How to winterize a riding lawn mower

It is an annual process. Whenever winter comes to a close, it is usual to view the reappearance of weeds, budding trees, and growing grass. Unfortunately, some homeowners choose to overlook the process of preserving the lawnmower and only wait for the spring season. That’s wrong. Prevention is better than cure. Keeping the lawnmower in good condition will save you from hefty expenses that might arise if something goes wrong with your lawn rider while in storage. So, how exactly do you keep the lawnmower safely over the winter? Use these tips to make it usable for years to come.

Clean The Undercarriage

The lawn mower’s deck may rust if you fail to remove any accumulating grass or mud debris. Using a wire brush, clear the dirt to limit rust and enable the deck aerodynamics to operate as usual. Once the deck is clear, you can restore the blade.

Lubrication of All The Friction Parts

During winter, make a point of charging the battery after every two months during the winter season. Ensure you charge before storage. The best method is running the mower for at least 30 minutes per month. This process will maximize the charging process and evenly circulate oil in the carburetor. After this, use an already treated and stabilized fuel to cap off the fuel tank. Next, you can disconnect the battery if you intend to keep the equipment for a longer time. Remember to place the battery in a dry place void of sparks and flames, and keep the mower away from heaters that can produce sparks and other machines that can corrode it.

Replacing Oil

A riding lawn mower consists of a gearbox, large casing, steering wheel, handlebars, pedals, the engine filled with petrol, and a seat – all these parts may be completely redundant. An automatic lawn mower has a blade, battery, and an inbuilt computer within the casing (lightweight). The fact remains, you need to replace the lawnmower system while in good condition. First, drain off the fuel from the gas tank and crankcase, then dispose of it safely.  Then you can replace it with new oil (it needs to be a fresh fuel stabilizer) to prevent it from sticking in the tank. The old gas usually has gasoline, soot, and acids which may rust the interior engine elements during the winter season.

The next step is to run the engine for three minutes to facilitate thorough circulation of the new fuel to run through the entire lawnmower system. Remember, it is wise to use the manufacturer’s manual to know whether you need to completely drain the oil or replace it with fresh stabilized gasoline depending on the engine.

Replace The Air Filter​

The air filter needs to be clean to enhance the efficient gas-burning process. If dirty, the filter restricts enough air for combustion. Therefore, if the mover has a paper filter, replace it. If the mower has a sponge filter (oil-based), remove, clean with soap and water, then allow it to dry before putting it back. At this point, clean the cooling fins using a screwdriver to get rid of any dirt or accumulating debris.

Disconnect The Spark Plug

It is necessary to make this disconnection part of the maintenance steps. The reason being, the mower automatically starts and leads to unprecedented injuries.


No matter what type of lawnmower you have, remember it is an investment. There is nothing worse for a homeowner than to see a once beautiful neat lawn turn into an untidy green field once winter sets. Following these easy steps will not allow that to happen. Learn to carefully prepare your mower so that you can prolong its life and have fewer problems when you need it most.

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