Maintain your outdoor power equipment with proper winter storage
Take good care of your outdoor power equipment this winter, and it will take good care of your workload next spring. According to the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), taking the time to store equipment properly can benefit you in several ways. Doing so:
- Keeps your equipment in safe, working order;
- Saves you the trouble of unexpected, and possibly costly, repairs;
- Extends the life of your equipment; and,
- Keeps your engines running efficiently (incidentally, with the new low-emission engines that now run 70 percent cleaner than in previous years, proper storage will also help keep the air cleaner—for everyone).
So, when it comes time for your equipment to hibernate for the winter, here is what OPEI recommends that you do:
- Drain the fuel tank completely by running the engine until all of the excess fuel is gone.
- While the engine is still warm, drain the crankcase oil.
- Fill it with fresh oil.
- Lubricate all lubrication points.
- Check all moving parts for damage. Cover any bare metal parts with oil or rust preventive.
- Clean caked-on grass and wipe debris from engine, deck and handle of mowers. Clean debris from tillers, edgers, and shredder housings.
- For battery-powered equipment, remove battery and fully charge before storing.
For those of you who really aren’t do-it-yourselfers – you might prefer to take your equipment to a service dealer for a pre-storage tune up. Then, store equipment and any fuel can in a clean, dry, ventilated area and never near a pilot light, stove, or heat source of any kind.