what if I don't winterize?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by GarPA, Dec 2, 2003.

  1. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,585

    Bear with me on what some of you will think is another one of my stupid mower questions from the stupid mower guy.

    I have a number of reasons to keep the mower running over the winter as I;ve just landed 2 very large stone install jobs on 2 new construction sites. On both I can use the mower to pull a large cart with stone (I;ve done this many times before)

    I also just changed the oil and filter about 15 hours ago and put new plugs in as it was not running well...now it is. THese stone jobs will both total about $8000 and they'd like it done asap assumingtheres no snow on the ground. I dont mind working in the cold as long as its not snowing

    SO my ? is, will it be ok if I start the mower weekly and let it run for awhile should we get some snow and I get delayed here and there? Granted it will be cold sitting inside the trailer but I cant see where I would be neglecting the mower in any way.

    But then again some of you know much more about these machines than I do...thanks for your point of view on this
     
  2. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,697

    GarPa - I don't think any harm will come to your mower by using it ocassionally throughout the winter. You may want to change the oil to a thinner vicosity for the winter, though. Ck owners manual for recommendations.
     
  3. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    I would still do 2 things.

    1: Put stabilizer in the fuel. The fuel can still go bad even though you're running the mower.

    2: If it's going to be very cold take the battery out and take it into a warmer area. Once a battery freezes it is junk.
     
  4. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 1,010

    I've never winterized a mower and they have all done fine.I used to have an amphibious 6x6 that I used for hunting that had a Briggs engine.I used it year round,but in different intervals.Just kept the oil and filter changed and kept fresh gas in it.Keep your gas tanks full in-between use to prevent condensation.That's the only thing you really need to watch for.(Water in gas)
    Oh and keep the battery charged.Nothin worse than going to crank the mower and ya get nothin but a click.
     
  5. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Posts: 2,585

    all good tips guys...and thanks...and on the oil I seem to recall it shows on the chart in the manual about using 10w/30 instead of straight 30 for colder temps..and yes I bought a trickle charger last winter...came in handy many times (and for my neighbors too)
     
  6. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    Use 5W-30 or better yet 0W-30 synthetic and you will have zero oil problems. The first number is the winter weight hence the "W". Synthetic has excellent cold weather qualities. Don't believe it , take a quart of each and set it in your freezer for a day. In the morning pour them out.
    Another tip is to not start the engine at full throttle if you can help it until it warms up. The metal and cast parts have to warm up and expand to size at operating temps. Give it a good 10 minute warm up before working it hard at full throttle. The battery tip is good but if you are starting it every couple of days you dont have to bring it in. You dont do it with your car do you?
    If you have a bad battery you will quickly find out but heat is actually worse than cold. Just make sure your electrolyte level is good. If you have to add lots of water you are gonna have low electrolyte levels. Water freezes. Good Luck. 8 K is a good chunk of change. At least you will sweat less doing the install.
     
  7. Edgewater

    Edgewater LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 457

    I was under the impression that a battery can be left in the cold as long as it has a charge.

    The battery in the trucks stay out all winter in freezing conditions and they are fine.

    Someone correct me if I am wrong
     
  8. barnard

    barnard LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 618

    Your not wrong. A charged battery can't freeze.
     
  9. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,910

    I have always just started all my equipment a few times in the off season. Today it bit me in the azz, my mechanic just dropped off the jugs off my snowmobile to take away for reboring. Last year it was giving me some problems starting so I had him take a look at it, he says not putting it away correctly is the problem. Starting this year we are going to add stabil and store them properly.
     
  10. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,332

    Great post, ED.Very informative..GarPa..good luck with the stone work.We are getting ready to do a stone wall and walk next week,providing we don't have a foot of snow here:D
     

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