Storing your Lawn Mower Over the Winter Months

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A mower used at the end of the season needs to be emptied of fuel. First, drain or siphon the petrol tank dry. If the fuel you’ve been using in the mower over the summer has a fuel preservative, you can plan to store it until next spring. If the fuel has not had a preservative added to it, you need to use it up as soon as possible. Allowing it to sit over the winter will cause the ethanol in the fuel to separate and its other chemical components to degrade. It’s also likely that condensation will form in the fuel tank. 

Then start and run the mower to empty it of remaining fuel, If fuel lines are easily accessible, you can disconnect and drain them to ensure that the mower is as fuel-free over the winter as possible. (Note: There’s another school of thought here, some advocate adding stabiliser to a mower’s fuel tank, running the mower, and then putting it away for the season, nine times out of ten, it will start straight up in the spring.

You should give your mower a thorough cleaning before the winter, too. Remove and sharpen the mower blade. Apply a light film of oil to it and reinstall it. Disconnect the spark plug lead, tip the mower over and clean the underside of the deck with a wire brush and a putty knife to avoid any wet grass being left over the winter or pressure wash the underside and dry. 

* A quick tip if you have any old oil lying around the garage or workshop get a paint brush and lather a coating of oil on the underside of the deck, this will prevent any rust or damage to the mower.* 

Remove the spark plug and spray a some oil into the cylinder. Pull the recoil handle several times to ensure that this film of oil is evenly distributed on the wall of the cylinder. Replace the spark plug with a new one. 

Clean or replace the air filter. Wipe the top of the mower deck clean. Lubricate all exposed cable-movement points and pivot points using a good-quality spray lubricant. Change the mower’s oil. 

Finally, cover and store the mower in as dry conditions as possible.
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