Trying to start your lawn mower for the first time after a long winter can be a very tiring and frustrating event. Performing a couple of simple maintenance tasks before you store your lawn mower for the winter season can save you time and patience in the spring, while prolonging the life of your lawn mower, and saving you money in repair costs over the long run.
Preparing Your Lawn Mower For Winter
Clean the lawn mower from top to bottom. With the engine cool you can use a garden hose to clean the top and underside of the mowing deck. Remove any debris from the engine cooling fins. While cleaning the underside of the deck remove the cutting blade and have it sharpened, if it is bent or damaged replace it. Before removing make a note of the blades position to avoid re-installing it upside down. Place the nut and any washers in a small plastic bag or in small container to keep them from becoming lost during servicing.
Replace the engines spark plug with a new one. The cost of a new spark plug is small and easy to replace. I personally pour about a half of a teaspoon of fresh motor oil down the spark plug hole before installing the new spark plug. After installing the new plug give the engine a few pulls without starting it. This will keep a small coating of oil on to lubricate and protect the engine cylinder walls.
Drain the fuel tank and replace the fuel filter. If draining the fuel tank is not possible there are additives that can be purchased and added to the fuel to keep it usable after seasonal storage. While replacing the air filter lubricate the throttle linkage and choke. Spray lubricants such as WD-40 are excellent for this.
Check and tighten any loose nuts and bolts on the engine, mowing deck, handle and wheels.
A few simple lawn mower maintenance tasks will make starting your and using your mower the following season a breeze.