Off Season Storage

by aromanj92

Tractors, snow blowers, lawn and garden equipment. How to store properly.

For most us who live in a four season region. We have lawns, driveways, sidewalks or work that we like or don't like to do. Which means we have gas equipment we have to use. Yet when that season is over we have to storage our equipment. Which as all or most us know that's when ethanol gasoline ruins everything. Why you may ask? Well farm and yard equipment have something in their engine that ethanol doesn't like to mix and sit with. Of course that's the carburetor.

The Time


So the season is over. Now you need to remember not to just put the equipment away. If you do that you will go to use it next year and whoops now it does not start. There goes hard earned money out of your pocket. Now there are two great ways to keep a carburetors from breaking down or being "gunked" up inside. But maybe you should know why it happens.


The killer

That's Right, Ethanol is in gasoline and it clogs. Only when sitting of course though. It has been said that Gasoline has a "shelf life" of six weeks before breaks down. Now what I mean by that is in simple terms. Gasoline goes stale. Now don't notice it much because all vehicles now are fuel injected so not worried to much about something be clogged. Yet some motorcycles are carbed so owners have to be careful also during the off riding season. When gasoline sits in a carburetor it will ruin it I repeat it will ruin it.

The Cure


Now I have two easy solutions on how to prevent the issue. These are two solutions I have used for years my self and have seen customers using. I am a Small Engine mechanic so yes I replace and work on carbs everyday. First, When buy this equipment sales workers will tell you "drain the gas at the end of the season". Well yes that is a good idea but they don't tell you the properly way. Now yes you can drain it all out of the tank. But my two ways are similar and not similar. First way is you can allow the engine to run all the way until it sputters out of gasoline. For those worried of hours being put on the equipment then can suck it out or drain it out anyway you choose. YAY now the gasoline is gone time to put it away. WRONG! That is where the mistake is made. After you have done that just about every single carb on lawn equipment has some type of bowl that has a bolt or plug on bottom or side. You want to take that and allow rest to drip out of carb. For safe measures after complete let it try to start a few times to make sure all gasoline is sucked out of the carb. Now if your machine has a fuel shut off then while engine is running shut it off and allow for engine to sputter out. That means all gas has been blocked to carb and its now emptied on one side of fuel system.
Now my Second way is one I have been using for years. Instead of going through all of that. At end of the season fill your tank all the way full. Put the proper amount of fuel Stabilizer in the tank. Okay all done now put it away and be sure to start it once a month or every other depending on equipment. This will keep the juices "gasoline" flowing so not just sitting. Also help the battery stay charged up. Then final start up before season allow to burn through 3/4 of what is left and put fresh gas in. If want to be extra careful can fill tank 1/4 through off season so always have fresh gas in it. Up to you the owner.

All Set


There you have it. You can now store successfully. Remember those two ways and you will be just fine. You may find a way of your own. Just remember carburetors are pricey and temperamental. So take the extra time to keep it maintained.

Updated: 04/30/2015, aromanj92
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Mira on 05/03/2015

Good idea that of the fuel stabilizer. Welcome to Wizzley! Maybe you should change your title to make it more clear what it is you're talking about with regards to off-season storage.

candy47 on 05/03/2015

Very useful information! Thanks!

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