How to Winterize Your Mower
Posted on:Nov 26, 2014
Once cooler weather arrives, it's time to winterize your mower, regardless of whether you plan to store it away for the winter or keep it ready for snow removal in the coming months. Winterizing your zero-turn mower -- getting it ready for the cold months ahead -- will make sure that it will start right up for you the next time you're ready to use it. Here are 5 simple ways you can winterize your mower.
Winterize Your Mower: The Battery
Keep the battery charged to keep your mower ready all winter long. Clean and inspect the battery, cables, terminals, tray and hold-downs. Check the battery case for leaks and cracks. Keep the battery fully charged through the winter with a Battery MINDer®, available from Grasshopper (PN 102050). It will prevent damage due to self-discharging without the risk of overcharging.
Winterize Your Mower: Block Heater
If the ambient temperature drops below 20°F, it may be necessary to add supplemental heat to the engine for it to start properly. A block heater is the best way to accomplish this. NEVER use any type of starting fluid, as they can cause severe damage to critical engine components.
Winterize Your Mower: Engine Oil
If the engine oil is too thick due to cold temperatures and is unable to flow in-between engine parts Â especially when starting the engine Â then engine damage can result. It is critical that you use the correct oil for cold weather operation. Typically, the lower the "w" rating on the oil, the easier it will flow during cold weather. For example, the use of 30W oil in winter will often cause starting problems. Be sure to follow the engine manufacturerÂs oil recommendation for cold weather operation.
Winterize Your Mower: Fuel
Different grades of fuel are used for warm and cold weather operation. Use a good quality, fresh winter-grade fuel to winterize your mower; summer-grade fuel causes hard-starts in cold weather. Add a fuel stabilizer, like STA-BIL®, to all of your fuel purchases throughout the year, especially if your mower will likely sit for many weeks at a time without being used. If fuel stabilizer was not added to the bulk fuel, then it is a good idea to add the proper amount directly into the fuel tank the next time you try to start the engine. If you add stabilizer to the fuel tank, allow the engine to run in an open, ventilated area for about 10 minutes to be sure the treated fuel is circulated throughout the fuel system.
Winterize Your Mower: Download The Checklist
Download Grasshopper's "Winterization and Winter Storage Checklist" for more tips on how to winterize your mower, as well as winter operation tips and winter storage techniques.