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Winterize Your Equipment Against Fuel Issues

While winterizing is largely a lawn care concern, we have plenty of gas equipment on the job site as well. For those tools that take a break for winter, here’s one way you can winterize your equipment against fuel issues that come up due to ethanol.


Winterize Your Equipment Step By Step

Step 1: Fill ‘er Up… a Little

Start by using standard mid-grade 89-octane fuel. It’s a little more refined than 87-octane. Add some Stabil or other quality fuel stabilizer to the mix before adding your oil. Put just a few ounces of fuel/oil/stabilizer mix in the tank.

Winterize Your Equipment Against Fuel Issues

Step 2: Crank ‘er Up… Easy

Go through your standard starting procedure – prime, choke, pull (or push the button on an electric start). The key here is to let the engine run at an idle speed until it runs out of fuel.

This gets most of the fuel out of the lines, but there’s going to be a little left in the carburetor. You don’t have to figure out how to get it out, though. The stabilizer you put in is what will let it sit just fine for a few months until you’re ready to crank it back up.

Step 3: Store It

You’re ready for storage at this point. Just make sure that your equipment is in a place where the elements won’t hurt it and you’ll be ready to start it right up in the Spring.

If you have an electric start motor, go ahead and unhook the connections.


Alternate Solution: High-Quality Fuel

You can also use a high-quality fuel like Stihl’s MotoMix or TruFuel in your system. Fuels like these get refined much more than standard filling station gas and they’re capable of sitting for up to 2 years without breaking down.

If you’re using a fuel like this, having to winterize your equipment is easy – just store it for the winter. It certainly won’t hurt to idle the fuel out, but you don’t need to add a stabilizer to it.

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AdamKenKen McNair Recent comment authors
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You can’t just use plain Stabil anymore! I would highly advise using a stabilizer that neutralizes the ethanol in the gas, especially in 2-cycle engines. My usual product i get is Startron (avoid the small bottle, it is way less concentrated & not a great oz/$ value). It does now seem many more companies offer a similar product, but that is what I first bought upon recommendation. I thought it was going to be snake oil, but my 15 years old backpack blower hardly needs to get choked, if at all, when starting now. That ethanol is a slow kill… Read more »

Ken McNair

You recommend mid-grade gas or TruFuel; why not super gas? Also, why not drain the carb? Mine has a drain screw and tube…


You recommend mid-grade gas or TruFuel; why not super gas? Also, why not drain the car? Mine has a drain screw and tube…