The idea of tucking in your lawn mower for the winter months may seem a little over the top, especially if you hear a neighbour or a friend talk about how they are going to take on the task for the day. However, when you consider the price of a lawn mower and the fact that it is a long period of time for the heavy machine tool to go unused, it makes a bit more sense as to why you would want to take a few precautions to make sure it is ready for use come next spring. After all, a lawn mower is an expensive tool to worry about purchasing every spring.
First of all, you need to look inside of the lawn mower tank and make sure that there is not any petrol left. Old petrol can ruin the motor or carburettor come spring if you allow it to sit in the mower and go unused for months. Therefore, you will want to siphon it out with a hose or tip the mower over and drain out the petrol using a funnel. Of course, there is always going to be a little bit that you will not be able to get out so make sure to turn the engine of the mower on and let it run until you burn up the last few drops.
After getting all of the petrol out of the tank, you next need to focus on the oil inside of the lawn mower. You should drain out the oil that is found in the crankcase and in the gearbox. Generally speaking, you can usually do this in the same way that you drained the petrol, but remember that oil is considered a hazardous waste so you need to make sure that you properly dispose of it.
After everything is dry, you can then lubricate the piston and crankshaft on the mower by taking out the spark plug and placing about 50ml of lubricating oil inside of the opening. Slowly pull on the pull cord to crank the engine while you are lubricating the piston and crankshaft to make sure that you equally spread the lubrication around. This will help keep these areas from rusting and will make your lawn mower run much smoother when you get it back out in the spring.
The final thing you will want to do is clean up your mower before you put it away for the winter season by cleaning out the debris or any grass that is gummed up in the mower. The obvious place to look are on the blades as you probably will have dried grass stuck to them after a long summer and autumn, but you may find some on the frame as well. While cleaning the blades make sure that they are not damaged in any way and consider taking them off of the base so that you can sharpen them for the coming season. Now all you have left is to check the tire pressure and find a resting spot in the garage for the lawn mower until spring.
Written by Sam Applegate of LawnmowerReview.co.uk. A site containing hundreds of unbiased user reviews on lawnmowers.