How to Winterize a Lawn Mower (+ Top Questions Answered)

The cold winter months are approaching and you may be wondering how best to prepare your lawn mower for the off-season. This blog post will cover all of the steps in preparing a lawnmower for storage, as well as answering some common questions about this process. Whether you need to store a gas or electric powered mower, below are some helpful hints to get your machine ready for winter!

How to Winterize a Push Lawn Mower In 10 Steps

Before you do anything else, you’re going to want to pull the spark plug. Then, you’ll be free to try these 10 steps:

  1. Change out the oil with the right type of oil for your mower
  2. Drain the gas or top it off
  3. Add in a fuel stabilizer if you left gas in it
  4. Run the engine until it will no longer start, if you have a mower that can’t be stored with fuel
  5. Check to ensure that you aren’t adding fuel stabilizer to old gas
  6. Clean the mower off
  7. Balance the blades and check them for any signs of damage
  8. Sharpen the blades before storage
  9. Brush any dry gas off of it
  10. Make sure the mower is completely dried off before storing it

How to Winterize a Riding Lawn Mower In 10 Steps

Pull the spark plug on gas-powered riding mowers and then:

  1. Change the motor oil with the right type for your riding mower
  2. Clean both the undercarriage and the housing
  3. Jack the mower up or lightly elevate it if possible
  4. Clean and sharpen the blades
  5. Drain the fuel supply if required
  6. Top off the gas if you’re using a model that requires it – your manufacturer should be able to notify you of the correct procedure
  7. Add fuel stabilizer if you’re keeping the engine with oil in it over the winter
  8. Remove any dead grass from the sides
  9. Check all of the bolts on the housing to see if they need to be tightened
  10. Store the mower in a sheltered area that’s preferably covered in some way

How to Winterize an Electric Lawn Mower In 5 Steps

Since they don’t need as much mechanical care, electric lanwmowers can be stored after making a few simple changes:

  1. Pull out the batteries
  2. Make sure that they’re entirely charged
  3. Clean the mower completely
  4. Sharpen the blades
  5. Check them for any nicks or damages

Do You Need to Winterize a Lawn Mower?

Yes, even the lowest maintenance electric lawnmowers need at least some winterizing treatment before you put them away. If nothing else, then make sure that you don’t have dirty fuel or debris in the engine.

Can You Leave the Oil in the Lawn Mower Over Winter?

Normally, you have to leave oil in the lawnmower to prevent any form of corrosion from happening. Only drain the oil if you’re working with a model that explicitly requires it.

Otherwise, give your mower a fresh oil change before storing it for the season. You don’t want to leave soiled or old oil inside of a lawnmower when it gets stored away for any sufficiently long amount of time.

Should You Run the Gas Out of Your Lawn Mower?

A majority of models require you to do this before you put them away. However, some manufacturers would rather have you top it off and then add fuel stabilizer to it.

Make sure to track down the documentation for any used mower you buy so you’ll know the right way to deal with it. You can normally find manuals for obsolete models online, which will help you make the right call on this.

What Happens if You Leave Gas in the Lawnmower Over Winter?

In some models, you’re normally expected to do so, but you have to top it off and use only clean gas. Otherwise, leaving gas in there can cause it to either gel up and get hard or potentially even corrode some of the sensitive parts of the engine.

Fuel stabilizer can help to reduce the risk of any of these things happening to at least some degree.

How Do I Start My Lawnmower After Winter?

Dust it off in case it got any debris on it over the winter and refuel the mower if necessary. Give it an extra pump if you’re working with a pump primed model and then be extra firm with the pull string.

How Do You Store a Lawn Mower Battery for the Winter?

Fully charge the battery and then store it upright with the contacts facing away from the surface underneath it. Make sure the area in question won’t expose it to any extreme temperatures.

Should I Change the Oil in the Lawnmower Before or After Winter?

Change the oil before you store it and make sure that you completely drain out all of the old oil when you do so.

Can I Leave my Lawn Mower Outside in the Rain?

Never leave your lawnmower outside in the rain because you’re dramatically increasing the risk that it’s going to corrode. Rainwater is infamous for its ability to rust all of the metal components that are attached to a lawnmower.

Can You Use too Much Fuel Stabilizer?

It’s very easy to use too much fuel stabilizer. Make sure that you don’t use any amount over what’s specified by the manufacturer of your lawnmower as well as what it reads on your fuel stabilizer’s packaging.

Where Can I Put my Lawn Mower if I Don’t Have a Shed?

The garage is a good bet, especially if it’s a smaller push one that folds up. You might also consider stashing a clean one in the laundry room or out on a closed in porch.

Some people who are lucky enough to have attached Florida rooms will also use these as places to store lawnmowers. Though it might seem like a good idea to stuff one up in the attic, be careful as it can hot up there even in the winter.