Time to store the lawn mower? If not it will be soon. Here are some hacks to make sure the mower starts easily in spring.

If it doesn’t start it will mostly likely be because fuel left in the engine decomposed over the winter and varnished the carburetor. That is almost bound to happen. However, that decomposed gas may do even worse damage to engine parts. To prevent such spring problems, buy a fuel stabilizer, which comes in small bottles that most hardware and auto parts stores carry. Add that to your gas tank, fill the tank with gas, and then circulate the stabilizer through the carburetor by running the engine for five minutes.

Many folks know about using a stabilizer, but here are a few less well-known hacks:

Number one is to lubricate your pistons so the mower will start easily after a long winter rest. After the engine cools from your fuel stabilizer circulation, unscrew a spark plug. (In fact, your mower may have only one.) Into that hole, pour a little engine oil, enough to fill an oil bottle cap. Then pull the starter cord a few times to distribute the oil.

The second one is to lean the mower onto one side so that you can reach the under-side, the part with all the matted grass stuck to the metal. Yes, you guessed what’s next: Pull that hardened, crusty green stuff out. Your blade will spin more efficiently the more air and less friction it has. In fact, this is a good time to brush or hose off all mud and grass on the outside to ensure parts are clog and friction-free.

Finally, remove the battery and store it somewhere dry and cool. When you disconnect the battery cable from the battery, do the negative cable first. It will have a minus sign on it or next to it. Wipe the battery off with a clean cloth after you take it out, and then clean the terminals with a metal brush or with an old toothbrush and baking soda. That will keep the leads clean for a smooth start in Spring.

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