Fall Maintenance and Storage Tips From Briggs & Stratton

MILWAUKEE, Sept. 23, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — As today marks the first official day of fall, homeowners are thinking about putting away their lawn mowers for the season. But a new survey from Briggs & Stratton Corporation (NYSE: BGG) suggests that they are not thinking enough about how to properly store their equipment.

The survey, conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Briggs & Stratton in July among 2,039 U.S. adults, showed that 58 percent of homeowners who lived in a climate that experiences a true winter season simply park their push or ride-on lawn mower in their garage or shed as is during the winter.

“A few simple steps in fall can help keep your lawn mower in good working condition and make it last longer,” explains Carissa Gingras, marketing director for consumer engines and service at Briggs & Stratton. “Just like car owners routinely performing oil changes and tune-ups, homeowners need to take care of their outdoor power equipment.”

By incorporating five simple steps, homeowners can help extend the life of their mowers.

Run the gas tank empty or add fuel stabilizer

There are two ways mower owners can store their equipment: first, they can get rid of the gas completely by running the mower or draining the fuel. Second, they can add a fuel treatment and stabilizer. Gas begins to degrade and go stale only 30 days after pumping it and stale gas can cause varnish and gumming that clog the fuel system and carburetor jets. Plus, over 90 percent of fuel in the United States contains up to 10 percent ethanol, which attracts moisture and can cause corrosion. “We recommend mower owners get in the habit of treating their fuel every time they fill their red fuel can.” And according to Briggs & Stratton, it’s important to use a fuel treatment and stabilizer that does not contain additional alcohol.

Paul’s Note: I use Sea Foam at the rate of 2 tablespoons per gallon. I put it right in my storage container when I go buy my fuel. You can get Sea Foam here or any automotive parts store: Sea Foam SF-16 Motor Treatment – 16 oz.Another great alternative is Briggs & Stratton 100119 Fuel Treatment Replaces 100119WEB, 100115, 100119A

Change the mower’s oil

Either in the fall before storage, or during a spring tune-up, it is important to change the oil to remove any dirt and debris that can prevent the oil from lubricating and cooling the engine.
Although, with the new Briggs & Stratton® EXi Series engines mower owners don’t need to change the oil for the life of the engine.*

Paul’s Note: I like to store my small engines with fresh oil so I always change the oil and filter in the fall. Use the recommended oil and don’t forget – small engines run a lot hotter than car engines so always use an oil made for air cooled engines or a heavy duty truck oil. You can buy oil from Briggs & Stratton that works well in all your air cooled engines here: Briggs & Stratton 30W Engine Oil – 48 Oz. 100028. Now is also a good time to change the air cleaner. 

Remove the battery if equipped

On riding mowers, removing the battery during the winter season can help prevent potential damage from corrosion of the battery and battery terminals.

Paul’s note: When you remove it always use gloves and don’t rub your gloves on your clothes. It will create holes in cotton. If you want to clean the battery use a mixture of water and baking soda.  You can store the battery in a cool dry place. You don’t need to charge it over the winter.  A tip that I learned. Before you install it next spring go to your local hardware store and buy stainless steel bolts, washers and nuts for the terminal connections. 

Clean the undercarriage and remove debris

After a full season of cutting, dirt and grass can build up on the blades and get stuck on the mower’s undercarriage. Cleaning it now can help ensure a quality cut and can help keep the mower running smoothly for the next season.

Paul Note: A pressure washer can force water into the sealed bearings of the deck and ruin them. I usually use a stiff brush on the outside and a paint scraper under the deck. Now is also a good time to sharpen or replace the mower blades. If you don’t want to remove the deck to clean it there are a number of tractor lifts available to raise the tractor high enough to clean and change the blades. MoJack Tractor Lifts. Bradley Cliplift Mower Jack Lift

Store your lawn mower in a clean, dry place

Leaving a mower outside can lead to damage caused by moisture. According to Briggs & Stratton’s recently released poll, nearly 10 percent of homeowners leave their mower outside unprotected from the elements. Storing a lawn mower in a clean, dry place will ensure it is protected from the damaging weather elements.

Paul’s Note: If you don’t have a place to store it a storage shelter (with a rounded top if you live where it snows) is actually cheap compared to buying a new lawn tractor or zero-turn. ShelterLogic Round Style Auto Shelter. I also use fitted sheets when I store equipment inside. The sheets keep that micro-fine dust off the equipment. 

By incorporating these simple steps, when it’s time to take the lawn mower out of storage in the spring, the 37 percent of survey respondents who said that they prepare their mower for storage may find it easier to start and operate their mower throughout the mowing season.

*Regular scheduled maintenance still required. To see complete details, refer to your Operating Manual. Briggs & Stratton standard warranty terms and conditions apply. Just Check & Add does not extend the warranty period. See http://www.briggsandstratton.com/us/en/support/warranty for details.

About Briggs & Stratton Corporation:

Briggs & Stratton Corporation, headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, is the world’s largest producer of gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment. Its wholly owned subsidiaries include North America’s number one marketer of pressure washers, and it is a leading designer, manufacturer and marketer of power generation, lawn and garden, turf care and job site products through its Briggs & Stratton®, Simplicity®, Snapper®, Snapper Pro® Ferris®, PowerBoss®, Allmand™, Billy Goat®, Murray®, Branco® and Victa® brands. Briggs & Stratton products are designed, manufactured, marketed and serviced in over 100 countries on six continents. For additional information, please visit www.basco.com and www.briggsandstratton.com.

Survey Methodology:
The survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of Briggs & Stratton from July 22-24, 2015 among 2,039 adults age 18 and older, among which 1,159 are from households that own/use a lawn mower and experience a true winter season. The online survey is not based on a probability sample, and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact jliosi@lsb.com.

SOURCE Briggs & Stratton Corporation

CONTACT: Media Contact: Jason Niosi, jniosi@lsb.com, Office: (608) 268-5318


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