As the temperature falls and your lawn goes into hibernation, it's time to get your riding mower ready for storage. Riding tractors require a bit of preparation so they're ready for spring and can start up smoothly when the grass begins to grow again.
Remove the Battery and Store It
Once you're done for the season, the first thing you'll want to do is remove the battery. Start with the negative terminal and then the positive. Wipe down the battery with a rag to remove any dirt and other substances. Then use a metal brush or battery cleaner to clean the terminals. After it's clean, store the battery in a cool, dry place.
Clean the Entire Mower
Leaving debris on your tractor over the winter can harm the paint and cause damage to various components of the machine. A thorough cleaning will keep you from discovering damage when you start up when warmer weather returns. Before cleaning, make sure to remove the spark plug. Then you can hose down the body and cutting deck.
Add Fuel Stabilizer
Ending the season with a half-full tank of gas can leave you in a tough spot. Do you run the engine until the tank is dry or keep gas in it? Often, fuel stabilizer will be enough to get your remaining gas through the winter. Typically it can keep gasoline fresh for as long as six months. Fill the tank the rest of the way, so you keep moisture from forming inside the tank and creating rust. Once you've poured in your fuel stabilizer, run the engine for a few minutes to circulate the stabilizer throughout the entire system.
Store Mower Away in a Safe Spot
Park your riding mower in a dry area protected from the elements and then cover it. Don't park it near a furnace or water heater. The heat that emanates from those types of appliances can damage the tractor when sustained for months.