Storing your Mower for WinterSeptember 21st 2021
Storing your lawnmower for Winter
Storing your lawnmower correctly is a task that is often overlooked. The days of summer are over, it’s dark by 6, the last thing on your mind is mowing the lawn. Majority of owners just throw their lawnmower into a dark corner of a shed and leave it there in hibernation until the sun starts to shine in a few months time. Depending on how you have prepared the lawnmower for its deep sleep through winter, could determine if you may run into problems when you restart the machine come cutting season. These few steps can help prolong the life of your lawnmower and may just prevent it from holding a grudge against you come cutting time.
Drain the fuel
The first step is to drain any fuel you have in the tank. Fuel left inside could do serious damage to some components inside the lawnmower. This is prevalent in all petrol machinery especially now that E10 is the new standard within the UK. You can find out more about how E10 damages your machinery here. Leaving petrol in your machine for long periods of time will damage the internals of your machine. Not only that but stale petrol isn’t combustible enough to start the engine sometimes, this is because the ethanol in petrol will attract water, diluting it.
We recommend either leaving your mower running during the last cut to use up any last bits of fuel. Or you can siphon the fuel manually, that fuel could then be used for other petrol machinery.
Top up the Oil
Another common issue is not topping up the oil before storing it away. If you have been using the mower throughout the season without changing or topping the oil it is advised to perform a complete oil change. This new oil will help lubricate the lawnmower, meaning that when you start it up again the internals should be all working smoothly.
Clean the Mower
Cleaning the mower is a tedious task that nobody fancies doing. Wiping down the blades and the gunk left from the grass is not the most exciting way to spend 20-30minutes. However those 20-30mins could save you a lot of money and headache come sunny season! Dirt, grime and grass cuttings will cause damage to your mower if stuck for long periods of time. Those little bits of dirt can retain moisture influencing rust to take over your machine. Rusted parts may be stiff to move meaning putting more strain on the engine, it could even lead to the mower not starting at all! Before you start cleaning make sure you disengage the HT lead from the spark plug, the last thing you want is a lawnmower to suddenly start whirling and hacking at your fingers!!!
Another tip when cleaning your mower is to do this during the oil change! if you mower is completely empty of fuel it’s much easier to move and tilt without the fear of flooding your engine with oil.
Keep it stored on level ground
Storing the mower on level ground ensures that the oil will not flood the engine. Hanging the mower is possible however the oil would need to be completely drained. Flooding the engine oil would be a costly mistake to make so it always advisable to store your machine on a flat and dry surface.
Remove the Battery
If your mower has a battery remove it! During the cold harsh temperatures batteries lose their power. The freezing temperatures just irreversible damage to the battery shortening running time and it’s span. All you have to do is remove the battery and store it in a warm dry place. This goes for battery powered machinery and even machines that have an easy start function, you may find that after a harsh winter an exposed battery for easy may not work come summer time.
Store in a Dry Place
We do not like stating the obvious but it’s important to store in a dry place. Moisture encourages rust and electrical problems, the last thing your mower needs is to be sitting in a icy puddle freezing it’s wheels off! If you are folding down the handles make sure the cables are not caught in the handles!
Get a Service!
Another tip that we cannot recommend enough is to get a service. Servicing your lawnmower is important at maintaining its life span. Just like servicing a car, a service can nip any potential damages in the bud at a low cost. Simple things such as tightening of screws, adjusting the tension of cables, fitting a new cutting belt. They may seem like small changes to a lawnmower however if a screw isn’t tight that rattling can put stress on parts of the lawnmower that aren’t suppose to take stress, causing issues down the line. Here at Jenkins we offer a Service where the whole Lawnmower gets looked at by our professional team! For more information please us a call on 01269 845 222. Our next blog post next week will also cover how we perform a service to give you confidence in our service.