View Full Version : Sping tune-ups

02-16-2009, 08:51 AM
Has anyone started with this yet?

Just a quick tip, if you have not done so yet this winter, take the time NOW to go start your equipment and let it run for a few minutes. For example, here in Missouri they have mandated 10% ethanol in all gasoline. Industry professionals say Ethanol evaporates faster than regular gasoline and is also much drier. With it evaporating faster, the gasoline gums up carburetors quicker, etc. The ethanol based fuel also deteriorates your rubber fuel components like fuel lines, diaphragms in 2 cycle engine carbs, etc.

Either way, the octane drops VERY FAST when it has access to oxygen. So when you have a relatively small quantity of gas (like you might find in your mower, blower, or trimmer carburetor) that has access to almost equal portions of oxigen, it seems to evaporate quickly. Power equipment manufactures and other OPE professionals are suggesting to purchase 91 or 93 octane gas and then to use it within about 1 month of buying it. The first reason is because of the octane evaporation which makes the gas almost "not flammable" and thus your equipment starts VERY HARD. After a month or more your 91 octane could possibly be down to about 87 octane....

The other reason is if you keep fresh gas circulating through your carburetor there is a lower likelyhood that your carb will become gummed up.

So you ask, "what about stabil". Good question. Stabil helps, but does not cure an existing bad gas problem and only slows down future bad gas problems. Like I explained about the ethanol and octane issues, this also causes stabil to have at best a limited effect on the preservation of gas quality. There is just no good alternative to starting your equipment monthly, preferably weekly or bi-weekly. Keeping your equipment in a cool area helps too (I'm not suggesting freezing temps, just cool stable temps) since warm temps tend to deteriorate gas more quickly.

If at the end of your season you find yourself with some mixed 2 cycle gas left in the jug or your equipment has almost a full tank of gas, whether 2 cycle or 4-cycle, don't hesitate to run it through your vehicle or other equipment that will be used before spring. It will not hurt a 4 cycle to burn the mixed 2-cycle gas, though it may smoke a little because of the light oil mixture in the gasoline.

As before, should you have questions about your equipment and its maintenance, shoot me a PM or post the question in this "Outdoor Power Equipment Discussion, Repairs, Buy or Sell" section and I'll try to answer your questions promptly.


02-16-2009, 11:40 AM
Thanks Eli!

Is it better to drain your equipment and run it dry before you let it sit for winter or is it better to leave fuel in the tank?

02-16-2009, 03:42 PM
Thanks Eli!

Is it better to drain your equipment and run it dry before you let it sit for winter or is it better to leave fuel in the tank?


I personally prefer to leave fuel in the tank and start it every so often to keep the seals and everything from drying out completely. I believe that if you are going to leave fuel in the tank it is better to either keep the tank full or if you leave minimal fuel in the tank you need to add FRESH fuel every time you start it. This allows the fresh fuel to mix with the older, staler fuel and allows fresher fuel to get into the carb.

However, if you know that you are not likely to start your equipment every month or so then you're better off draining it and not risking a gummed up fuel system. For most people this is probably the best option.


02-16-2009, 04:48 PM
Looks like you are already blogging(sort of.) Post this stuff to your WP.
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02-16-2009, 08:45 PM
I really appreciate the tips!

Now what should a person do if they pull out a piece of power equipment out that has been in winter storage and it just won't start?

02-19-2009, 05:06 PM
I really appreciate the tips!

Now what should a person do if they pull out a piece of power equipment out that has been in winter storage and it just won't start?

I just love questions like this!!!! The answer is, Bring it in to my shop and I'll fix it!!!! LOL

For real, unless you have mechanical experience I would not recommend you do much of anything other than take to the shop. If, however, you are mechanically inclined, a good start would be to drain the old gas (including the gas in the fuel line if possible) and put fresh gas back in the tank. I would recommend not touching the carburetor unless you are very mechanically inclined since on some carbs the bowl has to be replaced in a specific position to allow the engine to run properly. Carbs typically have several small parts that can easily be lost, so to be safe, do not disassemble the carburetor.

Next remove the spark plug and make sure it is not all gummed up with carbon from last season. If you have the knowledge on how to check the spark, you should do this next. If not, just reinstall the spark plug. Once the spark plug is cleaned (if needed) and replaced, try starting it again. If it still will not start you could try priming it with starting fluid or carb cleaner. It should start with this. If the engine dies when this is burned up, try it again. If it dies again, it probably needs a trained mechanic to look at it. Also keep in mind that it may take a little while for the gas to get into the carb and sucked into the combustion chamber. ***REMEMBER, STARTING FLUID AND CARBURETOR CLEANER ARE BOTH VERY FLAMABLE.***

I tried to break it down so it is easily understood. If you are intimidated by this please do not attempt any of it.

02-23-2009, 03:23 PM
I use "Stabil" i usually start throwing it into the tanks when where getting close to finishing fall clean-ups, because we all go through gas so fast when running the blowers so this way I dont waste the stabil and also the gas dosent spoil before I get around to winterizing, I also try to keep the gas tank as full as possible so that condensation dosent form inside the tank. Running the carb dry would be easy but I heard that rust may form on the inside so I never did it. could this be true? all my other tune ups i usually wait untill spring like changing the oil, greasing the ports, sharpening the blades, spark plugs, and whatever else. i dont think there is any benefit to doing that stuff early and then letting it sit all winter, but the gas is the main one.

02-23-2009, 10:29 PM
I run all my equipment with fuel stabilizer before I pack them up for the winter. I'll also start them periodically.