hands down.. best winterizing procedure?

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by bigjeeping, Nov 5, 2006.

  1. bigjeeping

    bigjeeping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 903

    Well I've heard quite a few ways from quite a few people... here are a few I've heard. Please chime in because I'm trying to find the best thing to do!

    (1) Winter: Drain gas, change oil. Spring: Change oil again
    (2) Winter: Drain Gas. Spring: Change oil
    (3) Winter: Leave gas in tank, use STABIL
    (4) "Don't ever use STABIL it will destroy your equipment!!"
  2. MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC

    MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 840

    Small equip I drain the gas and run until the carb is dry. Then i store the units indoors with the gas caps loose or off to allow for moisture and what not to dry. Large equipment I fill gas tanks up and add stabil. Run the engine until the stabil makes it into the carb and shut it down. I leave old oil in the engines until spring and then change it. Yeah its more work to do in the spring, but engine oil will break down even in an un-run engine over time. I just feel its a waste of oil to change it twice and not even use the oil in a running engine the first time. The bigger units are also stored indoors as well.

    Thats what I do aside from cleaning and oiling things to keep rust and corrosion down.
  3. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    I tried every method there is. Do nothing, Stabil, drain the fuel, leave fuel in, fill tanks and shut the fuel off etc...

    The only thing I've ever seen that makes a difference is the addition of Stabil. In Maryland we were using funky fuels long before most of the rest of the country and I've seen that stuff go bad quick, in a matter of a couple of months, if you leave it sit without Stabil in it.

    The only times I've ever seen the practice of leaving gas (stabilized or not) in the mower/trimmer/etc. cause serious problems is if the gas sits in the machine for extended periods in excess of 1 year. In that case the fuel starts to evaporate from the carb and it leaves gum deposits behind. It gets very ugly quickly.

    You should change the oil at the end of the season due to acid buildups in the used oil.

    What's the difference whether it sits in a bottle on your shelf or it sits in your engine? The only problem I could foresee with leaving the oil in the engine over the winter is if there are rapid warmups and cooldowns of the engine causing condensation to occur inside the engine. Not likely. I've changed mine only at the end of the season for years on end now and none of my equipment has suffered any ill effects.
  4. MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC

    MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 840

    Contaminants left over in the engine. Im not saying that the oil is going to be shot come spring time, just not as effective at doing its job and a shorter duration.
  5. Daner

    Daner LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,307

    Put the Stabil to It...make sure you run It that it enters the carb.
    Keep the tanks full right to the top ...to leave no room for condensation..
    I use to run the small engines dry and then store...that was before Stabil came to town.
  6. DBL

    DBL LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,219

    drain gas in mowers and 2 cycle and sometimes change oil before and somtimes we wait until spring depends on how things are going plus last year we did it in the middle of winter
  7. Empty fuel tanks breathe in and out with every temp change sucking in moist air. The moisture condenses out of it and over a winter's storage you have moisture in the tank. So I fill mine to the top.
    Leaving your carb empty will let the seals dry out and it'll suck air. I leave mine full. Gas don't evaporate much in the winter. It won't destabilize as bad in the cold either.

    I change oil in the fall to get rid of moisture and acids.

    And I DO NOT start any machine until the weather warms up. Cold starts cause excessive wear on any engine. Plus it's hard on starters & batteries. One "dry" start-up in the spring is better on the engine than starting it every month or so all winter.

  8. mojob

    mojob LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 515

    How does it break down? If that were true wouldn't it break down in the bottle sitting on the shelf in the auto parts store? I'd change the oil (if it was due to be changed) before putting it away for the winter, drain the gas tank and run the machine until all the gas is used up in the carb. If you wanted to get real fancy you could pull the sparkplug/s and squirt oil or wd40 in the cylinder and crank it over a couple of revolutions.
  9. Lynden-Jeff

    Lynden-Jeff LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,405

    I have a few questions. Is SEAFOAM a good enough stabilizer for my 15 and 19 hp kawisakis? Also does the stabilizer in ECHO OIL enough for the gas in my 2 stroke equiptment or should a little bit of seafoam be added to them too?

  10. MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC

    MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 840

    I never said anything about in the bottle.

Share This Page