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Hint: Don’t just park it in the shed!

Once again, winter is approaching and you won’t need to mow the grass much longer. If you’re like most homeowners, you probably own and maintain a lawn mower. It’s crucial to winterize this equipment before you put it away for the season. Otherwise, costly professional cleanings or repairs may prove necessary in the spring. Here are a few lawn mower winterization tips to keep your mower in pristine condition, even while not in use.

1. Clean the Under-Carriage


Thoroughly clean the bottom of your mower to prevent rust and mold growth. You can accomplish this with a pot scrubber, automotive detergent, water and a spackle knife. If oil has stained the exterior, a degreaser can help you fully remove it.

2. Change Out the Spark Plug


You might need to disconnect the mower’s spark plug and install a new one. Corrosion may appear when it wears out. Plugs often last up to three years, but their longevity varies depending on the size of your yard and its rate of growth.

3. Inspect and Sharpen the Mower Blade


Inspect the blade and sharpen or replace it. If the existing unit is dented or bent, you should buy a new blade. Check the instruction manual for information on selecting the right blade. Greater sharpness will help you cut grass quickly and evenly.

4. Change Out the Filter


Pay attention to the filters. Replace the air filter and any fuel filter when you winterize the engine. You may wash a foam air filter with detergent and water. Other units normally must be replaced.

5. Perform an Oil Change


Exercise caution when you add fresh oil; inadequate or excessive amounts can damage engines. The instruction manual provides further details on this maintenance task. Be sure to recycle the dirty motor oil.

6. Drain the Gas


Protect your engine by preparing the fuel tank for winter. You can run a lawn mower until it burns all of the gasoline. An alternative is to fill the tank with gas and add a fuel stabilizer. It’s safer to store equipment without gasoline. Most self-storage facilities require renters to do so.

7. Store the Battery Securely


If your lawn mower has a battery, disconnect and remove it. This precaution increases the likelihood that your engine will start easily when spring arrives. It enhances safety as well. Place the battery in a dry, secure location.

8. Cover Tightly


Shield your mower from dust, ceiling leaks and pests. When you cover it, use a tarp made of canvas. Mothballs can also help you keep insects and rodents at bay. Put plastic or cardboard under this equipment to protect the floor from any fluid leaks.

Rocky’s Ace Hardware has everything needed to winterize a lawn mower. We carry oil, fuel stabilizer, filters, blades and more. Our friendly employees provide helpful advice as well. You can find Rocky’s hardware stores in more than 30 towns and cities throughout New England. Please browse Rockys.com to learn more.