When the chilly weather sets in and the outdoor projects dwindle away, you probably start thinking about storing your machines for the winter. Power equipment machines with gas engines – from lawn mowers to chainsaws to backhoes – have a surprising number of pre-winter storage procedures in common. These are the 5 winter storage tips that we live by:
1. Clean it.
Clean your machine before putting it away. Mud, grass, leaves, and other debris left on the machine contains moisture that will eventually degrade your machine’s finish. Also, you can risk getting dirt in the gas tank, which would cause problems down the road.
2. Either drain the fuel, or add stabilizer.
It is strongly recommended that you do one or the other before storing your machines for the winter. You can run the engine until it runs out of fuel or drain it manually. Or, probably the easiest solution, is to do as Steve Lavender, senior director of engineering at Briggs & Stratton, suggests and simply add fuel stabilizer. Put the requisite amount of stabilizer in a gas can, add fuel, then add to your gas tank. Run the engine for a few minutes to get the stabilizer into the carburetor, and you’re all set!
3. Never store it with E15 fuel.
E15 fuel contains about 50% more ethanol than your average gas-station fuel. This means that it is more corrosive to your engine, and more likely to cause a gummy build-up. Especially over long periods of non-use, this should be avoided.
A general engine tune-up is a good thing to do before storing the machine for the winter. Alongside the fuel tasks mentioned above, this includes replacing or cleaning the air filter and replacing the spark plug. Come spring, you’ll be all ready to go!
5. Remove the battery.
Any machine with an electric-start mechanism has a battery. And batteries don’t love prolonged exposure to extreme cold weather. Before storing your machine for the winter, remove the battery, charge it, and keep it where the temperature will not drop below about 40 degrees.
Need supplies? Pick up a Maintenance Kit with all the essentials! Kits include fuel stabilizer, air filter, spark plug, drive belt, oil, and any other necessities your machine may need (may vary from image shown). Choose your DR below:
- DR Chippers
- DR Field and Brush Mowers
- DR Haulers
- DR Leaf and Lawn Vacuums
- DR Log Splitters
- DR Roto-Hog Power Tillers
- DR Stump Grinders
- DR Trimmer Mowers
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