Winterizing Power Equipment

Posted by & filed under Don Buma Blog, Horticulture News.

Late fall and winter weather brings the end of using most gasoline powered garden equipment.  Mowers, tillers and garden tractors should have their engines winterized if you plan to store them unused until next spring. Winterizing is a fairly straightforward process.  First, run the equipment out of gas or treat the existing gas with a stabilizer.  This is especially important given the widespread use of fuels containing ethanol.  If you do use a stabilizer, be sure to run the engine long enough for untreated gas in the carburetor bowl to be burned and replaced. I also like to remove the spark plug, replace if worn, and give a shot or two of sprayable oil into the hole where the spark plug came out.Lawn mower in the Arboretum Then, with the spark plug still removed, give the starter rope a pull or two to spread the oil throughout the cylinder. Since the engine is warm because you have been running it, this is also a good time to change the oil.  Be sure to also check the air filter and clean or replace it as necessary. It is surprising how often small engines fail to run properly because of a dirty air filter.  A little extra care in the fall can ensure a better running mower or tiller next season.