Preparing your lawn mower for winter is an important step to ensure it functions as it should come spring time.
Without proper maintenance at the end of each season, you are putting your mower at risk of damage that could result in costly repairs or even shorten the lifespan of your machine.
The Toro Company has created a helpful guide on how best to prepare your mower ahead of the next season.
As always, review the safety information in your operator’s manual before conducting any of these maintenance tasks. If you’re feeling unsure, reach out to your local Toro authorised service dealer, who can provide more information on having your machine serviced.
Drain the fuel tank
To ensure the petrol left in the machine doesn’t go stale over winter be sure to add Toro’s Premium Fuel Treatment. It protects the engine from rust and corrosion, the build-up of gum, and stabilises the fuel for up to 12 months. It is recommended to not store fuel in either the fuel tank or in fuel
containers over the winter unless a fuel stabiliser is used. If a fuel stabiliser hasn’t been used all season then run the mower until it’s empty.
When adding new fuel, mix the fuel stabiliser in the fuel can before filling up the mower. For best results and to reduce starting problems, use only clean, fresh fuel that is less than 30 days old.
Change your engine oil
The mower’s oil should be changed at least once annually. Run the engine for 5 minutes before changing the oil to help it drain better. For walk-behind mowers, place down a drain pan, remove the dipstick and tip the mower on its side with the air filter facing up. The oil will drain through the oil fill tube and into the pan. Make sure that the oil has drained completely. Tip the mower back up and pour in new oil until the oil reaches the “full” line on the dipstick. Be careful not to overfill.
Inspect the mower blade
It is now time to check the mower blade. The best way is to remove the blade from the mower to ensure you can inspect it fully for any chips or damage. Turn the mower on its side with the air filter pointing up, and take off the nut that holds the blade on. The blade is sharp so be sure to wear gloves to minimise the risk of injury. If there’s no visible damage, clean and sharpen the blade. If you are unsure of how to sharpen the blade or if there’s any visible damage, take it to your local Toro dealer to have it sharpened professionally or replaced.
Before re-attaching the mower blade, this is a good time to remove any debris from underneath the mower using a stick or brush, and then carefully clean all those areas you normally wouldn’t reach before you replace the blade. Take extra care to ensure it is correctly tightened to the correct torque setting and is safely in place.
Spark plug and air filter
Next, it is time to change the spark plug and the air filter. The Toro Walk Mower Maintenance Kit contains a spark plug and an air filter that is perfect for your walk-behind mower. It also has Toro Lawnmower Oil and a packet of Toro Fuel Treatment, making it a great all-in-one kit to have on hand when you’re preparing your mower for winter.
Finally, grease any moving parts to keep them lubricated, and to avoid rust and corrosion.
Once your mower is serviced be sure to cover it with a Toro Lawn Mower Cover. They are vented to prevent moisture and heat build-up. They’re also waterproof, abrasion and tear resistant and stay flexible even in cold weather, so are perfect for keeping your mower protected over winter.
Taking the time to give your lawn mower an annual service over winter will help avoid expensive repairs and ensure it roars back to life next season.