Stocking the Garage for Spring

For owners planning on putting their homes up for sale in the spring, their lawnmower might be the last thing they're thinking about as winter approaches. But what they do now can influence whether their yard equipment works when it comes time to sell.

Here are five tips from the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, an international trade association representing power equipment, small engine, and utility vehicle manufacturers and suppliers, that will ensure your clients are ready to jump in when spring comes roaring back. 

  1. Always consult your owner’s manual for directions on how to properly winterize and store your equipment.  If you can’t find your manual, check the manufacturer’s website.
  2. Disconnect the spark plug and battery cables before storing; you'll also want to do this before servicing or repairing equipment. Wear safety glasses and gloves to protect against harmful chemicals and debris.
  3. Drain the fuel. Stored equipment should not have fuel in its tank. Many fuels today contain ethanol, which absorbs water and may separate, causing operating problems. If there is fuel in the tank, remove what remains. You can do this by running the engine until it stops.
  4. Store leftover fuel properly. If you're planning on storing gasoline for more than 30 days, treat it with a fuel stabilizer. Use a sealed container that is approved for fuel storage. Always keep fuel out of the reach of children and animals, and away from heat sources or flames.
  5. Check and clean your equipment. Check for loose belts or missing or damaged guards. Tighten all screws and nuts. Remove any grass, leaves, or dirt that have accumulated on your equipment.