From Mower To Thrower

by : News Canada

(NC)—The days are getting shorter. The nights cooler. And finally, your grass has stopped growing. Looks like it's time to store your lawn tractor or mower for the winter. And get that trusty snow thrower ready for use.

The key thing to know about outdoor power equipment is that their number one enemy is dirt. And their number two enemy is condensation. So start off by cleaning that lawn tractor or mower. Remove any surface grunge with a hose, then get underneath and scrape out any matted grass or cuttings with a paint scraper and screwdriver. Then clean the exterior with soapy water or a quality cleaner like Castrol Super clean. Now you are ready to replace or clean the air filter and grease any cables or fittings that need attention. Next, either fill it right up, or drain it completely of gas, depending on the manufacturer's instructions. Finally, and most important, change the engine oil, always using a quality product from a well known company like Castrol.

Remove the wheels and store your tractor off the ground on blocks if possible, preventing any air filled tires from going square. Finishing off, protect the tractor or mower with a covering that breathes. Something like a painter's drop sheet or heavy burlap is good. This allows any condensation to evaporate naturally, minimizing the possibility of rust. And always try to store your equipment in a clean and dry place.

As far as getting that blower or thrower ready for use, the same basic rules apply. Give it a good cleaning. Check for debris stuck in the blades. Lubricate any cables and fittings. Then replace the air filter and be sure to change the oil. And it's also a good idea to use new gas or gas/oil mixture. Outside of a new spark plug, you should now be ready for winter.

A wealth of interesting and valuable information on motor oils and lubricants can be found at or other well known petroleum web sites.

- News Canada