When it comes to lawnmower maintenance, fall is the best time to get your mower ready for a great start next spring. Here are seven ways to make that happen.

For most, once the last mowing is done for the season, the mower simply gets pushed into the garage or shed and is forgotten until next spring without the slightest thought it should be winterized.

Repair Clinic's Jeff Linderman says performing fall maintenance is key to an easy start next spring and offers these seven tips to ensure that happens.

  1. Read the owner's manual. This is the best resource to find what specific items need to be addressed before storing the mower for winter. If you can't find the manual, many are available online. Just search for your specific make and model or ask the store where you bought it from if they have or can get one.
  2. Give the mower a good cleaning. Getting all the dirt, debris and grass clippings is not only easier this fall, but will help your mower last longer. Use a putty knife (the plastic ones will loosen some of  the stuck on debris and are less likely to damage the paint) a hose and some car wash detergent. Some people use compressed air to get dust and dirt out of tight spaces. To reduce the risk of damage, keep the air pressure low, you're blowing not blasting off the dirt.
  3. Treat bare metal with a lubricant to prevent rust. Silicone spray, WD-40 or other rust inhibiting lubricant are the best. Also, use a degreaser to clean grease and oil stains off.
  4. Clean or replace the filters. whether it's the air, fuel or other filter, fall is the perfect time to clean or replace filters. As a bonus, if the filter for your mower isn't readily available, you'll have time to get one ordered and installed before next spring.
  5. Drain or stabilize fuel. The owners manual is the best way to determine what the manufacturer recommends. If you use fuel stabilizer, make sure you run the mower long enough after adding it to get the stabilized fuel all the way through the fuel lines and carburetor.
  6. Replace damaged and worn parts. Once the mower is clean, it's easy to see what needs to be repaired or replaced. Blades and spark plugs are common replacement items, but if there are others, fall is the time to get them ordered and installed.
  7. Store the mower in a dry covered area. Also, make sure there are no chemicals nearby that could damage the mower.