I don’t like to say this, but summer is coming to an end as fall quickly approaches. And when it does come to a close, it is time to start thinking about how you will store your Outdoor Power Equipment. A little preparation here will save you a lot of aggravation later.
Let’s start with your riding lawn mower. If you have an indoor place to store it that is best as to leave it out in the elements severely reduces the lifetime of the mower. Rust and mildew set it and these are never good for a machine.
The end of the mowing season is the best time to have your rider serviced instead of waiting in long lines in the spring. The oil should be changed as well as the oil filter if it is equipped with one. The air filter and spark plugs are the next items to change out. The inline fuel filter is another part that is something to change to keep your fuel as clean as possible before it reaches the carburetor or fuel injectors.
Next item on the list is to sharpen the blades and scrape the deck clean underneath and clean the grass off of the top. Check your deck and drive belts for wear and cracking. Fill the tires with air and lubricate the grease fittings. Lubricate your linkages and cables with cable lube, dry lubricant or whichever your maintenance manual calls for.
Add some fuel stabilizer to the tank and let the engine run for 10 minutes at idle.
Check the overall condition of the mower for any defects and then wash it. Make sure the battery is fully charged and then remove it if storing the machine outdoors or in an unheated area. If you have a trickle charger, put your battery on it for the winter. It is a good idea to check the battery acid levels before you do so.
For push and self propelled lawn mowers, the task is much easier. You just do all the steps above and if you have a battery start mower, then you need to address that as well.
Pressure washers are the one machine that doesn’t see much use throughout the year which causes issues of its own. The other problem is that they are stored in an outside shed which freezes the water in the pump and hose which can break them.
These machines need their oil changed, fuel stabilizer added and the engine ran and the pump should be treated with a product such as Pump Saver. This pushed out the water and lubricates the pump. The machine should also be stored inside in a heated area or one that does not freeze.
Your 2-cycle machines should have fuel stabilizer added to the fuel as well and run for 10 minutes.
Be sure to use all safety precautions when working on your machine as laid out in the applicable owners or service manual.
Just a few simple things can make your next lawn management season a much less frustrating one.
And of course we can do all of the above for you so you don’t have to!