Closing Tip: How to Winterize the Outdoor Equipment

15 September 2020 Maintenance

lawnmower maintenance

The cottage lawnmower, chainsaw, trimmer and other maintenance equipment often get neglected during the rush to close the cottage for the winter.

We have all done it, but taking the time to properly prepare the small engines for storage helps ensure a trouble-free start to the cottage season next spring.

How to winterize the lawnmower, chainsaw, and trimmer

Most cottage owners still use maintenance equipment with 2-stroke or 4-stroke engines. This is particularly the case with off-grid properties. The machines are dirty, smelly, and finicky, but they work well when properly maintained.

Yard work can be a pain and many of us would rather not have to spend the time when we are at the lake. However, the grass always grows and storms often knock down tress.

The lawnmower, weed whacker, and chainsaw normally sit in the back of the shed until needed, and then remain unattended until the next use. Let’s face it, cleaning the equipment takes up valuable time that could be spent fishing.

Avoiding the engine maintenance through the summer is generally fine, but it makes sense to follow a few quick steps in the fall to give the gas engines a bit of care.

5 winterizing tips for small engines

1. Run the lawnmower, chainsaw, or trimmer until you burn off all the remaining fuel.

2. Clean away the debris to prevent rust on metal parts and to check for damage.

3. Clean the air filter. Replace it if necessary.

4. Sharpen or replace the blades on the lawnmower and chainsaw. Check the line on the trimmer.

5. Store the equipment in a locked shed.

Note: Some people prefer to leave the fuel tanks full during the winter. In this case, use fresh fuel with stabilizer added to make sure it doesn’t go bad over the winter.

Extra fuel should go into your car or truck gas tank. If you decide to leave fuel at the cottage, add the required amount of stabilizer and store the fuel in a well-ventilated location.

The fall is also a great time to clean out the cottage shed. This takes some time, but it makes sense to get the job done before the winter. In the spring, life quickly gets busy and it is always nice to start the season with everything in order.