This steel deck mower is not even OK for a small lot.! At least not the older ones.
Do not grease the wheel gears. They will collect dirt and grit and cause even more problems.
Keep the mower in a dry location so the moisture will not cause even more problems.
As far as them putting the "Self-Destruct button" (washout port) on the mowers, this was done because Toro get tired of arguing with "Idiots" Other companies started putting these ports on their mowers because customers are usually lazy and wanted an easier way to clean out from under the mower. Toro lost a great deal of market share to the other brands because they did not have the washout port. They couldn't keep loosing marker share so they said : If you can't beat them....join them.."
The super Recylcer is their best mower....but for a 1/2 acre lot, you actually should be using a riding mower. Usually if it takes more than 1 hr to mow your lawn, you should consider a rider.
Just for you information, I am including one of my Answers for not washing a mower. It should help you understand my position even better. This is especially true for self-propelled mowers and riding mowers.
DO NOT WASH ANY LAWN MOWER OR ANY PART OF ANY LAWNMOWER WITH WATER!
When a mower is washed or left outside in the weather, several damaging things occur.
1. About 80% of the assembly grease that was installed at the factory is washed away.
2. Bare metal that previously was covered in grease rusts.
3. Rust is another name for "Iron oxide" which is another name for "GRINDING COMPOUND.
4. Components of the unit that were made to move, now have GRINGING COMPOUND between them and wear out very rapidly.
5. Other components that were meant to move, but more infrequently, tend to rust together and freeze up as if they were welded together. Causing major problem.
6. Water that contacts the bearings, will find its way through the seals into them .
Bearings and water are what we call dis-similar materials. This means that they
will heat and cool at different rates. Because of this, the water will be forced or
sucked into the bearings similar to what happens when you put a boiled egg on
top of a pop bottle and heat the bottle. The egg is sucked into the bottle through
the smaller opening....contaminating the grease and wearing out the bearings.
7. Water will also be sucked through the seals and into the transmission in the same
way. Contamination the lubricant in the transmission and also start the rusting
process inside the transmission.
8. Water that gets onto the axles will actually rust the axles to the back wheels
and practically weld the wheel to the axles. This prevents the wheels from
being able to be removed if there is ever a need to repair or replace a tire or rim.
Just about the only way to get them off it to use a cutting torch and cut them off.
9. Water getting onto or under the mower deck will not only ruin the bearings,
but the deck will rust out and need to be replaces in short order.
10. Water will also corrode all of the electrical connections and render the electrical
system inoperable....making it necessary to replace switches, connectors and
There are also many other items that will become damaged because of washing the
unit or leaving it outside. And by the way, covering the unit with a tarp or a tub
will not help. In fact, it makes the situation much worse because the moisture
is kept inside the tarp or tube and is not allowed to evaporate.