Winter Lawn Mower Storage

Find out what you need to do when storing your lawn mower for winter

To keep your lawn mower ready for spring and running strong for years, it's important to store it well during the off-season.  From replacing lawn mower blades and parts to changing the oil, fall maintenance for walk-behind and riding lawn mowers is a simple way to ensure you're prepared for the first cut in the spring. As the weather cools and you get ready to put your lawn mower in storage for the winter, MTD Parts has some helpful tips for proper lawn mower maintenance.

General lawn mower storage tips for winter

  • Run the mower until it is out of gas, or remove the spark plug wire to drain the old gas and recycle it using the Arnold Siphon pump. 
  • Add Sta-Bil to your new gasoline and refill your mower, then reattach the spark plug to run it through the engine for a few minutes. Wait for the mower to cool and top off the gas to avoid leaving room for moisture to build up, then disconnect the spark plug wire to prepare for other maintenance.
  • Drain your old oil into an appropriate receptacle using an Arnold siphon pump.
  • Replace the oil filter and refill with new oil.
  • Clean or replace the air filter (tThis is especially important if you use your riding lawn mower to mulch leaves in the fall).
  • Check your spark plug for debris or corrosion. If it can be cleaned, do so. However, if it has become corroded, you will probably need to replace it. 
  • Tighten any loose nuts and bolts that may have come loose during the season?s operation.
  • Clean the undercarriage of your walk-behind or riding lawn mower. If you leave lawn clippings and debris on your mower throughout the winter, the buildup can contribute to rust. 
  • Sharpen or replace lawn mower blades  and examine other lawn mower parts like belts and hardware. If you need to order new lawn mower parts, use our Parts Finder or shop our best-selling parts pages.

Storing your riding lawn mower for winter

Unlike your self-propelled or push mower, riding lawn mowers don't always need to be stored throughout the winter. With blade and blower attachments , tire chains and more, you can put your riding lawn mower to use year-round. However, if you choose to maintain a separate snow blower, you'll need to follow the above tips for storing your lawn mower for winter. When storing a riding lawn mower, you?ll also want to charge the battery, clean the terminals and remove it, storing it in a different spot in your garage for the winter. Then, cover your snow thrower to keep extra moisture out and store it on a level, dry surface. You may not want to store it directly on top of the concrete in your garage as the cold can damage your tires, so consider laying down a tarp or cardboard first.

Storing your walk-behind lawn mower for winter

There aren't many different tips specific to storing your walk-behind lawn mower for winter. You still want to add fuel stabilizer, check the lawn mower blades and clean the undercarriage. However, the process for doing each of these steps may be different depending on your model number, and will of course be different between walk-behind and riding lawn mowers. (With the major difference being that you can tip your walk-behind mower on its side (air filter up) to do most of your maintenance.) You may also be able to find walk-behind lawn mowers with collapsible handles to make them easier to store in tight spaces, if that's a concern for you.

Order lawn mower parts from MTD Parts with our helpful Parts Finder

To prepare for winter lawn mower storage of your walk-behind or riding lawn mower, stock up on the replacement lawn mower parts you need by entering your part or model number in the tool on the left. You'll also find helpful, in-depth tips for all the steps above, specific to riding and walk-behind mowers in our Knowledge Center . Remember to refer to the owner?s manual of your specific model for tips when changing the oil, blades and more as these are just general tips.  



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