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Have you winterized your outdoor power equipment? Taking a few simple
steps before storing your gas-powered tools for the winter will ensure a
hassle-free start next spring. It will also extend the life of your
small gasoline engines.
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Your outdoor power equipment will last for many years with some basic maintenance and care. As you get your equipment ready for storage, it is also a good time to take a few extra preventive maintenance steps. But whatever your plans - full tune up or just washing the the dirt off - remember...
The most important step is draining or stabilizing the fuel.
Gasoline left in fuel tanks over the winter will degrade leaving gum deposits and varnish build-up that will plug up the fuel system. You can either drain the fuel system or use a fuel stabilizer. I recommend using a stabilizer in your mower and draining fuel from tools with two-cycle engines - string trimmers, blowers, hedge trimmers and chain saws.
Fuel stabilizers will keep the gas fresh until spring. They can be found at most hardware and home stores. After adding the stabilizer, run the engine for at least 5 minutes to be sure the stabilizer gets into the carburetor.
To drain the fuel system, first pour the gasoline out of the tank into a gas can. Then pump the primer bubble several times, start the engine and let it run until the remaining fuel in the carburetor and lines is used up.
Let's start with mowers and then we'll discuss the two-cycle engines.
String trimmers, blowers, hedge trimmers and chain saws are usually
powered by two-cycle engines. These are real easy to winterize. The
most important step is draining the fuel system!
|1) Drain the fuel tank. Press the primer bulb several times. Then try to start the engine and run the rest of the fuel out of the carburetor.|
|2) Remove the spark plug. Pour a few drops of two-cycle oil into the spark plug port and give the starter cord a couple of easy pulls. This lubricates the pistons and crankshaft. Install a new spark plug.|
|3) Clean and inspect the air filter.|
4) Check fuel lines and replace the fuel filter. Rubber fuel lines will rot, crack and eventually disintegrate over time.
5)Clean and lubricate moving parts (ex. hedge trimmer blades)
Come springtime your clean, gunk free tools will be ready to mow, trim, rototill and blow!