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.
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.