Fall isn't all beautiful leaf colors and pumpkin spice. There's also closing up cabins, raking leaves and putting away your big boy toys, from boats to lawn mowers.

You can probably handle most of your mechanical winterizing yourself. Here's a checklist from our friends at O'Reilly Auto Parts to make sure you don't forget anything.


1) Fuel & fuel stabilizer: Fill your ATV with fuel and include a fuel stabilizer. Turn on the engine and let it run for a couple of minutes so the stabilizer reaches the carburetor.

2) Lubricant: Lubricate the throttle, chain and clutch cables. If battery posts are corroded, clean the posts and add lubricant to the bolt threads.

3) Trickle Charger: Leave the battery in the ATV and use a Battery Tender to keep it operational over long periods of inactivity.

4) Tires: Ensure that tires are properly inflated and kept out of direct sunlight.

5) Wash & wax: To protect the exterior of your ATV, wash it clean of all dirt, bugs and grease and hand wax it once it’s dry.

6) Cover: Protect your ATV from the elements with a cover.

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1) Oil & oil filter: Check your oil and oil filter, and change them if needed.

2) Fog oil: Use a fog oil in the motor if recommended by the manufacturer.

3) Lubricant: Drain and refill the lubricant in lower outboard unit or in engine transmission.

4) Hoses & pumps: Be sure livewells, hoses and pumps are free of water.

5) Fuel stabilizer: Fill fuel tank(s) with fuel and add stabilizer.

6) Batteries: Add distilled water to batteries, and bring batteries up to a full charge.

7) Storage compartments: Prop open all storage compartments to allow air flow.

8) Antifreeze: Drain the water systems and replace with marine antifreeze. Be sure to read your owner’s manual for specific winterizing guidelines.

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Lawn Equipment

1) Basics: Clean all the dirt, debris and grass clippings from the undercarriage and around the engine. Sharpen the blade and spray moving parts with silicone to prevent locking or binding.

2) Oil: On 4-cycle engines, change the oil and refill the engine with fresh oil. The owner’s manual will tell you which oil is recommended for your equipment.

3) Air filter: Check your air filter and change it if needed.

4) Spark plugs: Check your spark plug(s). Gap or replace as needed.

5) Fuel stabilizer: If you leave fuel in the gas tank, add a fuel stabilizer. Run the engine for a few minutes to ensure the stabilizer flows through the entire fuel system.

6) Winter oil: If you’ll be using a small engine during winter, consider using a winter oil.