Let’s face it; lawn equipment is not cheap. It’s full-fledged power equipment that needs to be maintained just like a car, or any other type of gas-powered machinery, would need to be. When it comes to cold-weather conditions, there are special precautions that need to be taken in order to get the most out of your lawn equipment for years to come. So, when it’s time to put your lawn equipment away for the season, here are some tips on how to—and why to—winterize your lawn equipment.
Why you should winterize your lawn equipment:
- To extend the lifespan of your lawn equipment.
- To avoid clogging your equipment with gas.
- So there’s no need for professional, costly cleaning at the start of the next season.
- To stay protected by your warranty.
Remember, when it comes to winterizing lawn equipment, it is always best to refer to your owner’s manual for instructions designed specifically for your equipment.
Equipment That Requires Winterization
Before you start winterizing all of the equipment in your garage or shed, make sure that you are only winterizing lawn equipment that needs it. Here is a general list of lawn equipment that should be winterized:
- Lawn mower
For all other equipment, refer to your owner’s manual for specific information before moving forward with winterization.
How To Winterize Your Lawn Equipment
Lawn mowers & lawn equipment with four-cycle engines
Step 1: Wipe your lawn mower to remove any grease, dirt, or plant material that your mower has collected throughout the season.
Step 2: Tighten any loose screws and nuts on your mower.
Step 3: With precaution, sharpen the cutting edges of your mower, and wipe clean with an oily rag if you have not done so already.
Step 4: Change the oil according to the instructions in your lawn mower owner’s manual.
Step 5: The most important step is to empty your lawn mower of fuel. To do so, drain—or siphon—the gas tank. Next, start and run the mower to drain it of any remaining gas. Finally, if the fuel lines are easily accessible, disconnect the line and drain them of gas as well.
Step 6: Remove the spark plug and spray some oil into the cylinder, then, pull the recoil handle a few times to make sure that a film of oil is evenly disbursed on the walls of the cylinder. Make sure to replace the spark plug with a new one.
Step 7: Clean or replace the air filter according to the owner’s manual, and store your lawn mower as far as possible from anything that could potentially corrode the mower deck.
Lawn equipment with two-cycle engines
Most lawn equipment, even some lawn mowers, are powered by two-cycle engines, which tend to be easier to winterize. The types of lawn equipment that usually fall under the two-cycle engine category are string trimmers, blowers, chainsaws, and hedge trimmers.
Step 1: Drain the fuel tank. Follow this step by starting and running the engine to drain the remaining fuel in the carburetor.
Step 2: Remove the spark plug and drop some oil into the port, then, pull the starter cord a few times to make sure that a film of oil is evenly disbursed on the pistons and crankshaft. Make sure to replace the spark plug with a new one.
Step 3: Clean and inspect the air filter. Follow your owner’s manual for specific instructions.
Step 4: Check fuel lines and replace the fuel filter, then clean and lubricate any moving parts on the equipment.
Tips for maintaining lawn equipment during the winter
Once you winterize all of your gas-powered lawn equipment, there are a few other measures you can take to maintain your winterized equipment through the season.
- Try to store lawn equipment indoors (basement or garage).
- Periodically check on stored equipment to make sure no critters have chewed through wires or have nested in your equipment.
If you don’t get a chance to winterize your lawn equipment before the cold weather hits this season and you are stuck with a lawn mower that won’t run this spring, give LawnGuru a call to schedule your first cut of the season! Or, if you still need to prepare your yard for winter, LawnGuru can help you with everything from yard cleanup to sprinkler winterization.