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How to Winterize a Lawn Mower

Preparing your mower for winter will extend engine life and improve performance

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How to Winterize a Lawn Mower
photo © Getty Images/John A Rizzo

Once the last of the leaves has been mulched and snowfall is imminent, it's time to winterize the lawn mower. When the lawn chores are done for the season, the mower will not likely be in use until the spring so store it out of the way. Ensure the storage area is cool and dry and cover the mower to keep it clean and protected.

Before it gets covered up though, be sure these basic, simple steps are followed to ensure proper winterization.


  • Empty fuel tank
    • run mower until engine stops from lack of fuel
    • prime engine and start again
    • when engine will no longer start, it is sufficiently dry

  • Change the oil

  • Remove spark plug

  • Add a small amount of engine oil (a tablespoon) to the crankcase through the spark plug hole

  • Turn the engine over with the pull-cord a couple of times to distribute the oil

  • Install spark plug but don't connect wire

  • Clean engine housing well

  • Check blade condition and replace if necessary

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Lawn Care: Fixing Bare Patches
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