End-of-Season Lawn Mower Maintenance
If you have a traditional walk-behind, gas-powered mower, end-of-season maintenance will protect it, prolong its lifespan and prevent expensive repairs. You don’t have to be a trained mechanic to do it, as mower care is relatively straightforward and simple. Here is what to do.
- Drain any fuel remaining in the tank, and fill it with new gas in the spring. The easiest way to accomplish this is to simply let the mower run until it's out of gas.
- Remove the spark plug. That is extremely important as it will keep the mower from starting accidentally and prevent serious injuries.
- Remove the blade. This way, it will be easier to change the oil and clean under the deck. The blade should be sharpened while it's uninstalled. You can choose to do this task yourself with a sharpening stone, metal file or motorized grinder, but many people prefer to have it sharpened by a professional.
- Drain the oil and start with fresh oil next season. If your mower is older, you're going to have to tip it over. If you do, make sure the air filter and carburator are facing up. Most newer models have a drain plug so there is no need to put the mower on its side.
- Scrape off the grass and mud stuck under your mower's deck. This will prevent rust from forming and clear the way to the discharge chute.
- Once the deck is clean, reinstall the sharpened blade.
- Replace the air filter and tighten any loose nuts and screws.
- Replace the spark plug.
When you're finished, you can leave your mower to rest in a sheltered place for the next few months. If dust or rodents are a concern, cover the mower with a tarp and place one or two mouse traps nearby.