The dropping temperatures of fall mean more than sweatshirts and bonfires. It’s almost time to put the lawn mower away for the season, but before you do that – there are a few things you should do to ensure it will be in good working order for the spring mowing season. Here are a few fall and winter lawn mower maintenance tips to help you out.
Early to Late Fall Maintenance
Sometime in October or November, depending upon the weather in your area, the mowing season will end. Before putting your mower away you should drain the gas out of the tank. The easiest way to do this is by running the mower until you use up all the gas. If you don’t want to empty the tank, be sure to add a gas stabilizer. This will ensure the mower will start when you are ready to begin mowing again in the spring.
After the last mowing for the season, clean out the grass clippings and matted grass from underneath the deck and from the blades. Use a paint scraper to help remove the grass. This practice of removing grass accumulation should be done after every use.
The slow winter months are the perfect time to have your lawn mower checked by a mower repair shop. The season is much slower and you won’t be waiting in the spring when mower repair shops are usually busy. December or January is a good time to take your mower in to have it checked out at your local lawn mower shop.
Late winter (around February or even into March) is a good time to change the oil in your lawn mower. You should change the oil every year–either in late winter or early spring before you start the new mowing season.
Other routine checks and maintenance that should be done in late winter (or even early spring) would be to change your lawn mower’s air filter, replace the spark plug and replace the lawn mower blades. The recommendation is to replace the air filter when it is too dirty or clogged, replace the spark plug with every new mowing season and replace the mower blades every year or at least every two or three years.
Keep Your Mower in Good Condition
Doing routine maintenance on your lawn mower can ensure that it will continue running well from season to season and will help you keep your yard looking as neat and tidy as possible.
How to Get that Old Lawnmower Running like New
Some of Us Get Lucky and the Old Mower Starts Right Up. Others Have No Luck and Wonder Why They Have to Buy a New One Every Few Years. Here’s How to Beat the System
Nothing brings a bigger smile to a man than a mower starting up on that first pull after a long winter. Yeah, we bought a good mower and we’re on top of the world. Until you hit that first, warm spring day and no amount of pulling, priming and fussing will get the thing to work.
Time to buy a new mower, right? Wrong. There are some simple things you should do before you give up on that old friend.
For one, get rid of that old gas. A good thing to do in the fall is add something like Stabil and run the mower a bit before storing it for the winter. It prevents a gummy buildup in your carburetor. If you forgot to do that, get that old gas out and add some stability to the gas tank with some fresh gas.
Another quick step is to check the air filter. Mowers are surrounded by dust, dirt, and grass and the air filters suffer from it. Clean it, replace it and make sure it’s clean.
Check the spark plug. They’re cheap and easy to remove and if they’re gummed up get a new one. They don’t cost much. If it looks clean it’s probably fine and doesn’t sweat the gap. The new ones out of the box are fine.
All of this should cost you from $4 to $8 bucks. It’s worth it considering the price of a new mower. Give it a shot and see if you get it going. If you do. Think about some other things.
Change the oil. Man, do we beat these things up We’ll change the oil on our cars, but we’ll run our mowers forever on the same oil they showed up with from the store. It doesn’t cost much and you can probably keep the same filter unless you want to go all out. The cost will be about $10 bucks if you do the filter.
Also, sharpen the blades. Especially if you live in an area where you cut through a lot of dirt or sand. Grass grows better and looks better when cut with a sharp blade. You can do it yourself or take them off and get them sharpened at most hardware stores.
Finally, lube those hubs. Most mowers have something called a “Zerk” fitting over the bearings where the blades turn. If those dry up the bearings get shot and it doesn’t matter how well everything else works. Buy a grease gun and tub of grease and lube those guys. It’s probably another $10 bucks, but you can use these things for other stuff too like cars if you’re so inclined.
So there you have it. A quick tour of how to maybe save some money and some sanity and feel like you’re a real mechanic.