Winter can be tough on your outdoor machines. When done properly, winterization can save you a lot of time and money. Instead of replacing parts in the spring, you’ll be prepared to use your outdoor equipment instead of spending the needed time and money on repairs. Because of this, it’s crucial to prepare yourself for winterizing your outdoor machines.
Whether you have a lawnmower, ATV, or tractor stored away, you’ll need to prepare them for winter. Here are some steps and instructions on how to winterize your outdoor machines.
Why Winterize Your Equipment?
Winterization is the preparation of equipment and machine for sustained freezing temperatures.
Living in a region prone to harsh freezes, winterization of outdoor equipment and machinery is a must. Diesel fuel freezes at 12℉ and expands at 7℉. This expansion puts your machines at risk of problems with your fuel pump, plumping, and tank. These problems can lead to a series of other problems that can result in costly repairs.
Winterize Your Outdoor Machines With These Steps
Now that we’ve established what and why you need to winterize your machines, we’ve compiled a list of steps to prepare your machines for winter.
Perform Visual Inspections
Before storing away your machines for the winter, you’ll need to perform a routine inspection on them. If there are issues present before winterization, you’ll need to get these fixed prior to winterizing the machines. Perform a visual inspection of these items to ensure your machines are ready for winterization:
- Inspect its light for any damage or dirt, as well as any glass and mirrors on the machine
- Ensure the windshield wipers are working
- Check the fluid levels
- Check to see if the heater is working (if applicable)
- Lubricate the engine parts and grease their joints and hinges
- Thoroughly inspect the body for wear and dents
- Test and inspect the brakes
- Check your tire pressure and air
Lubricating your equipment prior to storing can help it from locking up when you go to use it in the spring and prevent rust and corrosion of parts. Lubricate the joints, hinges, and any other moving part inside the engine to prepare the engine for the winter.
Switch to Winter Fuel
Typical diesel engines are fueled with #2 Diesel fuel, but you’ll have to switch to Diesel #1 for the winter. Diesel #2 can harden easier than Diesel #1, which is why it’s important to switch it out during the winter.
Store Batteries in a Warm Location
If you’re not going to use your outdoor machines at all during the winter, then it’s best to completely disconnect their batteries and store them in a warm place. If you’re planning on using a machine sparingly, then ensure that you always have a charged battery.
Check And Adjust Fluids
This is included in your visual inspection, but if you’ve noticed something was off, then you’ll have to check and adjust your machine’s fluids. It may be best to change out your oil to a synthetic base multi-grade oil in the wintertime if temperatures drop below -22°F.
If temperatures aren’t going to drop that low, ensure that the engine has enough oil for the winter.
Now is also a good time to also check and adjust your coolant. With the engine running, make sure the coolant doesn’t bubble up or show signs of impurities. Also, if you haven’t, add a grade of coolant that can withstand freezing temperatures.
Hydraulic fluids should also be checked and adjusted before the winter. Make sure the hydraulic fluid is only able to handle the operating temperatures of your machine.
Swap Out Clogged Filters
Clogged filters can make your engine work overtime. Even if you’re not running the machine throughout the winter, it’s still best to swap out clogged filters. Check the fuel, oil, and hydraulic filters to see if there is wear and tear and if they need to be replaced.
Assess Conveyor Belts
If you don’t regularly inspect your machine’s conveyor belt scraper for gunk, general wear, and tear, or damage, the belt can become misaligned over time and lead to additional issues. Because of this, the quality of the conveyor belt scraper should be checked at the end of each season.
During your visual inspection, you should have checked to see if your tires were ready for the winter. Hard freezes can affect tire air quality, so starting the winter with full inflated tires can prevent flats come warmer days.
If you’re already in the winter months, power washing may be out of the question. (No need for more ice!) But ensuring that your outdoor machine is cleaned prior to storing it for the winter is an important step in preventing rust. Plant debris and dirt are prone to attracting moisture. This moisture can quicken rusting and attract pests during the winter.
Get Machines Serviced And Repaired
When the warm season is done, it’s time to focus on the parts and machines that need repair. Investing in repairs during the winter can save you a lot of time come the busier warmer days — when you need your equipment to run properly.
If your inspection shows that your outdoor machine is in need of greater repairs than you can DIY, then consider getting the machine serviced and ready for the spring.
Let Us Winterize Your Machines So You Don't Have To!
The freezing months of winter are tough. Even if you have a tough machine, winterizing your equipment will save you headaches in the future. When you prepare your outdoor machines for the winter, they’ll be ready for use when you’re ready for them! Contact us today to schedule a service appointment and make sure your machines are safe this winter.