You’re nearing the end of mowing season and ready to store your lawn mower for the winter season. You may be tempted to park your Husqvarna zero turn in the back of your storage shed and forget about it until next mowing season.
I wouldn’t do that if I was you. Taking time to winterize your Husqvarna lawn mower will save you from headaches the next time you go to use your lawn mower.
When you skip winterizing your Husqvarna zero turn, your mower can being to rust, have run-ability problems, increased corrosion and possible rodent damage affecting your electrical system.
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Follow all safety instructions provided in your equipment operator’s manual before diagnosing, repairing, or operating. Consult a professional if you don’t have the skills, or knowledge or are not in the condition to perform the repair safely.
11 Steps to Winterize Your Husqvarna Zero Turn Mower
1. Gather your tools and materials
- Wire brush
- Mower deck scraper or putty knife
- Rubber gloves
- Rags and paper towel
- Fuel stabilizer
- Gas container if you choose to empty the fuel tank
- Cardboard, newspaper, or other product to keep oil from getting on your work surface
- Engine oil change supplies:
– Plastic funnel
– Socket wrench or set of spanner wrenches for drain plug
– Filter and filter wrench
– 2 to 3 quarts of oil. Refer to your owner’s manual for the correct oil type and quantity
– Drain plug
2. Wash Your Husqvarna Lawn Mower
Remove all debris and wash your zero-turn. It’s important your mower is completely dry before storage. I recommend you choose to complete this step on a nice sunny day.
You want all moisture to be removed or evaporated from your electrical components and other areas of your mower.
Using a handheld leaf blower also works well. Adding some air movement around your mower will assist in removing any water collecting on your lawn mower. You do not want moisture to prematurely rust and deteriorate your lawn mower.
In most current Husqvarna zero turns, bearings in the spindle housings are sealed. Even though they are sealed, you need to be careful when cleaning around them with water. Do not use high-pressure water when cleaning the deck. It is best to use a garden hose in this area.
Once you have all of the debris moved and your mower is dry, move on to the next step for winterizing your Husqvarna. For more tips on cleaning your lawn mower read How to Clean Your Lawn Mower for Best Performance.
3. Disconnect the Spark Plug Boot
Your Husqvarna zero turn will most like have two spark plugs. You will want to disconnect the spark plug boots for safety. You do not want your engine to start while you are working under your mower deck. Do not skip this safety step.
4. Change the Engine Oil in Your Husqvarna Lawn Mower
You should always change your engine oil every 50 hours or what is recommended by the engine manufacturer for your zero-turn. I like to change mine at least once per season, even if I haven’t put 50 hours on my lawn mower.
Note: If you have a new lawn mower or installed a new engine in your Husqvarna, you will want to complete your first oil change a lot sooner – around 2 to 10 hours of use. Consult with your operator’s manual for your mower’s exact requirements.
- Warm up the oil by allowing the engine to run for a couple of minutes and shut it off. Disconnect the spark plug lead from the spark plug(s) for safety before you start changing your engine oil.
- Drain the oil, remove the old filter, replace it with a new filter, and fill it with oil according to the engine manufacturer’s directions.
5. Scrape Your Lawn Mower Deck
Lift the front of your mower deck using jack stands or a comparable item to secure the deck while you are working under it. Inspect and remove your Husqvarna blades for replacement or sharpening.
You need to be wearing a good set of work gloves to prevent damage to your hands from the sharp edges of the blade.
Scrape the deck with a deck scraper or putty knife to remove all debris. You can also use a wire brush. Once you are done working underneath the mower, reconnect the spark plug boots.
I share more in-depth information on inspecting and changing your mower blades “Inspecting Your Lawn Mower Blades Saves You Time and Money.”
6. Add Fuel Stabilizer or Drain Your Fuel Tank
Many Husqvarna owners prefer to drain their fuel tanks when winterizing their mowers. To remove the fuel, use a siphon and remove as much fuel as you can. Start the mower and let run until it shuts off and no longer restarts.
In my zero-turn, I don’t drain the fuel out of my mower before storage. Instead, I use a fuel stabilizer to keep my fuel from degrading and gumming up the fuel system.
Using a fuel stabilizer when storing your Husqvarna zero turn for the winter will help keep your fuel system in good condition so your mower is ready to start next season.
If you choose to store your Husqvarna mower with the fuel you need to use a fuel stabilizer. If you don’t use a stabilizer, you may have problems starting and running your mower in the spring.
The old fuel can cause gumming and a varnish buildup in the fuel system. I prefer to use Sea Foam fuel stabilizer. Another good alternative is STA-BIL.
Sea Foam fuel stabilizer will not only stabilize the fuel, but it will also reduce moisture in the fuel system.
Read “Why Use Sea Foam Fuel Additive in a Lawn Mower” to learn mower about fuel additives and their advantages.
To use Sea Foam, add the stabilizer to fresh fuel according to the directions on the bottle. Add to the fuel tank. Start the mower and let the mower run for a few minutes to allow the stabilizer to work its way through the fuel system. Sea Foam fuel additives will stabilize fuel for up to 2 years.
Make sure you are running the right fuel through your lawn mower.
7. Remove Battery in Your Husqvarna and Clean Terminals
Again, you have an option for this step. You can remove the battery and move it to storage in a dry cool place, or you can make sure the battery is fully charged before storing it.
A 100% fully charged battery will not freeze. If you choose to remove your lawn mower battery for storage, follow these steps:
- Protect yourself from battery acid by wearing gloves and eye protection.
- With the mower turned off, remove any brackets that are holding the battery in place.
- Use an adjustable wrench to turn the black negative terminal counterclockwise to loosen it and remove the cable. Follow the same procedure for the red positive terminal.
- Inspect terminals and cables and remove any corrosion with a wire brush.
- Store the battery in a cool dry place away from combustible products.
Check out my guide to winter battery care.
8. Change Additional Maintenance Items
You need to check other maintenance items and replace them if needed. I like to change all of these items at least once a year to keep my mower running the best it can.
Check your outer and inner air filters (your mower may be using a foam pre-cleaner with its air filter). Also, inspect your fuel filter and spark plugs.
9. Lubricate and Grease
Lubricate your cables and apply grease to all grease zerks.
10. Store the Lawn Mower in a Dry Cool Place
Store your lawn mower in a cool dry environment. Do not allow moisture to get into your mower and begin corroding your mower. Cover with a tarp or large drop cloth to keep dust off the lawn mower when storing indoors and a waterproof material when leaving your mower outdoors.
11. Add Rodent Prevention Method to Your Husqvarna Zero Turn
You would be surprised how often I see damaged filtration systems and wiring harnesses on lawn mowers because of unwanted pests and rodents. Replacing these systems is pretty expensive so I choose to use a rodent deterrent when I store my zero-turn.
There are many items you can use to deter rodents. It is best to use a product that is not dangerous to family pets. You can place mothballs around the mowers. Personally, I use a product you can find on Amazon called Grandpa Gus’s Mouse Repellent.
I love it because it smells a lot better than mothballs and it is all-natural. I use both the extra strength packets and the spray.
I spray the wires and place the packets around my lawn mower, boat, quad, and any other item that I place in storage. Spending a little money on rodent control can save you hundreds of dollars in electrical repairs later.
Indoor & Outdoor Lawn Mower Winter Storage for your Husqvarna
Garage of Pole Barn
- You may be one of those fortunate homeowners who have a large garage where you have excess room to store your lawn mower. All you must do is throw a tarp over it to keep the dust off it.
Basement or In the House
- If you choose to place your lawn mower in your basement or another place in your house, be sure you do not store it with fuel. Make sure you do not place it next to any combustible items for your safety.
Under Your Deck or Overhang
Many Husqvarna owners don’t have the luxury of extra space in their garages. While storing the mower indoors in a garage, pole barn, or storage shed is best, it is not always an option.
I am not one of the lucky homeowners that have room to place my lawn mower indoors for storage. I keep my lawn mower under my deck year-round. The problem with this location is when it rains, the rain falls between the deck boards and onto the mower.
In the winter, the snow blows and covers the lawn mower.
To keep my mower from getting wet when stored outside and to keep it out of the winter elements I use a heavy-duty mower cover made with a marine-grade fabric. I also use these coverings for some of the small items I store in my garage to keep the dust off them.