Months of winter storage can take its toll on your outdoor power equipment, but a few simple tips can have you back up and running in no time when spring arrives.
Whether it’s from being stored in sub zero temps, or not having time to properly store and winterization equipment after the last yard clean-up and cut, it’s worth running through these steps to get your tools ready to go.
Replace spark plugs
If you’re having trouble starting your mower, pressure washer, trimmer, blower or other gasoline-powered outdoor power equipment, the spark plug could be to blame. Remove it and clean the electrode (the end screwed into the equipment) with a wire brush. If you’re unable to get it clean, or it doesn’t improve starting, replace the spark plug with a new one. Reference your operator’s manual for specific instructions on your equipment.
Drain stale fuel
Gas can go bad in as little as 30 days if you didn’t add a fuel stabilizer prior to storage. If this is the case, drain the bad fuel and add fresh gasoline. Remember: when you fill your can, treat your fuel to ensure quick starts.
When it comes to winterization and lawn mower storage, this is the one that often gets neglected. Remove your lawn mower blades, following the directions in your operator are manual or have a professional service provider, such as a Briggs & Stratton dealer, sharpen your blade. If the blade is significantly dented or bent, replace it.
Change the oil
It’s always good to start the season with fresh oil to ensure your engine runs smoothly. Follow the steps in our How-to guide to drain and add new oil. If you changed your oil prior to storing it, be sure to check that the oil level is still within the safe operating range.
For walk-behind mowers, changing your air filter is a simple, inexpensive way to improve performance. These filters catch all kinds of dirt and debris, which can block air flow needed for your engine to run well. If you have a riding lawn mower, check the air intake for rodent nests. This is a popular spot for them to build their winter homes.
Check for general wear and tear
Lastly, be sure to check for things such as holes in your grass-clipping bag, pressure washer hose damage, loose or broken wheels and ensure your starting rope is in good condition. Inspect equipment according to the operator’s manual before using, and if any damage exists make sure you replace parts or repair before using.