Your mower probably takes on a lot of wear and tear over the warm months in Utah. So, to keep it in good condition, here’s some information from Big League Lawns about how to winterize your lawnmower before storing it away. Below is the step-by-step process for end-of-season lawn mower maintenance. The entire seasonal lawn mower maintenance process typically takes under a couple of hours. That’s a minimal investment in upkeep tasks that can significantly extend the life of your mower.

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NOTE: This winterization process works just as well for gas trimmers and other gas-powered lawn care equipment.

How To Winterize a Lawn Mower

With a bit of dirty work to change some fluids and disposable parts and clean the underside, you can confidently store your mower for the winter. Next spring, when you smoothly start up the engine, you’ll be glad you took such good care of your mower. Just follow these seven pretty simple seasonal lawn mower maintenance steps:

Empty the gas tank.

Many people add fuel stabilizers to the gas and run the mower long enough to circulate it throughout and then simply store the mower with gas in it. Leaving gas in a mower unused for months can cause the carburetor to gum up and promote rusting. Ideally, add the stabilizer, run the mower, then siphon gas out, if necessary, and run the mower until there is no gas in the lines and the engine will not start again.

Disconnect the spark plug.

Before doing any further maintenance work on the mower, disconnect the spark plug to avoid the risk of unintentionally causing the mower to start while you’re working on it. Accidentally starting the engine while you’re working on the mower can result in severe injury.

Remove the mower deck.

OPTIONAL: Remove the mower deck if you find that this makes it more convenient for you to change the engine oil and clean the underside of the mower. Unscrew the bolts that attach the deck to the mower. You may also decide to take this opportunity to sharpen the blade.

Drain the engine oil.

You need to change the oil if your mower has a 4-cycle engine. If it has a 2-cycle engine, then the gas and oil are mixed together, and the oil does not need to be changed.

  1. Put a pan in place on a small tarp to catch the oil and any splatter as you release the oil from the mower reservoir.
  2. Raise the mower with the carburetor and air filter both turned upward to ensure that gas and oil do not accidentally spill into those parts.
  3. Take off the oil plug and keep tilting the mower until oil starts draining into the pan.
  4. After all the oil has drained out, put the plug back on.

Clean the underside of the mower.

Use a narrow, stiff plastic putty knife to scrape off dry mud and grass from the underside of the mower deck. This will help prevent rusting. It also keeps the mower blades and lawn debris chute free from obstruction by dried masses of mud and grass so the mower can cut and expel grass as designed.

  1. If you opted to remove the mower deck, you can reattach it at this point.
  2. Refill the oil tank with new 30-weight or SAE 30 oil. Properly recycle used oil.

Replace the air filter.

Replacing the air filter allows the necessary amount of airflow in the engine for efficient gas burning in the combustion process.

Also, clean your putty knife and use it to clean the cooling fins on the engine block.

Remove and replace the spark plug.

Remember that in Step 2, you disconnected the spark plug. Now, for the maximum assurance that you’ll have an optimally smooth running mower next year, replace the spark plug with a new one. Or, just reconnect the existing spark plug if it’s in excellent condition. Be sure to use a proper spark plug socket on your socket wrench because those are specially coated to protect spark plugs.

Important Safety Tip

Here are a couple of critical safety reminders for storing fuel and other dangerous materials after you winterize your lawnmower and other lawn maintenance equipment:

  • Fuel Storage Safety: As always, be careful when storing fuel and flammable items used in lawn equipment operation or maintenance:
    • Safely store gas, oil, cleaning agents, and other combustibles in a storage shed or garage that is not attached to your home or shed.
    • Use only an approved container, and keep it at least 50 feet from any ignition source.
    • Keep fuel and ignition sources away from flammable materials.
    • Do not store fuel containers near a window that receives direct sunlight.
  • Battery Storage: Take the necessary precautions when storing lithium-ion batteries:
    • Unplug the battery from the equipment.
    • Store lithium-ion batteries at temperatures above 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
    • Store the battery away from combustibles.
    • Do not store the battery in a space exposed to direct sunlight.

When You Want the Best in Lawn Winterization

Big League Lawns experts perform comprehensive Utah lawn rehabilitation services. An essential part of our grass rehab treatment is lawn winterization. Winterizing your lawn is a basic for helping ensure lush, thick, green, and weed-free grass in the spring.

Winter is closing in! That means it’s the best time to winterize lawn turf in Utah. Give your grass the gift of professional lawn winterization treatment this year. Then, relax and look forward to enjoying the lush, thick, healthy green lawn you’ve always wanted in the spring!

For information on winterizing a lawn or lawn treatment, call Big League Lawns, Ogden UT, at (801) 773-9999, or contact us online to schedule your FREE Lawn Analysis today!

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