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Puting your lawnmower away for the winter months is something we all do, as the grass growth virtually stops and the lawn is ofter too wet and muddy to walk on, let alone take a lawnmower on.
When advising my customers of this important task, I often point out that you would never store your car for a period of time, muddy and damp under the wheel-arches and the same must go for your lawnmower.
Any visit to a recycling centre will reveal the sad sight of a line of old lawnmowers, in varying stages of decay, a sad sight indeed. On closer inspection, the vast majority have corrosion on the steel skirt or cowl, that covers the cutting blade, on rotary mowers.
This is nearly always due to the damp grass and mud mix, which always accumulates from the rotary blade throwing the mess onto the skirt internally.
When stored in a cool and damp shed, the rusting process starts, even though the skirts are painted from the factory, bits of stone and wood constantly being flung sideways from the blade will soon expose the bare metal.
I always recommend on a dry day at the end of the season a thorough clean underneath the cowl, with a stiff brush to remove all the grass and mud, then when the underside is completely dry, a generous spray of a water-repelling oil (WD40 or equivalent), on the cowl, the blade/fan and the drive gear and roller.
You can then apply a thicker oil or grease (applied with a rag or brush) to the parts above for extra protection.
Then it is best to drain the fuel from the tank, bleed off any water from the carburettor float chamber (if a drain screw is fitted).
Give the mower a WD40 wipe over topside to finish off.
Finally, to increase air circulation on the underside, store your lawnmower, in the “hi cut” position and if possible, store on wooden blocks again to increase the ground clearance, for air circulation reasons.
Next Spring, you’ll be pleased when you use your mower, looking on top condition and avoiding that sad trip to the Recycling Centre, for your pride and joy not to join the ranks of the unloved mowers, awaiting their final trip to the crusher.