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Seasonal tips

Preparing your ride on lawn mower for winter: Tips for maintaining your machine

In this article, we share essential tips for getting your ride on lawn mower ready for winter, to ensure it stays in optimal condition and will be ready for spring. From a thorough cleaning and inspection to checking fuel and oil. Continue reading to learn how you can make sure your ride on mower makes it through the winter trouble-free.

Give your ride on lawn mower a thorough cleaning

Start by thoroughly cleaning your ride on lawn mower. Remove all dirt, grass clippings and leaves that have accumulated during the mowing season. It is important to remove these build-ups as they can cause damage to the mower and reduce cutting performance. Don't forget to clean the underside of your ride on mower either. To access the underside effectively, a dealer will use a professional lift. At home, you could use a ramp. For our Snapper zero turn mowers, we have a special service jack that allows you to safely tilt the machine.

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Inspect the cutting blades and drive belts

Part of winterizing your ride on mower includes inspecting the cutting blades and drive belts. Check the belts for any damage and ensure they have the proper tension. Also, inspect the mowing blades to see if they are still in good condition. It is advisable to sharpen the blades. Sharp blades ensure the best cutting results. When sharpening the blades, make sure the blade is balanced. This means that equal amounts are removed from both sides of the blade. If not, the cutting blade becomes unbalanced and will vibrate. This can lead to wear and tear on the engine and ride on mower. You can also outsource this job to your dealer. Do you see cracks or other damage? Replace the blades.

Empty the fuel tank

If you don’t plan to use your ride on lawn mower during the winter, it is advisable to empty the fuel tank. Due to ethanol addition, petrol nowadays is only stable for a few months. Leaving petrol in the tank can cause starting issues in spring. If there's a small amount of fuel left in the tank, you can run the engine until the fuel tank is empty. If the tank is still considerably full, it is advisable to use a fuel stabiliser to extend its shelf life. Even better, add the stabiliser to the gasoline before filling the tank.

Check the oil

To prevent accumulation of harmful residues, it is important to keep the oil in your ride on mower engine clean and fresh. Remove the old oil and replace it with fresh oil following the recommended steps in your ride on mower's manual.

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Inspect the air filter and spark plugs

Inspect the air filter and make sure it is clean. Consult the engine manual for the recommended spark plug and air filter replacement intervals. Check the spark plugs yourself and replace them if they are worn or fouled.

Lubricate the moving parts

Properly lubricate all moving parts with grease. Carefully lubricating moving parts such as spindles and axles is an essential part of maintaining your ride on lawn mower. It ensures smooth operation of the ride on mower and extends the life of the components.

Ensure proper storage of your ride on mower

Now that all necessary maintenance tasks are completed, your ride on mower is ready for winter and can be safely stored. It is advisable to cover the mower with a protective cover and park it in a dry space, such as a garage or shed.

Benefit from the assistance of a dealer

For professional maintenance, you can seek the help of an authorised Snapper dealer. Dealers have the expertise and the right tools to keep your ride on lawn mower in top condition. In addition, dealers can provide valuable advice on specific maintenance considerations for your particular mower.

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By following the above steps carefully and, if needed, taking professional help from a dealer, you will extend the life of your ride on lawn mower. This way, you can be sure that your ride-on mower will be ready for another mowing season in spring.