How to Winterize a John Deere Riding Mower?

How to Winterize a John Deere Riding Mower?

Are you dreading the thought of having to put your John Deere riding mower into hibernation for the winter? It’s not as hard as it seems! In fact, winterizing your mower is a necessary step to ensure it will be ready for action when spring rools around.

So roll up your sleeves, grab your toolkit and follow these simple steps to winterize your John Deere riding Mower.

How to Winterize a John Deere Riding Mower

To winterize your John Deere riding mower and ensure it’s ready for the colder months, follow these steps:

  • Change it Engine Oil: Begin by changing the engine oil. Old oil can become thick and less effective during winter. Drain the existing oil and replace it with fresh oil according to your mower’s specifications.
  • Remove Dirt and Debris: Clean the mower thoroughly. Remove any dirt, grass clippings, and debris from the deck, blades, and other parts. This prevents corrosion and ensures optimal performance.
  • Stabilize the Fuel: Add a fuel stabilizer to an empty gas can. Fill the can with fresh gas from the pump, which will mix the stabilizer with the new fuel. Fill your mower’s tank with this stabilized gas. Run the mower for about 10 minutes to ensure the carburetor bowl is filled with the treated fuel.
  • Fully Charge the Battery: Charge your mower’s battery fully. If you’re storing the battery separately, keep it in a cool, dry place to prevent freezing.
  • Store in a Cool, Dry Place: Finally, store your John Deere riding mower in a cool, dry location. This helps protect it from extreme temperatures and moisture.
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Understand that proper winterization ensures your mower stays in good condition and starts smoothly when spring arrives!

How Do You Winterize a John Deere Tractor?

To winterize your John Deere tractor, follow these steps to ensure optimal performance during the colder months:

  • Clean the Radiator: Remove debris and dirt from the radiator to prevent overheating and ensure efficient cooling.
  • Apply Grease: Lubricate all moving parts, such as bearings and joints, with grease suitable for cold temperatures.
  • Check Pipes: Inspect and insulate exposed pipes to prevent freezing and potential damage.

If you have a John Deere lawn tractor, consider the following steps:

  • Clean the Air Filter: Remove the air filter and clean or replace it.
  • Apply fogging oil to protect the engine during storage.
  • Inspect the Spark Plug: Remove the spark plug and apply fogging oil to the cylinder.
  • Crank the engine over a few times to spread the oil inside the cylinder. 
  • Disconnect the Battery: Remove the battery or disconnect it to prevent freezing.
  • Store the battery in a cool, dry place.

Finally, store your tractor under a tarp inside a dry shed or garage with the parking brake on. Also, place some mouse repellent nearby to prevent rodents from chewing the wiring over the winter.

How To Clean And Lubricate a John Deere Riding Mower Before Winter Storage

Winterize a John Deere Riding Mower

To clean and lubricate a John Deere riding mower before winter storage, you should first start by disconnecting the spark plug to prevent accidental starting. Next, you should use a wire brush to remove any dirt, debris, or caked-on grass clippings from the mower deck and blades. 

You should also lubricate all moving parts with a silicone-based lubricant. This includes the blade spindles, bearings, and cables. Finally, you should cover the mower with a tarp or other weather-resistant material to protect it from the elements.

What Is the Best Way To Store a Lawn Mower?

Storing your lawn mower properly is essential to keep it in good condition during the off-season. Here are some tips for storing your lawn mower:

  • Disconnect the spark plugs (for gas mowers): Before storing your gas-powered lawn mower, disconnect the spark plugs to prevent accidental sparks during cleaning. Also, consider cleaning the spark plug if it’s covered in carbon after a busy summer.
  • Drain old fuel from gas mowers: Remove any remaining or stale gas from your gas lawn mower. Leaving petrol in the mower for around 30 days can cause it to become stale and degrade, potentially affecting engine performance. Use a siphon hose to drain the tank effectively.
  • Remove batteries from electric cordless mowers: If you have a cordless lawn mower powered by detachable batteries, disconnect and remove them. Store the batteries in a cool, dry place.
  • Store indoors: Always store your lawn mower in a dry, cool place—ideally in a shed or garage. Avoid leaving it outdoors or exposed to the elements, as this can cause rust.
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Finally, Consider using a heavy-duty lawn mower cover to protect it further.

How Often Should I Change The Oil in My Mower?

Changing the oil in your mower is essential for maintaining its performance and prolonging its lifespan. The frequency of oil changes depends on the type of mower and its usage. Here are some general guidelines:

Four-Stroke Engines (Gas Mowers):

For most gas-powered mowers, it’s recommended to change the oil every 25 to 50 hours of operation or at least once a year, whichever comes first. If you use your mower frequently, consider changing the oil more often. Always refer to your mower’s user manual for specific instructions and intervals.

Two-Stroke Engines (Some Older Models):

Two-stroke engines are less common in modern mowers, but if you have an older model, follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. Typically, two-stroke engines require more frequent oil changes, often after every 20 hours of use.

Electric Mowers:

Electric mowers do not have oil, so there’s no need for oil changes. However, regular maintenance, such as blade sharpening and cleaning, is still necessary. Ensure to use the correct type of oil specified in your mower’s manual. Regular oil changes keep your mower’s engine running smoothly and ensure optimal performance.

How Do I Check The Oil Level In My Mower?

To check the oil level in your mower, follow these steps:

  • Park and Cool: First, park your mower in an appropriate area and let it cool down. Safety first!
  • Locate the Oil Fill Cap: Find the oil fill cap on your mower. It’s usually located near the engine.
  • Clean the Area: Clean the area around the fill tube cap to prevent any dirt or debris from falling into the oil reservoir.
  • Remove the Cap: Remove the oil fill cap. You’ll see a dipstick attached to it.
  • Check the Oil Level: Pull out the dipstick completely and wipe it clean with a cloth. Then, reinsert it back into the engine. Pull it out again and check the oil level against the markings on the dipstick. The oil level should ideally be at the top of the “full” indicator.
  • Add Oil if Needed: If the oil level is too low, add more oil until it reaches the proper level. Use the correct type of oil recommended for your mower (such as SAE 30 or synthetic SAE 5W-30).
  • Replace the Dipstick: Replace and tighten the dipstick securely.
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Frequently Asked Questions

How Do You Winterize a John Deere Riding Lawn Mower?

To winterize your John Deere riding lawn mower, follow these steps:

  • Drain the fuel: Use a fuel stabilizer and run the engine to ensure the treated fuel reaches all parts.
  • Change the oil and filter: Fresh oil prevents corrosion during storage.
  • Remove the battery: Store it in a cool, dry place and recharge it periodically.
  • Clean the mower: Remove grass clippings, debris, and dirt.
  • Check the tires: Inflate them to the recommended pressure.
  • Store indoors or cover: Protect your mower from the elements.

Does a Riding Lawn Mower Need to be Winterized?

Yes, it’s essential to winterize your riding lawn mower to prevent damage during the colder months.

How Do You Start a Lawn Mower After Sitting All Winter?

To start your lawn mower, follow these steps:

  • Recharge the battery if removed.
  • Check oil and fuel; Top up the oil if needed.
  • Prime the engine; If your mower has a primer bulb.
  • Choke and start: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Allow warm-up time: Let the engine run for a few minutes.

Is it OK to Leave Gas In The Mower Over Winter?

It’s better to drain the fuel or use a fuel stabilizer to prevent carburetor issues.

What To Do If The Lawn Mower Won’t Start After Winter?

Check the battery charge, fuel, spark plug, and carburetor. Clean or replace as needed.

When Should I Winterize My Mower?

Before the first frost or when you stop using it for the season.

How Can I Make My Lawn Mower Last Longer?

Regular maintenance, proper storage, and following the manufacturer’s guidelines.


By following these simple steps, you can be sure your John Deere riding Mower will be  in tip-top shape come springtime. Not only will you save yourself the hassle of dealing with a malfunctioning mower, but you’ll also prolong the life of your machine and keep it running smoothly for years to come.

About Author

Bruno C.

I am a professional content writer, a pet lover, an agriculture enthusiast and an innovative thinker. I appreciate performing the research required to keep my articles relevant, current, and engaging, and I bring my industry expertise and experience to every project I tackle.

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