Step 1: Empty the gas tank

Woman emptying her lawn movwer's gas tank into an old coffee can
Photo: Kenneth Chen
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Unused gas left in a mower over the winter can get stale, gumming up the carburetor and inviting rust. First, add fuel stabilizer to the tank, then run the mower to distribute it through the system. Turn the mower off and allow the engine to cool, then siphon excess gas into a clean can. (You can put this gas in your car, provided it hasn't been mixed with oil.) Restart the mower and run it until it stops; repeat until the engine no longer starts and the fuel lines are empty.
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    Tools List

    • gloves
      Gloves
    • socket wrench
      Socket wrench
    • putty knife
      Putty knife
    • Wire brush
    • Nut screwdriver
      Nut screwdriver

    Shopping List

    1. Fuel stabilizer

    2. SAE-30 oil

    3. Pan
    for emptying old fluids

    4. Tarp
    to ensure quick clean-up after emptying old fluids

    5. Filter
    new paper or sponge filter to replace the old one

    6. Spark plug
    to replace old one, and guarantee a smooth start come next spring