Gas-powered lawnmowers put in a lot of work during the grueling, hot summer months, so maintenance at the end of the season is vital to keeping the parts in good working condition.
By following these simple steps, you will ensure that the engine will rev right up when you pull the cord next spring!
Step 1: Empty the gas tank
Unused gas left in a mower over the winter can get stale and cause rusting
Step 2: Disconnect the spark plug
Before continuing with the rest of the maintenance steps, it’s very important that you disconnect the spark plug to prevent the mower from kick-starting accidentally, which could lead to serious injury.
Step 3: Remove the blade
To make it easier to change the oil and clean the underside of the mower, first detach the blade by unscrewing the bolts that hold it in place.
- Wear thick gloves when handling the blade
- While the blade is off, take advantage of the opportunity to sharpen it
Step 4: Drain the oil
- Have a pan ready, and place a tarp under the mower to catch any oil that might spill
- Set the mower on its side with the air filter and carburetor facing up so oil and residual gas don’t leak into them
- Remove the oil reservoir plug and slowly tilt the mower until the oil begins to drain into the pan
- Replace the plug when all the oil has drained
Step 5: Give the undercarriage a bath
- Use a putty knife and wire brush to scrape off the grass and mud caked on the mower deck. This prevents rust, clears the passageway to the discharge chute, and distributes proper airflow.
- With the deck cleaned, reattach the sharpened blade.
- Once you’ve finished and can turn the mower upright, fill the oil tank with fresh SAE 30 or 30-weight oil, and recycle the used oil at a service station
Step 6: Change the air filter
A dirty air filter keeps the engine from burning gas efficiently by restricting the air needed for combustion.
Your mower will either have a paper or sponge filter. Clean or replace the filter accordingly.
Step 7: Consider replacing the spark plug
Remove and replace the spark plug, using a socket wrench with a spark-plug socket.
Even if the old spark plug is in good shape, for a couple of dollars, a new one will perform better and ensure a smooth start in spring.
Step 8: Be safe
We care about your safety so be sure to keep these things in mind:
- Always store gasoline away from your home in a detached structure.
- Store flammable materials in an approved container, and keep it at least 50 feet from any ignition source
- Lithium-ion batteries lose their charge in the cold and have been known to catch fire, so remove them from your lawn equipment and store them and their chargers, unplugged, at temperatures above 50 degrees F.
- Cold doesn’t degrade propane; store it above grade in a well-ventilated area
We look forward to helping you grow a lawn you love next spring season!