Our service department is bombarded with hundreds of lawn mowers each spring. Homeowners struggle with engines that will not start, flat tires, broken belts, snapped cables and many other issues. Most of the issues are preventable with proper maintenance and careful storage.

As the mowing season comes to an end, follow this thorough checklist to storing your lawnmower. The offseason is an ideal time to instal one of our Lawnmower Tune Up Kits and replace worn belts, cables, wheels, blades and other hardware. You can find all the items for your model by using our Search Tool.

Our Service Department Technicians helped me prepare this thorough checklist with the homeowner in mind:

Prepare the fuel system

  • Add a fuel stabilizer to any remaining fuel.
  • Start the engine and allow it to run for at least 5 minutes.
  • Allow the engine to run until it dies completely or drain the fuel after stopping the engine and allowing engine to cool down.
  • If the lawnmower carburetor features a drain plug, drain all remaining fuel from the carburetor.
  • Store the mower with no fuel in the tank.
  • Dispose of all remaining fuel in containers.

Maintain the cylinder

  • Remove the spark plug(s).
  • Add 1-2 teaspoons of oil to the cylinder.
  • Slowly pull the recoil rope. This turns the cylinder and distributes the oil.
  • Replace the spark plug. (If you plan to tune up your mower now is a great time to renew the spark plug)
  • Pull the recoil once more until you feel tension. This closes the cylinder and the oil will protect against corrosion during storage.
    • On riding lawnmowers turning the engine from the ignition replaces this step

Check wearable parts for defects and wear

  • Cables should move freely
    • Pay attention to binding or wear around the handlebar
    • Replace any missing cable ties
  • Recoil rope should be free of fraying and tightly secured
  • Handle knobs and bolts should be tightened
  • Wheel bolts, adjusters and knobs are often damaged under shrubs, hedges or along fence lines
  • Tire tread helps indicate the condition of internal gears
    • Many transmission issues are caused by lack of grease on gears and worn gears
  • If equipped with a battery, properly lubricant contact points or remove your battery for storage in climate controlled area.
  • On riding lawnmowers, inspect deck pulleys, spindles and idlers springs
  • Replace any missing damaged or worn items. TheMowerShop.com offers a wide selection of parts with fast, free shipping.

Clean under lawn mower deck

  • Scrape all grass and debris from under deck and off lawnmower blade
    • Walk power mowers may be rested on its side (make sure the air filter is up and the oil reservoir is facing down)
    • Riding mower decks can be removed or lifted according to operators manuals
  • If you plan to tune up your mower, now is a great time to drain oil and change the blade

Engine maintenance

  • If you plan to do a complete tune-up, the offseason is ideal to change oil, filters and blades.
  • For homeowners who service their equipment with The Mower Shop, there is no need to address engine maintenance.

Clean mower

  • Remove air filter cover and clean compartment.
  • If you plan to tune up your mower, now is a great time to change the air filter.
  • Removing dirt and grass from the engine, deck and operator controls prevents corrosion

Ready for Storage

  • Properly cover the mower. A quality cover protects the equipment from dust and other airborne debris.