With fall now upon us, homeowners are thinking about putting away their lawn mowers for the season. But a new survey from Briggs & Stratton Corporation suggests that they are not thinking enough about how to properly store their equipment.
The survey, conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Briggs & Stratton in July 2015 among 2,039 U.S. adults, showed that 58 percent of homeowners who lived in a climate that experiences a true winter season simply park their push or ride-on lawn mowers in their garage or shed as-is during the winter.
“A few simple steps in fall can help keep your lawn mower in good working condition and make it last longer,” explained Carissa Gingras, marketing director for consumer engines and service at Briggs & Stratton. “Just like car owners routinely performing oil changes and tune-ups, homeowners need to take care of their outdoor power equipment.”
By incorporating the following five simple steps, homeowners can help extend the life of their mowers.
#1 Run the gas tank empty or add fuel stabilizer
There are two ways that mower owners can store their equipment. First, they can get rid of the gas completely by running the mower or draining the fuel. Second, they can add a fuel treatment and stabilizer. Gas begins to degrade and go stale only 30 days after pumping it, and stale gas can cause varnish and gumming that clog the fuel system and carburetor jets. Plus, over 90 percent of fuel in the United States contains up to 10-percent ethanol, which attracts moisture and can cause corrosion. “We recommend mower owners get in the habit of treating their fuel every time they fill their red fuel can,” added Gingras. And according to Briggs & Stratton, it’s important to use a fuel treatment and stabilizer that does not contain additional alcohol.
#2 Change the mower’s oil
Either in the fall before storage, or during a spring tune-up, it is important to change the oil to remove any dirt and debris that can prevent the oil from lubricating and cooling the engine. Although with the new Briggs & Stratton EXi Series engines, mower owners don’t need to change the oil for the life of the engine.*
#3 Remove the battery if equipped
On riding mowers, removing the battery during the winter season can help prevent potential damage from corrosion of the battery and battery terminals.
#4 Clean the undercarriage and remove debris
After a full season of cutting, dirt and grass can build up on the blades and get stuck on the mower’s undercarriage. Cleaning it now can help ensure a quality cut and can help keep the mower running smoothly for the next season.
#5 Store your lawn mower in a clean, dry place
Leaving a mower outside can lead to damage caused by moisture. According to Briggs & Stratton’s recently released poll, nearly 10 percent of homeowners leave their mower outside unprotected from the elements. Storing a lawn mower in a clean, dry place will ensure it is protected from the damaging weather elements.
By incorporating these simple steps, when it’s time to take the lawn mower out of storage in the spring, the 37 percent of survey respondents who said that they prepare their mower for storage may find it easier to start and operate their mower throughout the mowing season.
*Regular scheduled maintenance still required. To see complete details, refer to your Operating Manual. Briggs & Stratton standard warranty terms and conditions apply. Just Check & Add does not extend the warranty period. See www.briggsandstratton.com/us/en/support/warranty for details.