Should You Keep Gas In A Lawn Mower Over Winter?

Quick answer: No, it is not recommended to leave gas in a lawn mower over winter.


Picture this: the crisp air, the falling leaves, and the neatly trimmed lawn that you worked tirelessly to maintain all summer long. As winter approaches, you may be wondering what to do with your trusty lawn mower. Should you leave it as it is, tucked away in the shed, or should you take some precautions to ensure it starts up smoothly when spring arrives? One crucial aspect to consider is the gas in your mower’s tank. Can you simply leave it there, or will it cause issues during the dormant winter months? In this article, we will explore the potential problems of leaving gas in a lawn mower over winter and provide you with some valuable tips to keep your trusty machine in top shape. So, before you bid farewell to your mower for the season, let’s delve into this essential topic.

Should You Keep Gas in a Lawn Mower Over Winter?

Can You Leave Gas in a Lawn Mower Over Winter?

Many homeowners wonder about the best practices for winterizing their lawn equipment, including their trusty lawn mower. One of the common concerns is whether it’s safe to leave gas in a lawn mower over the winter months. In this article, we will explore this topic in detail and provide you with all the information you need to ensure the longevity and performance of your lawn mower. So, let’s dive in!

The Effects of Gasoline on Lawn Mowers

Before we discuss the effects of leaving gas in a lawn mower over winter, it’s essential to understand the role of gasoline in the machine’s operation. Gasoline acts as fuel, providing the necessary energy to power the engine. However, gasoline is not a stable compound and can deteriorate over time.

When gasoline sits in a lawn mower’s fuel tank for an extended period, it can undergo chemical changes due to oxidation and evaporation. These changes can lead to the formation of deposits, gum, and varnish. Such contaminants can clog the fuel system, including the carburetor, fuel lines, and fuel filter, ultimately affecting the engine’s performance.

The Risks of Leaving Gas in a Lawn Mower Over Winter

Leaving gas in a lawn mower over the winter can pose several risks that may impact the machine’s functionality and potentially lead to costly repairs. Here are some of the risks associated with this practice:

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1. Carburetor Issues: As mentioned earlier, when gasoline deteriorates, it can form deposits that clog the carburetor. A clogged carburetor disrupts the fuel-air mixture and prevents the engine from running smoothly or starting efficiently.

2. Fuel Line Blockage: Old gas can also cause blockages in the fuel lines, preventing the proper flow of fuel to the engine. This blockage can contribute to starting difficulties, poor performance, and even engine stalling.

3. Engine Damage: In severe cases, if the lawn mower is left with untreated gas for an extended period, the engine’s internal components may suffer damage. This damage can result from corrosion caused by the degraded fuel or from debris that has accumulated due to contamination.

Steps to Properly Store a Lawn Mower for Winter

To avoid the above-mentioned risks and keep your lawn mower in excellent condition, it’s crucial to follow the right steps for winter storage. Here are some recommended practices:

1. Use Up the Gas: If possible, it’s best to use up all the gas in your lawn mower before winter arrives. This way, you eliminate the risks associated with deteriorating fuel.

2. Drain the Fuel: If you cannot use up the gas, the next best option is to drain the fuel from the tank. To do this, run the mower until it runs out of gas or use a siphon to remove as much fuel as possible. Ensure you do this in a well-ventilated area away from any ignition sources.

3. Stabilize the Fuel: Alternatively, you can add a fuel stabilizer to the gas tank. Fuel stabilizers are additives that prevent gasoline from deteriorating and forming harmful deposits. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on the correct amount to add.

4. Run the Engine: After adding the fuel stabilizer, run the engine for a few minutes to ensure the stabilized fuel circulates throughout the system. This helps protect against varnish and gum formation in the carburetor.

5. Disconnect the Spark Plug: To prevent accidental starting, disconnect the spark plug wire. This safety measure ensures the engine won’t start while you perform other maintenance tasks.

6. Clean the Mower: Before storing your lawn mower, give it a thorough cleaning. Remove any grass clippings, dirt, or debris that may have accumulated during the mowing season. Cleaning the exterior surfaces not only helps keep the mower in good condition but also prevents rust and corrosion.

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7. Store in a Dry Location: Find a dry and sheltered area to store your lawn mower during the winter months. Ideally, this location should protect the machine from moisture and extreme temperature fluctuations.

Precautions and Additional Tips

While following the steps mentioned above will go a long way in ensuring your lawn mower’s longevity, it’s worth considering a few additional precautions and tips:

– Consult the Owner’s Manual: Always refer to your lawn mower’s owner’s manual for specific instructions on winter storage. Manufacturers may provide model-specific recommendations that can help optimize the machine’s performance.

– Use Fresh Gasoline: When the mowing season resumes, make sure to fill the tank with fresh gasoline. Using stale fuel can still cause performance issues, even if the mower has been stored correctly.

– Regular Maintenance: Besides proper winter storage, regular maintenance tasks such as oil changes, air filter cleaning/replacement, and blade sharpening are essential to keep your lawn mower running smoothly. These tasks should be performed as recommended by the manufacturer.

– Seek Professional Help: If you’re unsure about any aspect of winterizing your lawn mower or if you encounter persistent issues with its performance, it’s best to consult a professional. Lawn mower repair specialists can diagnose problems, make any necessary repairs, and provide expert advice on maintenance.

In conclusion, it is generally not recommended to leave gas in a lawn mower over winter. The risks of fuel deterioration and subsequent engine issues make proper winterization crucial for maintaining the machine’s performance and extending its lifespan. By following the steps outlined in this article and taking additional precautions, you can ensure that your lawn mower is ready to serve you diligently when spring arrives. Remember, investing a little time and effort in proper winter storage can save you from costly repairs and frustrations down the line.

Start a lawn mower that has been sitting over the winter ( with gas in it) #Fix #Tip

Frequently Asked Questions

Can you leave gas in a lawn mower over winter?

Yes, you can leave gas in a lawn mower over winter, but it is generally not recommended. Here are some frequently asked questions related to this topic:

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1. Is it okay to leave gas in my lawn mower during the winter months?

It is generally not recommended to leave gas in your lawn mower over winter. Storing gas for an extended period can lead to fuel degradation, which can cause starting issues and damage to the engine.

2. What problems can occur if I leave gas in my lawn mower over the winter?

Leaving gas in a lawn mower over winter can result in the formation of harmful deposits that clog the carburetor or fuel lines. It may also lead to the growth of varnish or gum residue, making it difficult for the engine to start or run smoothly.

3. How can I prevent damage from storing gas in my lawn mower over the winter?

To prevent potential damage, it is recommended to either drain the gas tank completely or add a fuel stabilizer to the fuel before storing the lawn mower. Fuel stabilizers help to maintain the quality of the gas, preventing it from breaking down or causing engine problems.

4. Should I use up the remaining gas in my lawn mower before winter?

If possible, it is a good practice to use up the remaining gas in your lawn mower before storing it for the winter. This ensures that the fuel doesn’t sit in the tank for an extended period and reduces the risk of potential issues when starting the mower in the spring.

5. Can I use the leftover gas from my lawn mower in other equipment?

The leftover gas from your lawn mower can be used in other equipment, such as a car or a generator, as long as it hasn’t degraded or been contaminated. However, it is always recommended to use fresh gas whenever possible for optimal performance.

Final Thoughts

Leaving gas in a lawn mower over winter can cause potential problems. The fuel can deteriorate, leading to clogs in the carburetor and fuel lines. It is best to remove the fuel or add a fuel stabilizer to prevent these issues. Taking a few simple steps can ensure that your lawn mower is in good condition come springtime. To answer the question directly, it is not recommended to leave gas in a lawn mower over winter. Proper maintenance and care will keep your mower running smoothly and extend its lifespan.