3 Easy Tips To Prepare Your Outdoor Power Equipment For Winter

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snowy winter wonderland shed and yard covered in snow

Spring and summer are great times to get outside and enjoy the warmer weather. But when the temperatures start to drop, it’s time to think about storing your equipment for the winter. Taking a little time now to care for your equipment can save you time, money, and energy in the future. Failure to do so could result in significant damage that could be costly to repair. At Owenhouse Ace Hardware, our experts put together this list of three easy tips to prepare your outdoor equipment for winter. Following these simple tips can help you avoid costly repairs down the road.

1. Prepare Your Fuel

As any homeowner knows, outdoor power equipment is a necessary part of keeping up with yard work. From lawnmowers to leaf blowers, this equipment helps us to maintain our homes and gardens. However, when winter arrives, it’s important to take some time to prepare your outdoor power equipment for storage. One of the most important steps is to prepare the fuel in your gas tank for winter storage. Gasoline can fade in potency and go bad over time. If left untreated, standard gasoline can damage the engine. To avoid problems, we recommend filling your equipment’s tank with fresh gas and adding a fuel stabilizer before putting it away for the winter. After adding a fuel stabilizer, it is important to run the equipment for a few minutes to ensure the stabilizer reaches the carburetor to prevent plugged jets or sticky floats. This simple step will help ensure that your outdoor power equipment is ready to go when spring arrives.

Pro Tip: Next time you’re filling up your gas can, add your stabilizer right at the pump! This ensures that the entire can is treated to last. Running stabilized fuel throughout the year won’t damage your power equipment but will make it storage-ready year-round.

What are fuel stabilizers?

Fuel stabilizers help to protect engines from the damaging effects of ethanol-blended gasoline and cold temperatures. By keeping your fuel system clean and free of corrosion, stabilizers can help extend the life of your power equipment. Owenhouse recommends Toro fuel stabilizer or STA-BIL marine grade fuel stabilizer to protect your equipment during winter storage.

Red fuel jug for power tools

2. Clean Before Storing

When winter arrives, it’s time to prepare your outdoor power equipment for storage. This includes cleaning it thoroughly and ensuring it’s in good working order. Neglecting to properly care for your equipment can cause several problems, including rust, corrosion, and engine damage.

Rust and corrosion are two of the most common issues that occur when outdoor power equipment is stored without being cleaned first. Rust happens when iron or steel is exposed to oxygen and moisture, and it can quickly damage the surface of your equipment. Corrosion occurs when metal is exposed to an acidic substance, such as battery acid. This can eat away at the surface of your equipment, causing irreversible damage.

picture of man sharpening a chainsaw blade with gloves on

How to clean your chainsaw

A few simple steps to clean and maintain your chainsaw will pay off when you’re ready to use it again next spring.

  • Spray the body and blade with WD-40 or STIHL Hedge Trimmer Blade Cleaner/Resin Remover, and scrub with a brush or wipe cloth to remove any accumulated dirt, dust, or sap. 
  • Remove any old lubricant from the chain (using the same cleaners listed above) and wipe it down.
  • Sharpen the chain.
  • Lube the chain. 
  • Clean or replace the air filter.
  • Replace the spark plug if needed. If it does start up easily, it may be good for another year, but always, it’s good to have a spare on hand.

How to clean your string trimmer

Here’s how to clean a string trimmer before storing it for the winter:

  • Clean the outside of the string trimmer with a soft cloth and mild soap.
  • Clean out the cutting head with water or compressed air.
  • Clean or replace the air filter.
  • Replace the spark plug if needed.
  • Apply a light coat of oil to all metal parts.
Close up of weed wacker blade

How to clean your lawn mower

Here are the steps you need to take to prepare your lawn mower for winter storage:

  • Remove any debris from the deck and undercarriage with a scraper or putty knife.
  • Replace any worn or broken parts.
  • Tighten any loose screws or bolts.
  • Change the oil and filter.
  • Sharpen the blade.
  • Lube the cables with Tri-Flow or Super Lube.
man cleaning out lawn mower blade before winter

3. Service Now To Ensure Smooth Operation In The Spring

Servicing your outdoor power equipment before storing it for the winter is important for two reasons. First, it helps to prevent damage that can be caused by freezing temperatures. Second, it ensures that your equipment will be in good working condition when you need it again.

Benefits of professional servicing

Regular servicing will help to ensure that your equipment is running smoothly and will help to extend its lifespan. However, if you are not experienced in servicing your equipment yourself, there is a risk that you could end up doing more harm than good. Bringing your power equipment to a professional technician to service will guarantee that it runs smoother and longer.

 
man working on honda generator

What to expect

First, technicians will inspect the equipment to identify any areas that need repair or replacement. Next, they will clean the equipment to remove any dirt, debris, or build-up that could interfere with its performance. Finally, they will make sure that all of the blades are sharp and lubricate the moving parts and test the equipment to ensure that it is running smoothly. 

Getting your outdoor power equipment serviced before storing it for the winter is the best way to ensure that it will be ready to go when the warm weather returns.

Power equipment servicing at Owenhouse Ace

Our repair shop accepts mowers for service from February 1st through September 15th.

After September 15th, we switch our focus to servicing snowblowers for the winter. This switch only affects larger power equipment like mowers and snowblowers. We continue to accept chainsaws, trimmers, etc. year round. If you have any questions about our services or repair shop policies, give us a call, and we will be happy to answer them for you.

Man working at the parts and services department using machine and smiling

We’re Here To Help You Prepare!

It’s that time of year again. The days are getting shorter, which can only mean one thing- winter is on its way. For many people, that means it’s time to start preparing their outdoor power equipment for storage. But where do you even begin? That’s where Owenhouse Ace Hardware comes in! We carry everything you need to get your equipment ready for winter, tune-up kits, fuel stabilizers, cleaning supplies, oil change supplies, air filters, spark plugs, and more!  We also offer a wide range of services to help you service your power equipment, both in-store and online. So whatever you need to get your outdoor power equipment ready for winter, Owenhouse Ace Hardware has you covered and if you are looking for more ways to prepare for winter, check out our  Winter Preparedness Checklist blog!

 

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