The leaves are changing colours and are slowly starting to fall. Make sure that you keep them cleaned up by either mulching or raking them up. This will prevent any potential smothering of your lawn over the winter. This is also the time that the grass leaf slows down and stops growing above the ground. With this slow down, you will be putting your lawn mower to bed for the winter after the last cut. However, before you store your lawn mower for the winter, you should do a few things to the mower to make sure that it is ready to go in the spring.
The first thing that you should do, actually is done while mowing your lawn for the last time of the season. Make sure that you add fuel stabilizer to your gas can and then add it to the fuel tank of the mower. While you cut the lawn for the last time, the stabilizer will travel throughout the gas lines and keeping the fuel stable throughout the winter. This will make it a lot easier to start your lawn mower in the spring.
The next step you should do is change the oil of the lawn mower. Having clean oil in the engine in the fall will get rid of any dirt and acid that have been created with the engine running. Once you have changed the oil, run it for a minute or so to make sure the new oil is distributed throughout the engine. Once this is done, removing the sparkplug and add a spoonful of oil and then pull the start cord a couple times to distribute this oil in the cylinder. Before replacing the sparkplug, inspect it for wear and replace it with a new one if needed. Leave the wire off for the winter.
While inspecting the engine, make sure that you clean the air filter. With a clean filter, the flow of air into the engine is not blocked and produces a smooth clean running lawn mower. Sometimes, replacing the filter is required.
Now, after the engine has received its maintenance, make sure that the lawn mower body is cleaned. This is a good practice after every mowing, but some many homeowners only clean the mower once a year. Removing the dried grass will help in preserving the body from corrosion and making the lawn mower last many years.
Since you are under the mower at this point, it makes sense to pull off the blade and either replace it with a new shape blade or sharpen it if it is still in good shape. If replacing the blade, make sure that you use the correct size of blade as the wrong size will affect the operation of the mower.
Lastly, for those who own a mower that has a battery, you should remove it, charge it before storing it inside.
Doing this maintenance list in the fall will make the first time you use your lawn mower in the spring a lot more easier. If you are not handy to do these things yourself, getting it done before storing it is still a good idea. Ask your local Weed Man for their recommendations of who to service your mower.