Best practice for small engine storage
Spring 2021, time to put away the snowblower and bring out the lawn mower. So before you switch over the yard equipment this spring, think about the best practice for long-term storage of that engine. Two simple things to remember; (1) the fuel and (2) the engine oil.
The best practice for small engine fuel storage is leave the fuel in the system and add a fuel stabilizer to prevent evaporation and gummy buildup.
Fuel does not store well for long periods of time, it breaks down and becomes a gummy residue, eventually turning to hard varnish deposits inside the carburetor. Depending on your climate, the snowblower may be is storage for 7-9 months of the year and certainly long enough to create fuel problems at the beginning of next season.
Some people may suggest draining the fuel system and run the engine to drain the carburetor. This is not the best practice because rust deposits will form inside the carburetor and any fuel residue evaporates and turns to varnish quickly which eventually leads to the problem we are trying to avoid, difficult engine starts next season.
Store a small engine with clean engine oil. Clean engine oil protects the internal engine parts against corrosion during long term storage.
After the season of running the engine, it’s a good practice to store the engine with clean oil. This ensures a healthy dose of additives are present during storage to not only prevent internal corrosion, but also removes carbon particle in the oil that would otherwise settle to the bottom of the oil sump and become a thick sludge over time.
The snowblower is an expensive piece of equipment and keeping it running great for many years is the objective and pride of ownership. On the other hand, years of poor maintenance leads to loss of engine horsepower and difficult engine starts next season, not to mention costly repairs and the frustration of delivering the machine to the mechanic.
Service for Snowblower (small engine) prior to storage:
- Pour the recommended amount of fuel stabilizer in the fuel tank
- Run the engine for about 3 mins, turn the engine off
- Drain the engine oil, replace drain plug and refill with fresh engine oil*
*check your maintenance manual for the correct drain plug and the correct new oil viscosity
- Run the engine for about 2-3 mins, turn the engine off and store the machine.
This easy maintenance for snowblower storage maintenance helps keep your small engine running like new for many years. The best part is when you bring it out of storage next fall it’s ready for the season.
One more important thing, do not use common automotive engine oil in your small engine. Small engines do not have oil filters like an automotive engine. Instead the oil is formulated with different additives to keep contaminant particles suspended in the oil so they can be removed when the oil is drained. Different types of engines require different types of engine oils. For best results use AMSOIL synthetic small engine oil for 4-stroke engines on snowblowers and lawn mowers.
AMSOIL keeps your small engine running like new
…and running like new longer.
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