When small engines sit dormant for over 30 days, they need to be properly cared for to ensure they start easily and perform just as well as the day they were new. Follow these tips to keep your gasoline engines running smoothly for many years to come.
1. Fill The Tank - Filling your gas tank to full capacity prevents moisture build up inside your tank that can lead to difficult starting in the spring and even long term engine damage.
2. Ethanol Free Gas - Use ethanol free gasoline for best results in small engines. Ethanol has a tendency to damage small engines overtime and can significantly shorten the life of your power equipment.
3. Fuel Stabilizer - When filling the gas tank, mix in fuel stabilizer such as STA-BIL® or Sea-Foam® to keep your gasoline from deteriorating while in storage. The recommended ratio can be found on the stabilizer packaging. Run the engine with this mixture for about 5 minutes to make sure the mix reaches the entire fuel system.
4. Clean Air Filter - Clean or replace the air filter. A dirty air filter can lead to improper fuel/air mixture in the engine and may cause permanent damage. To clean a foam air filter, use soap and water to gently scrub away the dirt and debris. Allow to dry and thoroughly oil the filter with 30 or 40 weight oil. Squeeze out any access oil before replacing
5. Remove Debris - Remove all dirt and debris from the unit before storing. If this step is not done, the debris may disrupt the engine operation during its next use. It may also lead to excess moisture and eventually rust.
6. Battery Maintenance - If your power equipment uses a battery, disconnect it from the unit and make sure it is fully charged . Store the battery in a warm environment. If you do not plan to use the equipment for an extended period of time, consider charging the battery every few weeks to maintain its capacity.
7. Inspect For Damage - Inspect your equipment for minor damage that may have occurred during use. Minor damages are typically easily repaired but when gone unnoticed, can lead to significant damage.
8. Read Your Owner's Manual - Each piece of equipment is unique. Your owners manual contains specific details on how to maintain and operate your power equipment.