Brrr, winter is definitely here! It is safe to say that the final grass cut is well and truly over, but there is just one little job left to do before your lawnmower begins its winter hibernation in your garden shed.
Winterizing your walk-behind mower is very important as it ensures that when you take it out next spring for the first cut of the season you will have a hassle-free start and a smug smile on your face! This important maintenance task also extends the life of your engine, ensuring your garden machinery last for years to come.
Just to note, our advice assumes that the person performing the maintenance is trained and competent to work on the equipment. If you are not suitably competent, you can drop your lawnmower into our workshop in Oranmore where our mechanics can take care of this task for you.

Follow these Steps for Hassle-Free Starting Next Spring!

Step 1: The Fuel

It may come as a surprise to you to hear that petrol only stays fresh for 30 days. Here’s the science bit! Unleaded petrol contains ethanol which breaks down in the fuel tank over winter causing build-up of gummy deposits & varnishes, rust and corrosion which will clog up the fuel system and block up the small parts in the carburettor. So using a fuel stabilizer to keep your fuel fresh over the winter is a very important step.

  1. Drain the fuel tank by running your lawnmower in a well ventilated area, away from any heat source or open flame. The engine will stop from lack of fuel. Pump the primer button and start again, when the engine will no longer start it is completely drained.
  2. Next step is to add Briggs & Stratton Fuel Stabiliser to a fuel can of fresh petrol. Make sure to fill your petrol tank fully with the treated fuel and run the engine for about 10 minutes to ensure it gets through the carburetor. This treated fuel will stay fresh for 3 years!
  3. Top up the fuel tank with some treated fuel to make sure it is full as this helps prevent moisture from condensing in your fuel tank, and stops rust and scale before it starts.

 

Step 2: The Oil

Oil lubricates and cleans your mower’s engine and in doing so it collects acid, water, metal particles, and other foreign materials that form a sludge in the engine. Dirty oil left in the engine will cause seals and internal engine parts to deteriorate.

 

  1. Following Step 1, the oil will be warm from running the engine and will be easy to extract. The Briggs & Stratton Oil Removal Pump will make this very easy.
  2. Check your owners manual for the correct viscosity of oil for your engine. Briggs & Stratton engines use SAE30 oil and come in handy 600ml bottles for walk behind lawnmowers. Make sure not to overfill your oil sump. There are markers on the dipstick to show the correct level.


Step 3: Lubricate the crank-case

 Remove the spark plug and pour two capfuls of engine oil into the spark plug hole onto the crankcase. Pull the pullcord a couple of times to turn the motor over and disperse the oil throughout the engine.

  1. Re-fit the spark plug. Check it before you re-fit it and if it looks very dirty or cracked you should replace it.


Step 4: The Air Filter

Check you air filter for dirt. If it is a paper filter it will need to be replaced. Check your parts manual for the correct part number for your filter or you can contact us with your model, type & code.
If it is a sponge filter, wash is out with some petrol and leave to dry.


Step 5: The Blade

  1. Remove and sharpen the blade.
  2. Re-fit and lubricate the blade with WD-40

*Note: when removing and re-fitting the blade always lift your lawnmower from the front and do not tip over on its sides. It is also a good idea to wear gloves as the blade will be sharp when you are re-fitting it.


Step 6: Cleaning

  1. Caked-on grass clipping and soil etc traps moisture and will cause the mower deck to rust. Remove all debris from the deck and underneath the machine with a brush. NEVER use a power washer! This will drive water far into moving parts, such as bearings, causing them to rust and seize up.

Once again lift the mower from the front not the sides. This will prevent oil leaking and clogging up the air filter etc.


Step 7: Storage

Store your mower indoors in a cool, dry place. If you have a key-start lawnmower, disconnect the battery and store in your home where it is warmer.




And thatís it!

This task on a wintery Saturday afternoon will save you struggling with a spluttery, clogged up mower when the grass needs to be cut next Spring.