Winterize Your Equipment Against Fuel Issues
Winterizing affects both lawn care as well as gas equipment you find on the job site. Here’s how we suggest you winterize your equipment against fuel issues due to ethanol.
Quick Article Summary
- Fill up with a small amount of fuel
- Add some stabilizer
- Run the engine until it uses all the fuel
- Store it for the winter
Winterize Your Equipment Step By Step
Step 1: Fill ‘er Up… a Little
Our goal here is to run out the fuel, so don’t fill up the tank just yet. We only want a little so we’re not wasting fuel—or our time. Start by using standard mid-grade 89-octane fuel. It’s a little more refined than 87-octane. Add some Sta-bil 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 at most. 8 ounces treats up to 20 gallons of fuel.
Step 2: Crank ‘er Up… Easy
Go through your standard starting procedure: prime, choke, and pull (or push the button on an electric start). The key here is to let the engine run at 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 to put your equipment in a place where the elements won’t hurt it. In the Spring, you can add fuel, check your spark plugs, and (hopefully) start everything right up.
If you have an electric start motor, go ahead and unhook the connections so you don’t drain the battery.
Alternate Solution: High-Quality Fuel
You can also use a high-quality fuel like Stihl’s MotoMix or TruFuel in your system. These companies refine the fuel much more than standard filling station gas. Consequently, they can sit for up to 2 years without breaking down.
If you’re using 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.