After the mowing season, there are a few critical things that need to be done to your mower prior to storage. Jeff Shearin, service manager at Clay’s Power Equipment in Raleigh, NC (claysequipment.com), offers the following tips:
- Drain all fuel from the tanks, fuel lines and carburetor. “Simply running the engine until it runs out of fuel does not ensure that the carburetor is empty,” Shearin says. “The only way to ensure that your fuel will not go stale during storage is to remove all fuel from the unit. Stabilizer helps but may not help enough.”
- Clean off the mower with mild detergent and low-pressure water.
- Blow off the engine and pay special attention to clean all of the cooling fins.
- Remove the spark plugs and place 1 to 2 ml of oil in each hole. Rotate the engine a couple of times and reinstall spark plugs. This will protect the cylinder from developing surface rust during storage.
- Inspect the machine from front to rear. Check all moving parts and ensure they have ample grease or lubrication for long-term storage. Wintertime is the ideal time to address any problems you find. Many equipment dealers run specials during these months, so you can be ready to mow in spring and save money at the same time.
- Touch up any painted surfaces that are chipped or scratched to prevent rust from developing.
- Charge the battery every few weeks. A weak battery freezes at a lower temperature and, unless maintained properly, will not perform the job the following season.