With cold weather on the way, it is time to winterize your lawn mower to ensure a fresh start next spring. Before you begin any steps of the lawn mower storage process, be sure to read and understand the safety precautions in your Briggs & Stratton owner’s manuals.
Add Fuel Stabilizer to Winterize your Engine
Since gasoline goes stale in about 30 days after pumping, it is critical to protect the engine of your lawn tractor, riding mower or zero turn mower from ethanol-related damage with a fuel treatment and stabilizer.
• Fill a gas can with fresh fuel and Advanced Formula Fuel Stabilizer, a 5-in-1, triple antioxidant formula that offers complete protection against the harmful effects associated with ethanol. Follow the manufacturer’s directions on the back of the bottle for specific amounts.
• Top off gas tank with the mixture, which will lessen the chance of water contamination from the fuel tank sweating, while also preventing the fuel system and carburetor from gumming
• Run the engine on your lawn mower for approximately 10 minutes so the treated fuel can run through the carburetor in a well-ventilated area
Check the Oil and Oil Filter Before Winter Storage
• Now that the lawn mower engine is warm, it’s time to change the oil, oil filter and fuel filter.
• Remove the oil dipstick
• Carefully position an oil pan under the drain location, which will vary depending on mower model
• Unscrew the oil drain plug and allow the oil to drain until empty
• Remove the old oil filter from the engine
• Before installing a new oil filter, lightly oil the filter gasket with clean engine oil
• Tighten the filter a half turn once it’s seated
• Use engine oil that is specific to small engines, like Briggs and Stratton small engine motor oil which can be found in two sizes, 18 ounces and 48 ounces
• Do not overfill the oil tank, continually check the oil level with the dipstick until proper level is reached
Replace the Fuel Filter and Spark Plug
With the oil and oil filter changed, it’s now time to replace the fuel filter and spark plug prior to lawn mower storage.
• Locate the fuel filter, use pliers to slide both clamps away from the filter
• While removing the filter from the fuel line, pinch the fuel line coming from the gas tank with vice grips to stop any flow
• Install the fuel filter correctly with the help of the arrow that points in the direction of the fuel flow
• To replace the spark plug, remove and discard the old plug
• Fresh from the package, gap the spark plug to 30,000 of an inch or according to manufactures directions
• Use lubrication on the spark plug threads and install the plug into the engine
• Replace the wires and start your lawn mower, be sure to check for leaks
Remove the Lawn Mower Battery
• First disconnect the negative battery cable
• Then disconnect the positive cable
• Remove the battery and store in a cool, dry place like the garage, shed or basement
• Clean the battery terminals using a battery terminal cleaner, then coat all terminals with the terminal protector
Now you know How to Store a Lawn Mower
The last - and easiest step -- of winterizing is to clean the engine. Clean any dirty surface with debris and grass. With the spark plug removed, use an air compressor or brush to wash away any other grass clippings.
Use a lawn mower cover before tucking away your garden tractor, zero turn or riding mower for the long winter ahead!
If you have limited storage space, you can ask your Briggs and Stratton Dealer to store your lawn mower over the winter.