Winterizing affects lawn care and equipment on the job site. Here are three fool-proof steps on how to winterize your equipment against fuel issues due to ethanol gasoline. Most people just stick some Sta-bil in their tanks and call it a season. That’s not how we do it around here.
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The First Step to Winterizing Your Equipment is to Add a Little Fuel
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 to the Tank
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. Since the goal is to run it out, you don’t need a lot.
Start the Engine and Idle It Until It’s Empty
Go through your standard starting procedure. Prime the engine, engage the choke, and pull the starter cord. Yes, you can push the button or turn the switch on an electric start. The key here is to let the engine run at idle speed until it completely runs out of fuel.
This gets most of the fuel out of the lines, but a little of it sticks around in the carburetor. You don’t have to figure out how to get it out, though. The stabilizer you put in will let it sit just fine for a few months until you’re ready to crank it back up. As we winterize our equipment, Sta-bil keeps coming to the rescue every year.
Go Ahead and Store Your Equipment for the Winter
Now you can winterize your equipment 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 Way to Winterize Your Equipment – Use High-Quality Fuel
You can also use high-quality fuel like Stihl’s MotoMix or TruFuel premixed gas and oil 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 shouldn’t need to add a stabilizer to it.