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Top Tips on Small Engine Maintenance

To help avoid regular small engine repair, it is important to follow these simple maintenance tips that can have your engine running smoothly throughout the season. It is always best to maintain a small engine, over having to repair it due to improper care or use.


Change the Air Filter
Always follow the owner’s manual for the frequency of changing the air filter. In severe conditions, an air filter replacement may be required more often. Simply cleaning the air filter by blowing out debris, instead of replacing the filter  can sometimes damage the filter and allow debris and dust to clog the intake system.

Check All Battery Connections
Engines require a good battery just to get them started, let alone to keep them running properly.  Make sure your posts and terminals are clean and tight, so you have a good contact.  And replace your battery when needed.

Check and Change the Oil
The proper maintenance of any outdoor power equipment begins with understanding and maintaining the engine. To do so, make sure to always check the oil level and add more if necessary. Air-cooled engines often rapidly consume oil so low levels can lead to engine seizures which can require a rebuild. Additionally, inspect for loose fasteners and bolts along with oil and fuel leaks. A quick 60-second review for any loose or missing parts will go a long way. 


Drain the Fuel at the End of the Season
Draining the fuel at the end of each season is crucial when the equipment will be stored for up to one year. However, you can also use fuel stabilization to keep the engine fresh for up to a year. Using fuel stabilization will avoid an expensive small engine repair and eliminate draining the fuel tank.

Inspect Each Season
At the beginning of every spring, perform a quick engine check to look for unwanted guests and check to ensure the battery is in good working order. During the winter, rodents will create nests inside small engines and other equipment. Also, since the engine may not be used for long periods, you may want to consider using a battery tender.


Remember the Fuel Filter
The fuel filter should be inspected regularly, along with the engine. A clogged fuel filter will decrease fuel efficiency and overall performance thus adding stress to the equipment and lowering its longevity. While you should follow the manufacturer’s recommendations, try to change the filter every 200 hours. Also, after every use eliminate loose debris or dirt that may have accumulated.

Treat the Fuel When Filling Up
Using Stabil 360 to treat your fuel every time you fill your gas can ensure the engine does not go bad. After 30-days fuel begins to deteriorate so stabilizing fresh and clean fuel will prevent clogs, which is the primary reason for small engines not starting.

Small engine owners should not tackle any maintenance task if not comfortable doing so. The average owners should be able to perform the maintenance items listed in the owner’s manual such as changing spark plugs, the oil, and air filters. For more major maintenance or repairs look for a shop that handles these type of services. Knowing what to look for with regards to small engine maintenance will make the difference.

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