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How to Winterize Your Lawn Equipment


You get your automobile ready for the cold weather, and you prepare your house to face the snow and winter winds that start showing up in December.

But what about your lawn equipment? You won’t be using your lawn mower, gas-powered trimmer or leaf blower while your yard is covered in white rather than lush green. However, there are several steps you need to take so you’ll be ready for the work that awaits you when spring rolls around again.

1. Drain or stabilize the fuel. You have two options when it comes to fuel. You can get rid of the fuel, either by draining it from the tank or simply running the engine until it’s gone. You can also use a fuel stabilizer, available at hardware locations like Orme Hardware in Arcanum, Ohio.

“If you leave gasoline in the fuel tank for an extended period of time, the gas will degrade and leave deposits that tend to plug up the fuel system,” says store manager Jason Swabb.

2. Change the oil. While you are draining the gas from your mower or trimmer, drain the oil as well and replace it with fresh oil. You don’t want the acids and moisture in old oil causing damage to the engine parts during the winter.

3. Take a look at the fuel lines. They are made of rubber, and eventually they will rot and crack. Replace them if they look like they might be on their last legs, and replace the fuel filter while you’re at it.

4. Charge the battery. Fully charge the battery and then disconnect it from the equipment prior to storage. This will prevent battery drainage, extend its life and keep it in top working order. And your mower will be much easier to start when it’s time to begin your spring chores.

5. Replace the spark plug. Take out the old one, pour a small amount of oil into the port and replace it with a brand new spark plug.

6. Clean or replace the air filter. Get rid of the debris your air filter has collected. You might be able to wash your filter or clean it with compressed air. If not, invest in a new one.

7. Sharpen your mower blades. Sharpen your blades with a sharpening stone, then finish the job by adding a small amount of WD-40 to keep the blades from rusting over the winter. “Your mower can’t do its job with dull blades,” says Swabb.

You have one more job to do before you put your lawn mower up for the winter. Throughout the spring, summer and fall, grass clippings build up on the underside of your mower. Scrape this debris off with a stiff brush or a putty knife, then wipe the underside and top of your mower with a rag. It’s a good idea to spray a layer of WD-40 on the underside to prevent rust from forming during the winter months.

Get your lawn equipment ready for winter with the help of the experts Orme Hardware at 210 S. Main St. in Arcanum, Ohio. If you would rather let a professional do the work for you, visit OrmeHardware.com or call (937) 692-8282.