And if you have a lawn, you may not be heartbroken at the thought of removing your landscaping equipment for a few months.

But before leaving your lawnmower in the back of your garage, taking a few steps to get it ready for seasonal hibernation can save you a lot of hassle on the road. Here’s what to know about winterizing your lawnmower, courtesy of Elizabeth Flaherty of Family Handyman .

It’s time to change the oil

As you probably know, lawn mowers require oil just like other powered machines. Flaherty says oil, which contains gasoline, moisture, soot and acids, can corrode internal engine components over time after it has aged slightly.

To avoid corrosion in winter, she recommends changing the oil in the mower and then letting it run for a few minutes. This gives the clean oil the ability to coat all of the internal parts of the engine, leaving you ready to go when the spring kicks in. In addition, Flaherty advises changing the oil in your lawnmower before solving a gasoline problem.

Deal with the gasoline left in the tank

If you’re done with the lawnmower for the season but find that there is still some gas left in the tank, Flaherty says you have two options: either drain what’s in there or top up with fresh stabilized gasoline (but she notes, fuel stabilizer never should be added to nothing but fresh, new gas).

How do you know which option to choose? The owner’s manual will tell you which one is best for your lawn mower and also tell you if it needs any additional maintenance before a long winter nap.

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