Autumn Maintenance & Storage Tips
For petrol lawn mowers
You probably want to make sure your lawn mower stays in top shape, all year round. In that case, it is important to give your petrol mower the maintenance it needs. But it also means to store your mower properly for protection against the cold and wet winter. With the right maintenance and storage, your petrol lawn mower will start flawlessly when spring is there again.
Keep the following maintenance and storage tips in mind when you prepare your equipment for winter storage.
Maintenance & Servicing
Regular care ensures a long service life and fault-free operation. Before inspecting, adjusting, servicing, cleaning or storing your petrol mower, make sure to do the following:
- Always turn off the machine. Wait until all moving parts have come to a complete stop and the engine has cooled.
- Remove the ignition key if applicable.
- Disconnect the spark plug terminal on the engine.
Clean your mower
After every use, and especially before storing it for a longer period like the winter season, thoroughly clean your mower by removing all debris from the exterior. Also keep the engine, blades and mechanical parts free of grass, leaves, and debris build-up.
Damp cloth and mild detergent
Clean the unit using a damp cloth with a mild detergent. Do not immerse the machine or any part of it in water. Wipe off any moisture with a soft dry cloth and ensure the machine is dry before use or storage.
Do not use solvents, strong detergents, certain aromatic oils such as pine and lemon when cleaning plastic parts. Chemicals can damage and weaken plastic components.
Empty grass catchers and clean them if necessary. Also, keep handles dry, clean, and free of oil and grease. Use a small brush or vacuum cleaner to clean air vents on the product to keep air vents free of obstructions.
Service your product
For the best and safest performance, service your lawn mower with care.
Replace with genuine parts
Replace worn or damaged parts for safety. Use only genuine Briggs & Stratton or Murray replacement parts and accessories when servicing or repairing.
Service the mower blade
Keep the mower blade sharp and clean. Inspect the blade for damage (e.g. bent, cracked, or worn), and replace the blade or sharpen it if required. When servicing the blades, be aware that even though the power source is switched off, the blades can still be moved.
Keep all nuts, bolts and screws tight to be sure the mower is in safe working conditions. Check the blade and engine mounting bolts for proper tightness frequently.
Change the oil
Be sure to change the oil once a season. This is not necessary when the engine has a specific feature that it only needs an occasional top-up.
Furthermore, check the grass collector frequently for wear or deterioration. Also check your air filter for any clogs or damage, and replace the filter if necessary. Lubricate your product as recommended in the manual.
Even when your equipment is not being used, it should still be taken care of. In order for your mower to have a good start in spring, it is key that it is protected during winter.
Do not store the mower vertically if you haven't drained the fuel and oil, otherwise that can cause damage to your mower engine. Some mowers are built for safe vertical storage.
Prepare for storage
Before storing your lawn mower for the winter, it is important that you clean it and service it one last time before the winter break. Let the machine and its engine cool down before storing and placing it in an enclosed space.
Drain the fuel tank
To keep fuel fresh, you can add fuel stabilizer to the fuel. Then run the engine for 5 to 10 minutes to circulate it through the system. When the engine has cooled down, you can empty the fuel tank. Once that is done, turn the mower back on until it stops running, and repeat until it no longer starts.
Remove the spark plug and add a tablespoon of oil into the hole. Distribute the oil by rotating the engine several times using the starter cord or key starter. Put the spark plug back in, but do not connect the wire.
Always store your petrol mower indoors in a dry, clean location, for example in your garage or in a storage unit. This ensures your mower stays dry and won't be exposed to wind and freezing temperatures. Do not store it next to corrosive materials, such as fertilizer or fuel.
Storing it in a backyard shed or in your basement is not ideal, because the chances of water getting into it, are higher than that of a home or permanent garage. If you decide to store your equipment here, make sure that it is elevated off the floor. Rust can damage metal goods over the course of years.
If there is no option to store your lawn mower indoors, make sure to cover it properly and tighty, and elevate it from the ground. Also, verify periodically if the mower is still protected against the elements.