With all the wear and tear from continuous summer use, lawn mowers typically need maintenance at the end of the season to remain in good working condition for the long-term. And while it may seem harmless to place your mower straight into the shed until next spring, choosing to neglect proper equipment winterization not only doubles up the work for next spring, it impedes the overall performance of your mower. If you do the work upfront now, though, your equipment - whether it's a walk-behind mower or riding mower - will be in excellent working state by the first cut next spring. Keep these maintenance tips in mind as the end of the season approaches:
After a long summer, give your lawn mower a good, thorough cleaning. Brush off leaves, grass, dirt and mud from the outside to avoid buildup and molding over the winter. Also remember to check under the deck of your mower for hidden accumulation and use the deck wash port for any necessary removal. If not cleaned, debris beneath the deck can lead to an overheated engine, which can trigger corrosion and rust if it's not cleaned properly and quickly.
Rust on the lawn mower will obstruct operation and lead to long-term structural and performance issues. For a mower like the TB130 XP, use a light oil or silicone to coat the equipment, especially cables and all moving parts of your mower before storage. This will ensure a fresh cut come spring.
Is your mower going to be stored for at least 30-90 days this winter? If so, you will need to fill the tank with fuel and treat it with a gasoline stabilizer, such as STA-BIL®, to prevent deterioration. A full fuel tank helps prevent moisture, rust and carburetor clogging. Use a stiff bristle brush and rag to clean the engine exterior to allow proper air circulation while it is in storage. Also remove all grass, dirt and combustible debris from the muffler area to ensure your machine is safe to use on the first day of spring.
Service the battery
For optimum use, it's recommended to store lawn mower batteries with a full charge. If you store a discharged battery for a few months, the battery's life will reduce and capacity will decrease. For optimal life, charge it once per month while in storage during the off-season.
With the mowing season coming to a close, you might be tempted to put your mower away in the shed and not think about it for a few months. However, keeping it maintained now will help it stay in its best condition and run smoothly next spring.