Preparing Your Lawn Mowers for Winter
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Preparing Your Lawn Mowers for Winter

Winterizing Lawn mowers. Get a fresh start on the season.

Hello friends and keepers of that great lawn. We made it through an especially busy grass cutting year, well done. Now it is time to give that lawn mower a well deserved break.To make sure that when we call on this equipment again, it will indeed work as well as it did, there are some things we need to do. So let's get started.

 Clean: Let's make sure that the equipment is thoroughly clean. All debris is washed off both from the top and the under carriage. Especially under the deck and the housing. Make sure that the pulleys are all free of any debris. Turn the blades on after washing and sling all that old grass out from under the deck. This is critical due to the fact that as this equipment sits, this old grass will harden like concrete, which  could cause blockage the next time the blades are engaged. Running the tractor after washing will ensure that all debris is free from any belt guides and paths. With the equipment clean, check for any slow oil leakage or fuel.

Fuel: Now is the time to treat the fuel that you have remaining in all your equipment with some sort of fuel stabilizer. Do not let this equipment set with untreated fuel. Any fuel that was left over from the season, if more then two to three weeks old, discard. Sounds odd but there is a reason to the madness. Untreated fuel breaks down. All fuels have a water content, some higher then others. As the fuel sets, the water will move to the bottom of the container, likewise in the fuel tank and the carburetor bowl. There it will start breaking down further and eventually carbonize the moving and breathing parts of the carburetor. End result , a no start at the beginning of the cutting season. With the introduction of Ethanol fuels, the lawn industry has had some issues with the breakdown of this fuel on some fuel lines and floats. so check your fuel lines for any signs of sponginess or white powder build up. This is a sign that the Ethanol fuel has left some tell tell signs of breakdown. These fuel lines will need to be replaced. Ethanol as it breaks down will leave a 'sugar" type residue behind. This will hard or caramelize in your fuel lines. Restrict fuel flow and again , a no start next season.

 Tires: If the item is to be stores outside, makes sure that the tires are resting on something, ie  plywood or brick stones. Tires that sit directly on the ground have a tendency to be exposed to the elements more and could dry rot before the next season. Tires that had been traditionally going low all season should either be replaced, or the entire item needs to be put on blocks, this will prevent the piece of equipment sitting on flat tires with its entire weight. Once tires break a rim seal, the average owner cannot re air the tire.

 Battery: Folks always ask me if they should remove the battery from the equipment. My answer to this is, if the battery box is clean and dry and the equipment will not be going through extreme condition changes..no. Weather has a major play in how long a battery will stay charged. Most batteries only have a guarantee for 90 days. Sounds weak but it's true. After that it's all on how many times the battery was brought below its output or had to be charged. A battery actually breaths, sweats and freezes, kind of like a human. So keep it clean, warm and happy and it will keep you happy.

 Last and finally Storage; This is not a hard and fast case, just a little helpful hints that I have found works. If the tractor is to be stored outside, lift the deck up. This will prevent unwelcome varmints from building a home under the deck. Likewise family pets. Try not to park this tractor under any old trees. Like  our cars, Mother Nature has a way of dropping things on our pride and joy. So with all this, hope to see you all again when the season  of growing and mowing begins. Until then..have a safe and joyfulness holiday.

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