Running equipment monthly instead of winterizing it?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lawnsaspire, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. lawnsaspire

    lawnsaspire LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,543

    I have a friend who, instead of winterizing his equipment, he just goes out and puts fresh gas in it once a month and lets it run the fuel out. Is this a good substitution for doing the winterizeing thing, such as draining all the fuel from the carb bowl, putting oil through the spark plug holes, and so on? Just wondering what your thoughts are. Thank you
     
  2. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,464

    I suppose it could be if you do all that to winterize your equipment.

    the only thing I do do when winterizing the mowers is add stabilizer and run it a bit. the handhelds get the fuel drained and ran dry.

    so I'd never mess with going out there once a month to run everything.
     
  3. lawnkingforever

    lawnkingforever LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,280

    I don't spend much time winterizing my equipment anymore. Quick clean down, stabil, and grease. Most of my equipment goes into the garage which never goes below freezing. The offseason is much too short anymore. Last year I had equipment out in early December and started mowing March 23rd. My back up equipment goes into an unheated shed behind my house, I would never go out in the winter and start anything out there.
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  4. JLSLLC

    JLSLLC LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,974

    I basiclly do the same.. except i seem to always run the backpack around my house-blowing off light snow off my vehicles LOL
     
  5. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,144

    I've got machines that sit for 6 months and longer with fuel in the tank and absolutely nothing happens to them, they might be hard to start but winterizing doesn't really seem to help that... Additives and running them in between is a waste of money, if they are going to sit for a time frame of a year or longer I drain the fuel into some cans to be re-used and done, little happens to machines that sit for a short time frame that wouldn't happen anyhow, we're not talking about letting these things sit for three years, winterizing is an old school concept.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
  6. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,917

    I try to get my machines running every 2-3 weeks if weather permits me getting them outside for 15-30 minutes. I let them run long enough for the hydro systems to get hot, hopefully removing condensation. I'm not sure this works as I may think, but they have run with me a long time.

    My 8hp wheeled blower is run dry, because it is not used until Oct the next season. But, the mowers will be used in mid- to late- March.
     
  7. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,746

    These threads seem to pop up every fall, and you will get almost as many different theories as you will posters. None of my equipment, except for the blowers, generally gets started from around the middle to end of November until towards the end of March. I add Sta-Bil to everything, including my mix starting a week or two before the end of the season, so it is completely through the system. I also top off the gas in all the tanks before storage, adding the appropriate amount of Sta-Bil to the fresh gas introduced into the mower tanks. My equipment is stored inside, but in an unheated space.

    I've never experienced a problem, and can't imagine messing with going out once a month fueling everything up and running it until it is dry. I'd worry more about the batteries losing charge than I would problems with fuel system. I have an old Stihl chainsaw I bought about 20 or 25 years ago. It has set as long as two years at a time without starting, because I seldom have a need to use it. If I think of it, I add stabilized mix to it, but more often I don't even think about it. Sometimes it is a little hard to start. I might have to pull it a dozen times to get it going, but it has never failed to start, and, if I recall correctly, I've only had it in the shop one time in all those years.

    If you were storing something for years, I can see going through all the draining of fuel, oil in the cylinders, etc, but for the few months most of don't use our equipment, I think it is a total waste of time.
     
  8. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,464

    yeah I just don't see the point in messing with all that other stuff. I wait until spring to grease things and do all that other stuff.

    I've never had a problem yet with doing things that way. and like others have already said. it's not like its sitting for years. I mean my equipment sits 3 months tops.
     
  9. HusqvarnaRules

    HusqvarnaRules LawnSite Member
    Posts: 50

    I add stabilized fuel to everything and make it a habit of getting all equipment out every month to start/run for 10-15 minutes. Only exception is winterized pressure washer.

    Have read comments in the past about light warm-ups/use such as this leading to moisture in engine, etc. (especially in colder weather), but I've never experienced any problems linked to that.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
  10. dtford

    dtford LawnSite Member
    from 02338
    Posts: 80

    I add stabilizer, drain and fill the oil on the leaf loader.*(only use it 1.5 months)
    I have my mechanic go through my Walkers and do what needs to be done.
    I'll take care of the throw away items, i.e. blowers and trimmers, but Im not messing with the money makers. We do the regular maintenance throughout the year, but I don't mind spending the money at the end of the season knowing Im ready to go in the spring
     

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