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Putting Your Lawn Mower to Rest for Winter

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Your lawn mower has been a faithful fair weather companion. So at the end of the mowing season, give it the attention it deserves. Spend just a little time prepping your mower for storage over the winter, and you’ll enjoy a happier reunion in spring. Here are some tips on what you can do now to be sure your mower will start easily next spring. Make sure your operator's manual is on hand for quick reference when you work on your mower. 

Remove the Battery
It's a good idea to remove your lawn mower battery for the winter and store it in a cool, dry place. Be sure to store it away from gas cans, the water heater or furnace. Disconnect the battery cable from the battery, starting with the negative cable (it will have a minus sign). Remove the battery and wipe it off with a cloth. Clean the battery terminal using a metal brush, or clean it with a battery cleaner product like the Briggs & Stratton Battery Terminal Cleaner. For added protection, coat all terminals with a product like the Briggs & Stratton Terminal Protector.

Clean your Mower
Brush or hose off leaves, grass and mud from your mower. Always remove the spark plug lead wire from the plug before doing this or any other mower maintenance, and tape or tie it out of the way. Gently tip your walk behind mower on its side to spray the underbody. If debris is caught on the blade, use a stick or tool to remove it - never use your hands.

Use Fuel Stabilizer Correctly
You shouldn't store your lawn equipment with a partially full fuel tank. Either run the equipment out of fuel, or use fuel stabilizer in a full tank of fuel. Add the stabilizer (also called fuel preserver) according to package directions. Then - and this is important - run the mower for a few minutes so that the stabilizer circulates through the carburetor. The stabilizer keeps fuel fresh for up to 6 months. Turn off the engine and completely fill the gas tank. A full tank will help prevent moisture from condensing in the tank which can form rust that could break away and clog the carburetor.

Store your Mower in a Dry Place
Store your mower in a dry, protected place such as your garage or a garden shed. Never store it next to a furnace, water heater or appliance with a pilot light.

How do I prepare for winter storage my lawn mower that will be outside in the winter weather

Asked by:
The article you have posted this question on will walk you through winter storage. We do not recommend the units be left outside uncovered.
Answered by: Nicole_BriggsStratton
Date published: 2014-08-12

Do the spark plugs need to be changed for winter?

Asked by: albatross
The spark plug should be changed once a year.
Answered by: Nicole
Date published: 2013-11-20

I have a v twin Briggs and Stratton engine and would like to know is it worth the effort to fog the engine?

Asked by: hondo368
This is up to your discretion if you would like to fog the engine.
Answered by: Nicole
Date published: 2014-08-05

About storing the riding mower for winter - and other questions

I'm still not clear: Are you saying I should empty the gas tank completely and then fill it full and add stabilizer and run the engine for a few minutes? Or are they two different options? If the latter, which is better - drain the tank, or fill it and add stabilizer? Also, is it best to use premium gas as one local mechanic suggested? Also, should the oil be changed after the first 5 hours? My manual does not mention that, but your online article about push mowers suggests it. Thanks
Asked by: JoeB
Yes the oil should be changed after the first 5 hours of use. It is up to the consumer if you want to run the unit dry of fuel or if you want to store it with fuel in it that has a stabilizer. Each customer has their preferred method of storing the unit, either is acceptable. As for the fuel requirements we recommend a minimum of 87 octane with no more than 10% ethanol.
Answered by: Nicole
Date published: 2014-08-05

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