Tips for Storing Your Lawn Mower

Man putting cover over lawnmower

The mowing season is coming to an end, and winter is just around the corner! Once you’re done mowing for the year, replace any worn parts and properly store your machine to help ensure it is ready for next spring.

If you’re planning to do your own maintenance or just want to see what Toro recommends, here are tips that will help you prepare for winter. See your operator’s manual for further details on performing any of the maintenance mentioned.

If you prefer to have a dealer do any necessary maintenance or repairs on your mower, now would be a good time to contact them. Once spring comes, their shops will be extremely busy, and they could have long delays.

1. Fuel System Preparation

Add fuel stabilizer/conditioner to the fuel tank. Run the engine for five minutes to distribute conditioned fuel through the fuel system. Stop engine, allow it to cool, and drain fuel tank or run engine until it stops. Either choke or prime the engine, restart it a third time and allow it to run until it stops. Continue to attempt to restart the engine until it no longer will start.  While the engine is still warm, change the engine oil (and filter, as applicable), if this service is due.

2. Cylinder/Piston Care

4-cycle engines
Remove the spark plug and add about one tablespoon of oil through the spark plug hole. Slowly rotate the engine several times using starter rope or key starter to distribute oil. Reinstall spark plug, but do not connect spark plug wire.
2-cycle engines
Slowly pull recoil starter until resistance is felt due to compression pressure, then stop. Release starter tension slowly to prevent the engine from reversing due to compression pressure. This position closes both the intake and exhaust ports to prevent outside air entry, which can result in corrosion of the cylinder bore.

3. Tighten fasteners as needed.

4. Service air filter as described in the operator’s manual.

5. Clean unit thoroughly.

6. Touch up all rusted or chipped paint surfaces.

7. Battery (if applicable)

Remove the battery from the unit and fully charge prior to storage.

8. Replace damaged or worn parts.

9. Sharpen and balance the mower blade(s).

10. Lubricate unit per the operator’s manual.

11. Storage

Ensure engine has cooled. Cover unit and store in a clean, dry location out of the reach of children.  Note: Never store unit in the house (living area) or basement where ignition sources may be present, such as a hot water heater, space heater, or clothes dryer. Gasoline and fumes are highly flammable and explosive. Fumes also can be dangerous if inhaled.

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