How to Store Your Lawn Mower for the Cold Season
An end-of-summer tune-up keeps power lawn equipment in top shape
Gas-powered lawn mowers and trimmers take their share of abuse during the warm months, so some care at the end of the season—or at the start of spring—is vital to keeping their parts in good working condition. Replacing the oil, spark plugs, and air filters on mowers and applying a bit of elbow grease to grimy recesses, preferably before storing them for the winter, will ensure that they rev up with a pull of the cord next year.
Here, Audrey Meinking, owner of Mineola Bicycle, Fitness, and Mower in Mineola, New York, demonstrates the proper servicing on a push mower; the same process also works for other small gas-powered machines such as trimmers and snowblowers. "If you don't take an hour or two for maintenance or bring your machines to a pro for servicing," she says, "there's a big chance you'll be stuck watching the grass grow come spring."
Empty the gas tank
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.