It just seemed like yesterday that it was time to put your lawn and garden equipment in storage for the winter. After a cold winter, spring has finally arrived and it is time for preparing the lawn equipment for spring & summer use. Whether you are bringing out the lawn equipment from your garage or a storage unit, you need to make sure that they are running correctly before use. According to Outdoor Power Equipment (OPEI), it is very important to avoid fuel related problems, so your lawn equipment will operate safely.
There are certain steps that need to be followed in order to make sure that your lawn and garden tools including lawn mowers, trimmers, chain saws and other gardening equipment are in good working condition for the new season. Spring maintenance of these items can take just a few hours on your own or can be done by the equipment’s service center.
Cleaning and Prepping Lawn and Garden Equipment
Before preparing your lawn equipment for the spring season, consult the owner’s manual for specific instruction on cleaning and handling the equipment. The manuals will typically provide detailed instructions on what tasks need to be completed to get the equipment ready for use again.
- Check the fuel tank of the lawn mower before use. It is recommended not to leave fuel sitting in a tank for more than 30 days. Untreated gasoline (without a fuel stabilizer), will deteriorate causing starting issues and damage to the fuel system. Safely drain old untreated fuel and follow your equipment manual on adding new fuel. Remember to properly dispose of the old fuel.
- Inspect the lawn and garden equipment. Look for loose belts, missing or damaged parts. Damaged equipment should be repaired as soon as possible.
- Drain out old oil and replace with fresh oil recommended by the manufacturer. Properly dispose of the oil that was drained.
- Check the air filters on the engines of the lawn and garden tools. If it is dark or gray, then it needs to be replaced.
- Check the spark plugs and clean or replace as needed.
- Clean the lawn and garden equipment before use, especially if this was not done before storing. Remove dirt, oil and grass that were stuck in the machinery during the off-season. Cleaning a lawn mower will help it to run more efficiently and last longer.
- Check the battery on riding mowers. If the battery was removed during winter storage, reattach and re-charge the battery, if necessary.
- Check the tires on the lawn and garden equipment and inflate to the pressure recommended by the equipment’s instruction manual.
- Grease the wheel bearings and other moving parts on the machinery as applicable. This will allow the lawn equipment to work better and last longer.
- For leaf blowers, edging equipment or trimmers, inspect the equipment to make sure that the straps, handles, nuts and bolts are all in place and working. Follow oil change and air filter change procedures according to the owner’s manual. Review the starting procedures before you use the equipment for the first time in the season.
Once you remove your spring lawn and garden equipment from storage, then it will be time to move the winter items such as snow blowers into storage. A self storage unit is a great option for all of your household storage from furniture to patio furniture to lawn and garden equipment. Placing the equipment in storage will keep them protected from the elements and clear up storage space in your garage.