How Do I Store a Mower for Winter?

Throughout the fall, priorities in the yard began to change, shifting from beautification projects to more maintenance and prep work for the coming months. For many, this also means putting away the lawn mower and breaking out winter tools.  

One common mistake some make is improper mower storage, which can contribute to equipment starting and performance issues down the road. To prevent such setbacks, follow these nine steps to ensure a quick start to the spring mowing season.

1.    Always be sure to check your operator's manual for detailed instructions on your specific unit.

2.    Set your mower on a flat, level surface.

3.    Drain the remaining fuel from the tank or run your mower to get rid of excess fuel. Add fuel stabilizer to fresh fuel and fill the tank. Run the mower for a few minutes to ensure the treated fuel circulates throughout the engine. Turn off the mower and wait for the engine to cool before you continue.

4.    Disconnect and ground the spark plug wire.

5.    If your mower has a battery, remove it by following the procedure for your specific mower. Rider batteries should be stored in a cool, dry place.

6.    Drain and replace the oil. For riding mowers, change the filter.

7.    Check your machine for any broken or rusted parts, and repair or replace as needed.

8.    Clean dirt and grass clippings from your mower and let it dry thoroughly. Do not use a pressure washer to clean your mower, as it could remove the paint and contribute to the formation of rust.

9.    Lubricate all moving parts, like wheels and cables. Applying a coat of chassis grease to the blades will help prevent rusting.

10.    Store your mower in a well-ventilated, clean, dry area and away from corrosive materials like fertilizer. Keep away from any appliance with a pilot light or flame, like furnaces or water heaters.