Should Lawn Mower Fuel Be Drained Before Storing for Winter?

  • By: TheWalledNursery
  • Time to read: 6 min.
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You should drain the fuel from your lawn mower before storing it for the entire winter. Left-over fuel can go stale, blocking up the inside of your mower and causing rust to form. You’ll need to use a fuel stabilizer and run the mower to get all the gas out. 

While it sounds simple, you need to make sure that you remove all the fuel. When small amounts of fuel residue get left behind, it can cause damage to the engine. This guide includes everything that you need to winterize your lawnmower for storage. 

Why Should You Drain the Fuel Before Storage? 

Before you store your lawnmower for the winter months, you’ll want to make sure you get all of the remaining fuel out. When old gas stays in the machine, it can clog the mower’s filters, valves, and other mechanisms

If you leave fuel in the lawnmower, it could turn into varnish and become sticky. The gas can quickly gum up the engine and cause many problems when that happens. 

Plus, gas starts to lose potency after about 30 days- which isn’t much time! Using fuel stabilizers can extend how long it lasts. Depending on the product, a fuel stabilizer can make lawnmower gas last up to 24 months, more than enough time to survive the winter. 

Overall, it’s a good idea to take steps to drain your lawn mowers of their fuel before storing them for months.

How Do I Drain Lawn Mower Fuel? 

There are multiple ways to drain lawnmower fuel. However, you’ll need to make sure you take care when working with fuel. It’s highly flammable, and the vapors are not healthy to breathe in. 

You’ll also need to decide if you want to siphon the gas or burn it out by running the engine. What you choose will depend on what you’re more comfortable doing and if you have clear pieces of tubing available at home. 

Overall, you won’t want to store your lawnmower without first removing the fuel. Both methods are relatively simple, so feel free to choose the option that works the best for you.

How Do I Siphon Gas From My Lawn Mower? 

Siphoning is a method that works well at removing all of the gas from the fuel tank. It does leave behind small amounts of fuel, however. Adding a fuel stabilizer prevents it from harming the engine. 

First, you’ll need to prepare the engine with a fuel stabilizer treatment. To do this, add the liquid to the tank and let the motor run for a couple of minutes. You want to give the engine enough time to circulate the stabilizer throughout the mower. 

Allow the engine to cool down completely before touching it. Next, move the mower to a flat surface. 

You’ll need to disconnect the spark plug and remove it before going further. If you don’t, your lawnmower is at risk of catching fire or even exploding! 

Now, you can follow these steps to siphon out all of the gas: 

  1. Take a long and short piece of clear hose. The longer hose should connect from the empty canister to the fuel tank. It must go to the bottom of the fuel tank. Set the short piece in the tank, but keep it out of the gas. 
  1. Wrap a wet rag around the hoses to keep air from leaving the mower’s tank. 
  1. Seal the cap, then blow air into the short hose.  
  1. Fuel will flow from the gas tank into the storage canister from the long tube! 

After the gas starts flowing into the canister, you can stop blowing into the hose. Gravity takes over and drains the fuel from the lawnmower at this stage. 

If you don’t want to blow on the hose, you can use a siphon pump or an air compressor. 

What fuel stabilizer should I use for the rest of the fuel in my lawnmower?

Fuel Stabilizer helps stabilize and prolong the useful life of petrol and reduces starting problems after long periods of none use.

We recommend trying HYDRA LMA-20 100ml Fuel Fit Petrol Injector Cleaner Additive & Stabiliser for all 2-Stroke and 4-Stroke Engines.

How Do I Use Up All the Gas in My Lawn Mower? 

You still have options if you don’t have the required tools to siphon gas out of the lawnmower! It will take more time, but this process can still get the job done. 

You can run the lawnmower until the engine burns up all the fuel. You will still need to add a fuel stabilizer before you run it. 

Some newer lawn mowers come with fuel lines that link to the mowers’ carburetors. Simply disconnect the fuel line and let the gas drain into a container. 

What Else Should I Do To Winterize My Mower? 

Before you store the lawnmower for several months, there are still a few more steps that you’ll want to take. Start by removing the blade since it makes it easier to reach the bottom of the lawnmower- always wear protective gloves when touching the blade. 

After taking off the blade, you may want to take a few minutes to sharpen it. If you have a 4-cycle engine, it’s also a good idea to change the oil. 

Next, clean the bottom of your lawnmower and make sure that there’s no grass and mud trapped on the machine. Taking time to clean the mower now also prevents rust while in storage. Changing the spark plug often is also a necessity. 

Finally, make sure that you change or clean the air filter. A dirty filter blocks airflow and causes the lawnmower to use more gas than required.

How To Store My Fuel? 

You should only store your lawnmower fuel in a garage or shed that’s separate from your home. You need to keep it 50 feet or further away from the lawnmower or ignition sources.  

You can reuse the fuel that you remove from the tank, but you’ll need to take the time to store it properly. Using your old, stale fuel can cause the mower not to run efficiently. 

If you can’t store the fuel at home, you’ll want to bring it to a hazardous waste center for recycling or disposal. It’s better to dispose of unwanted fuel than risk your safety at home.