This time of year get’s us thinking about winter storage. If you’ve got lawn equipment like a mower or 2-cycle hand tools you need to winterize your equipment before storing it. A few simple steps will go a long way to making sure your equipment is ready to roll next spring. Here are some tips from our in-shop experts:
The most important step for winterizing lawnmowers and 2-cycle engines is to drain or stabilize the fuel. For lawnmowers, most recommend adding stabilizer to a tank rather than draining. Simply add the stabilizer, run the mower to make sure it mixes into the system, then add a fresh tank of fuel. A full tank will store better by preventing water condensation. For 2-cycle engines (the kind you find in trimmers, edgers and chain saws) simply empty the fuel tank out into a gas can, pump the primer bulb until the line is dry, and then run the unit (at an idle) until the remaining fuel is gone. remember to always use caution when running tools like a chain saw! Make sure the safety is on and that it’s not within reach of children – or adults who don’t know how to use it!
Inspect all filters and replace as necessary. Air filters can be cleaned if they’re not too dirty, but be wary of damaging them. Make sure that none of the rubber fuel lines have started to crack or rot. This will happen over time so try and catch it before storage so you’re ready to go next season.
Remove the Spark Plug
For both engine types, remove the spark plug, add a small amount of oil to the port and then, if necessary, replace with a new plug. Most manufacturers recommend changing the spark plug every year.
Let’s just call this “general maintenance”. Your equipment will work better if you don’t let dirt and gunk build up under the mower deck or on your trimmer shield, and you should know by now that dull blades just don’t cut it. Clean and lube moving parts to ensure all parts work properly come spring.
These are just a few simple steps that if you complete, you’ll keep your equipment running for many seasons to come. Now you just need to clear out some space in the garage!