To-Do #7: Winterize Gas-Powered Lawn Equipment
Once you’ve finished with all of your fall lawn maintenance, it’s time to winterize gas-powered lawn equipment, such as lawnmowers and trimmers, so they’ll run properly when spring arrives.
Always remove the spark plug wire from the spark plug before working on gas-powered lawn equipment to prevent it from starting up unexpectedly.
To prepare lawn equipment for winter:
- Run Out the Gas: Start by running your mower or trimmer until it’s completely out of gas, or add fuel stabilizer to the gas in the tank to keep it fresh.
- Clean Equipment: Brush or wipe dirt and debris off the outside of the engine and housing. Gently turn lawn mowers on their side (with the air filter facing up), and spray the underside clean with a garden hose.
- Clean or Replace Air Filter: To clean or replace the air filter, find the air filter on your machine, remove the cover and filter, and clean or replace it following the installation instructions. Then, replace the cover and make sure it’s screwed or clamped tightly in place.
- Change Engine Oil: Remove the oil drain plug, and drain the old oil into a container for recycling. Put the drain plug back in and refill with the type of oil recommended in the owner’s manual to the proper level.
- Replace or Sharpen Blade: To make sure your lawnmower is ready for spring, it’s important to sharpen the blade. Mark the blade so that you can remember which side faces up. Then, remove the blade and sharpen the beveled side. Use a file, sharpening stone, grinder or belt sander to gently follow the angle of the bevel and sharpen the edge. Make sure to take the same amount off each of the cutting edges, so the blade will be balanced and not vibrate. Then, reinstall the blade on the mower.
- Clean or Replace Spark Plug: Next, remove the spark plug and clean and reset the gap, or replace a worn spark plug with the same type. Install the clean or new plug in the mower, being careful not to over-tighten it.