Properly storing outdoor mechanical items ensures that they will be in good working order the following year. Below are some tips for winterizing those often overlooked items like ATVs, lawnmowers, and air conditioners.
How to Winterize Your ATV
Getting your all-terrain vehicle stored properly for the winter is very important for making sure that it runs properly the next time you go to use it. Or really, just in making it last as long as possible. Here are some steps to make sure you store your ATV correctly this winter.
1. Find a place indoors to store it – a shed, a garage, or a basement even. Somewhere that you won’t have to worry about the elements wreaking havoc on your ATV. Putting a tarp over it for extra protection (because you never know what can happen when Mother Nature is involved) isn’t a bad idea either.
2. Clean your ATV thoroughly before storing it. Get any excess mud and dirt off of it to prevent damage to the paint and rust from forming. Using a pressure washer on a lower setting will make this process easier.
3. Now’s the time for an oil change and to replace the air filter. Leaving the oil you have been using to run your ATV all summer long can cause corrosion and will eat at the seals.
4. Top off the tank with fuel. This will prevent condensation from building up.
5. Give the whole ATV a once over and check for anything that might be broken or loose. Replace it now so you have less to worry about when you get it ready to use again. Lube up the cables and the throttle.
6. Unplug the battery.
7. Make sure your tires are at the ideal tire pressure and inflate or deflate them if they are not. Try to prevent flat spots from occurring with the proper tire pressure. And to prevent dry rot, make sure the tires are not in the sunlight.
How to Winterize Your Lawn Mower
1. Drain your lawn mower of gas after the final cut. To do this just let the engine run until it stalls. Try to start it up again. If it won’t start you have sufficiently drained it.
2. Change the oil. You don’t want old, dirty oil sitting in the lawn mower all winter long.
3. Remove the spark plug. Then add a little oil into the crank case through the hole where the spark plug was. Pull the pull cord to try to start it and move the oil around. Replace the spark plug, but do not connect the wire to it.
4. Clean your lawn mower well, especially the engine housing. This way there is nothing corroding the engine.
5. Check on the blade. If it needs to be replaced, do so now.
How to Winterize Your Air Conditioners
How you do this is going to depend on the kind of air conditioning unit you have. If you have a window air conditioner here’s what to do…
1. Carefully remove the air conditioner from the window. Depending on the size you might need help with this as air conditioning units are not light.
2. Clean your air conditioner. This can be done by removing the grills from both the outside and inside. Then scrub with a brush and mild soap and water.
3. Replace your air conditioners air filter.
Now here’s what you need to do if you have central air in your home.
1. Clean the unit outside your home with a hose to remove any leaves and debris.
2. Sweep around the unit and clean up all of the dirt, debris, and leaves.
3. Place a heavy tarp or cover over the unit to keep snow from getting in and causing rust or other damage to the unit.
4. Secure the cover with bungee cords.
5. Check the cover throughout the winter to make sure it’s free from tears or hasn’t blown off in the wind somehow.
6. Clean the vents in your home with a vacuum.
7. Change the air filter for the air conditioner.
Following these steps to care for your mechanical items will make them last you longer and save you lots of money.