how to winterize equipment

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by soonerboyz, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. soonerboyz

    soonerboyz LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Just a homeowner and would like opinions on winterizing my mower , weedeater, chainsaw and blower. I live in Oklahoma and keep these in my garage. Do you drain the small equipment of oil and gas and then just add stabilizer to the mower, or drain them all or add stabilizer to them all? What is the right way ? Thanks in advance
  2. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    People have different ways of winterizing there equipment, some like to drain the fuel while others like to fill up the fuel and put a stabilzer in it. I would fill up your mower and then add stabil to it. The handheld stuff, mix up a new batch of fuel for them and run it through them, and then top off the tank. Usually the 2 cycle oil has a stabilizer already in it (at least the stihl stuff I use does).

    Hope this helps.
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I empty the fuel, then start them and run them on idle until it shuts down.
    That's it except...

    Sometime around February-March, doesn't matter when so long this is finished
    a good 2 weeks before season's start...
    Go over every machine, change oil and filter, spark plug, air filter, for starters.
    I like to go further, sharpen the blades on the mowers, start everything and make
    sure it runs, then inspect closely for any defects / parts that need replacing.

    Depending on the mower...
    All of mine get tire inspection, brakes, the whole nine yards, every dang part I look at, if I'm in doubt, I replace it / fix it.
    Most of my machines have zerks, these need greasing, that also gets done.
    If I lose track of what needs doing I read the owner's manual, see what I might be forgetting.

    With close to 20 machines...
    The process takes me close to a month :p
    My cars and truck and trailer get into it, too.

    I like to believe that doing this saves me a good amount of headache throughout the year.
  4. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 7,051

    seafoam them all. Nothing else is needed after that.
  5. metro36

    metro36 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,417

    As far as mowers go I just grease it, coat any bare metal in used motor oil to prevent rust, put seafoam in the gas and run it a few minutes to get the seafoam gas through the system. Then I just take the mower out every 6 weeks or so and start it up for like 5 minutes. Come spring I go over everything just like topsites said.

    For handhelds I mix up a fresh batch of fuel with seafoam in it. I put the fuel in the tanks, run them for a few minutes and then top off again. Once the engine cools I spray some seafoam deep creep down the sparkplug hole to fog the engine and pull the starter rope a few times to spread the deep creep. Come spring I chage the plugs and all filters then run the machine for a few minutes to burn off the deepcreep.

    This I what I have always done and I have never had any winter storage related problems.

    STIHL GUY LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Messages: 5,226

    for the 2 cycle equipment i run them dry and pull the spark plug and add a few drops of oil and slowly pull the cord. the mower, i add stabilizer to fresh gas run it for about 15 minutes shut off the gas line then run the gas out of the lines top off the tank with fresh gas and its good to go
  7. rlitman

    rlitman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,714

    For my 4 cycle machines that won't be used for a while (like my snowblower in the spring, or a small generator I've got), I run the machine until its dry (although to save time I usually siphon the tank first), pull the spark plug and squirt a teaspoon of oil in there, pull the rope a half dozen times with the pug still out (and a paper towel covering the hole) to remove any extra oil, replace the plug, and then slowly and carefully pull the rope until I feel added tension (this closes the valves, which is the best way for an engine with valves to sit for a long time.
    The carb will be best, if its kept dry. Although much of my newer equipment has a gas shutoff valve, if it doesn't, I install a cheap plastic one on the line from the tank, and any time I don't expect to use something for a month or so, I shut the valve and run the machine dry (I do this only leaf vac all the time).

    The only problem with these two things, is that when the carb it dry, it can be a little hard to start the machine, and when you oil the cylinder, it will smoke a bunch at first.

    I actually keep one old gas can around just for draining older gas. I siphon my machines when they're sitting for a few months, and put the gas into my car.

    With a 2 stage snowblower in particular, its important to grease the zerk fittings on the blades at the end of the season, and not wait until the start of the next season (the grease goes in there to prevent corrosion).
    The same thing should probably go for changing the oil in a mower, if you only change it once a season.
  8. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 7,051

    It's best to keep the fuel in the carb rather then run it all out. Seal, o-rings and gaskets will dry out and can easily crack causing a fuel leak or a running issue. Sta-bil and seafoam are all you need.

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