How To Get Your Lawn Mower Ready For Rental Unit Storage

Posted on: 17 May 2016

When relocating, it is sometimes necessary to store some of your possessions in a storage unit. This may be due to lack of space at your new home or lack of necessity for some of your things. Before you store your lawn mower in a storage unit, it is necessary to drain some of its fluids and prepare it for storage to prolong its life and to follow the rental unit's rules. Here are some steps to get your lawn mower ready to be safely stored in a rental unit.

Prepare and Drain the Gas Tank

Most storage units prohibit you from storing any type of flammable liquid inside their property. This is to protect them from liability of any potential explosions or leaking of hazardous materials. You also don't want to park your lawn mower inside a storage unit for months, or longer, with gasoline left inside it, as this can damage your mower. Because replacing your lawn mower with a new self-propelled lawn mower can cost you up to $500, it is important to prepare and drain your tank. 

When gasoline ages, the ethanol alcohol in the gasoline separates and can dissolve plastic and rubber parts inside the motor. Then, other chemical components in the fuel will also begin to degrade, causing the gasoline to thicken and turn gel-like. When you try to start up your lawn mower after it has been in storage, the old and degraded gasoline can damage the motor and prevent the mower from starting. If you are planning to store your mower for more than 90 days, you should siphon or drain the fuel from the tank. Then, start up the mower and run it until it uses any remaining fuel. 

If you are planning to store your lawnmower for less than 90 days, add fuel stabilizer to the gas inside its tank. Fuel stabilizer will help prevent the gasoline in your mower from degrading. The more gasoline you have remaining in your mower, the more fuel stabilizer you will need to add. Follow the directions on the product's container to determine how much stabilizer you will need to add to protect your mower's engine. 

After you add the fuel stabilizer, start up your lawn mower and run it for a minute or two. This will circulate the fuel stabilizer and gasoline throughout the mower and any fuel left inside the mower during storage won't degrade and cause damage. 

Clean and Oil the Undercarriage

Instead of storing your lawn mower dirty, it is helpful to clean and lube the blade to keep it in top shape while it is stored. Old and dirty oil can harden onto the mower's blade, making it immobile when you attempt to start your mower after getting it out of storage. 

Wear gloves to protect your hands when you remove the blade, as it can be sharp. Turn the mower on its side and use a wrench to unscrew the bolt holding the blade in place. Clean the blade with a wet rag to remove any dirt, grass, and oil that has built up. Clean dirt and grass from the underside of the mower, using a putty knife. Leaving build-up on your mower can allow rust to form, damaging your mower's undercarriage. Wipe a light film of oil over the blade to protect it, and reinstall it onto the mower. 

Oil the Engine

Position your mower on its side, with the air filter and carburetor angled higher than the oil plug. Remove the oil plug and collect the used oil in an oil pan so you can recycle it. Tilt the mower until all the oil drains from the mower, then move the mower back on its tires. Refill your mower with a new lightweight oil, such as SAE 30 or 30-weight oil, which will store well while it is in the storage unit. Old oil left in your mower contains contaminants that can damage your mower's engine while it sits during storage. Then, filling your mower with new, clean oil will help protect and keep your mower lubricated during storage.

Remove the spark plug and pour a cap full of oil into the cylinder. To evenly distribute the oil onto the wall of the cylinder, pull the mower's recoil handle several times. Your mower is now ready to be stored in your rental unit.

Be sure your mower is not near any cleaning solutions, fertilizer, or other chemicals when you place it in your rental storage unit, as they could spill onto your mower and corrode it. For more information, contact a company like All American Self Storage


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