Can You Safely Store A Lawn Mower Outside In The Winter?

Can the winter kill your lawnmower? Cold temperatures, ice, and lawnmowers do not go well together. Many lawnmowers die out during winters, and improper storage space can quicken the process. Regardless, with a little care and a little skill, your lawnmower can live to see the light of the day beyond the winter. 

If you have to store your lawnmower outside for winter, make sure you clean it, drain all oil and gas and cover it with a protective cover. If you don’t take these steps, the winter cold can seriously damage your lawnmower, and it won’t be safe to store it outside unless you protect it properly.

Lawnmowers can be stored safely outside in the winter in a number of ways. However, even after taking all the necessary precautions, you should not leave your lawnmower out in the cold for extended periods and minimize its contact with the cold as much as possible. 

Is it Safe To Store A Lawn Mower Outside in the Winter?

Lawn mower

The ideal place to keep a lawnmower during winters is a garage or a shed, but if you struggle with storage space for your bulky gardening tools, you need not despair. Keeping your lawnmower out in the cold does not necessarily mean immediate disaster.

You just need to be aware of a few things to keep your lawnmower safe in the cold. Some things to bear in mind before leaving your lawnmower outside:

  • Lawnmowers are generally built to withstand hot and cold temperatures, wind, and dust. However, this does not mean you can leave them out in the cold without any protection for extended periods of time, or you risk shortening the lifespan of your lawnmower. 
  • It’s going to depend on how cold it is and how long you intend to keep the lawnmower out. It might be able to withstand the beginning of winters, but ice and cold can cause irreparable damage to its parts. It is always recommended not to store your lawnmower out when it is freezing. In such cases, protective covering becomes essential. 
  • Weather is not the only factor you need to consider before storing your lawnmower out in the cold. Keeping your lawnmower outside with gas in the engine and oil in the oil tank is also not recommended. This can negatively impact the mower’s performance. Furthermore, exposure to elements such as wind can make your lawnmower rust faster, resulting in quicker wear and tear.

Therefore, generally speaking, it is not safe to store your lawnmower outside during winter unless you make adequate arrangements beforehand. 

How to Properly Store a Lawn Mower Outside in the Winter?

Properly storing a lawnmower out in the winter might take a bit of an effort, but it is nothing compared to the damage the cold can do. It takes some regular maintenance to store the lawnmower off-season regardless.

Still, if you plan on keeping it outside in the cold, you must take some additional steps to prevent damage to its parts. 

Start by thoroughly cleaning your lawnmower by removing any and all dirt from its nooks and crannies. Unclog the air filter and replace it if required. If your lawnmower is powered by electricity, charge the battery to the fullest before storage.

Otherwise, drain out all gas and oil from the tank. Properly lubricate the mechanical parts of your lawnmower by following the instructions in the manual. Lastly, close the intake and exhaust ports to prevent corrosion. 

Once you are done with the regular off-season maintenance, focus on guarding your lawnmower against the cold. To keep it working after winter, you will have to ensure that it remains dry and tightly packed against the freezing temperatures.

The best way to do this is to cover it up with a protective plastic cover or a heavy-duty tarp, taking great care not to leave any part of the lawnmower exposed. We recommend having multiple layers for good measure.

Now that you have packed your lawnmower tightly against the cold, you can safely store it outside.  

Are Cold Temperatures Bad for a Lawn Mower? 

Cold temperatures are rough on lawns in general, but they can also prove to be detrimental for lawnmowers. Below 50 degrees, lawnmowers often start acting up. It takes longer for them to start working, and the performance is often lacking. 

This is because the cold hinders the free flow of oil in the engine, making it a lot slower than during summertime. To ensure efficiency, it is recommended you keep the fuel tank up to the highest level at all times (unless you’re storing the lawnmower for off-season). 

At the same time, if you struggle with starting your lawnmower in the cold, you should check if your spark plug needs replacement (which it does every year) and make sure to clean it regularly. You can also try heating the carburetor manually with an external heat source (like a light bulb) to make using the lawnmower easier during winter.

It can be tough to use and store a lawnmower during the winter, but if you keep the fuel tank full and your spark plug up-to-date, you can get by just fine.

How To Start Your Lawn Mower After The Winter? 

Garden worker starting the lawnmower and cutting grass in garden

Storing a lawnmower properly will be of the utmost importance to ensure its usability after the off-season. It is extremely important for it to be protected against humidity, ice, and snow. Otherwise, getting it started after winters would prove to be very hard. 

Given that you stored your lawnmower properly during winters, you can start it by cleaning (or changing) the spark plug. Often, condensation of water in the fuel tank, carburetor, and the spark plug prevent the lawnmower from starting quickly.

It is also possible for your spark plug wire to get loose over the winter. You can fix this by pushing it into the plug. Changing the spark plug is often very useful when starting a lawnmower after the winter.

In case there is any leftover gas from before, make sure to siphon it all out before replenishing the fuel in the tank. 

Prime the engine and turn the choke on. Start the engine a few times, turn the choke off, and then try again to get the engine started. Add new gas and re-prime the engine. Doing all of this will make it easier for your lawnmower to be up running in no time.