October 21, 2013 in Uncategorized
As temperatures drop, you realize that the time has come for your riding lawn mower to hibernate for a few cold months. This equipment represents a significant investment, so you want to make sure you protect it. Taking the time to properly store your rider will ensure that it is ready to wake up and get to work when warm weather rolls around again.
First, drain any fuel from the gas tank and dispose of it properly. Refill the tank with fresh fuel to prevent rust and engine damage that can be caused by old fuel. Be sure to add a stabilizer to this new fuel, which keeps moisture from harming the engine. Run the engine for a few minutes to circulate the treated fuel through the system and clear out any old fuel. This treatment should protect your mower for six months.
Changing your rider’s oil is a great way to not only get your mower ready for winter, but also ensure a fresh start in the spring. Make sure the engine is warm, then disconnect the battery and remove the spark plug. Drain the oil using the oil drain valve, collecting the used oil in a pan so it can be recycled appropriately. Double check the oil level with the dipstick to make sure the oil tank is empty before filling your mower with fresh oil. Replace the oil filter with the correct model, and slowly crank the system to distribute the oil.
You will want to fully charge your mower’s battery prior to storage. The best practice involves making sure it is charged every two months throughout the winter by starting the mower and running it at full throttle for about 20 minutes. Don’t forget to top off the fuel tank with pre-treated fuel after you do this. Once your battery is charged, disconnect it and remove it from your mower. Batteries should be stored in a warm, dry location away from potential flames or sparks.
You would never store a dirty dish in your cabinet, so it should make sense that you should clean your lawn mower before storing it for the winter. Debris and buildup can lead to rust and erosion. Be sure to remove the spark plugs before cleaning as a safety precaution. Hose down the body to clear any grass clippings or other debris. Spray the mower deck and the blades to loosen anything that is caught, using the mower deck wash-out port if your model is equipped with one. Carefully scrape the inside of the deck with a stick or long flathead screwdriver in order to remove clumps of grass. Never use your hands to clear anything near the blades.
Make sure you have a cool, dry place to store your riding lawn mower during the winter. A shed or garage is perfect. Your mower should not be stored near anything with a pilot light as a fire safety precaution.