As the summer comes to a close, homeowners start considering when they should pursue long-term storage of their lawn mower. Most likely, grass will stop growing at an accelerated pace toward the end of September and into the middle of October. Around that time, it’s actually healthy to cut the grass, allow for a bit of mulching, and then let longer grass endure as the cold weather of fall and winter begins to set in. That’s when it’s time to prepare for long-term, off-season mower storage.
This process requires a few key considerations to ensure that the mower doesn’t succumb to stale fuel, rust, a lack of lubrication, or other damage. It’s also a great time to check air filters and other parts for damage, cleanliness, or the need for replacement in general. Homeowners new to off-season storage procedures should follow a simple, step-by-step procedure, which will allow them to keep their mower in great shape even as it takes a break between summer seasons.
Safety Matters: Stick to Guidelines When Preparing for Mower Storage
Mower maintenance, whether it’s for routine work during the summer or off-season storage at the end of the season, can put the operator at a significant risk of injury if basic safety procedures are not followed. To that end, those performing pre-storage maintenance should disconnect all spark plugs, ensure that the engine has cooled off if used recently, and perhaps drain fuel in advance to eliminate the risk of sparking and damaging leaks. All maintenance procedures should be performed in a well-ventilated area or outdoors, on a level and solid surface. Bystanders and pets should be indoors, to minimize the risk of injury, if their services are not required during the storage procedure.
Step-By-Step: Getting the Mower Ready for Off-Season Storage
Mower maintenance in advance of storage requires a few key steps and procedures to guard against damage and ensure that the mower is ready to go when warm weather returns. Here’s a step-by-step look at what to do as part of this process.
Step 1: Drain Old Fuel From the Mower
Fuel left in the mower over the long course of winter storage can actually cause corrosion and damage the equipment in some cases. Furthermore, this fuel will often go “stale” and won’t start the mower effectively in the spring. Drain old fuel into an approved container. Either use it in winter equipment or dispose of it in an eco-friendly way.
Step 2: Clean the Deck Area
Remove the mower blades by loosening the necessary bolts and setting the blades aside. Examine them for damage and clean them as needed. If damage is revealed, replace the blades with OEM equivalents. Clean the mower deck thoroughly and lubricate the bolt holding the blades in place.
Step 3: Perform an Oil Change
Drain old oil from the mower by following the Cub Cadet instructions, and dispose of that old oil in an eco-friendly way. Add fresh oil until it meets the “fill” line on the included dipstick.
Step 4: Clean Air and Fuel Filters
Remove the air and fuel filters and clean them using warm, soapy water. If the filters are exceedingly dirty or damaged, they should be replaced instead with OEM Cub Cadet air filters. This is a crucial way to ensure that the mower will start easily once warm weather returns and the equipment is removed from storage.
Step 5: Clean the Mower’s Exterior and Lubricate Fittings
Debris left on the mower during off-season storage can encourage corrosion or other damage. Clean the mower using a damp cloth before it is put into storage for the winter season. With the mower cleaned and ready to go, use a mild grease lubricant around all bolts and bearings to ensure they remain free from corrosion as well.
Step 6: Replace Spark Plug and Store the Mower
Replace the spark plug and reconnect it properly. With maintenance complete, the mower can be placed into a dry, cool area for storage during the coldest months of the year.
Get the Parts and Other Items Needed for Storage at CubParts.com
Preparing the mower for storage during the fall and winter often means replacing some parts and fluids in various areas of the equipment. The best way to ensure the long-term durability and quality of these replacements is through the use of OEM parts. Manufactured by Cub Cadet, these parts are required to pass stringent quality assurance tests so that they offer the same level of performance as the Cub Cadet mower itself. CubParts.com offers a large number of OEM replacement parts that will make it easy to ensure mower durability even as it sits idle for months at a time. With the ability to sort by engine, part and model number, it’s also very easy to pick a perfect match for any mower.