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Barrette's Small Engines Inc. - FAQ's

What is a good way to prepare my small engine for off season or long term storage?

The following steps are a general method of preparing an internal combustion engine before storing it for periods of non-use longer than 30 days.

The objective is to prevent contamination resulting from fuel and oil stratification that may occur during storage that can result in fuel system blockage or other engine related damage from storing a unit with old oil and fuel inside.  

  • If the engine is a 4-cycle engine, change the engine crankcase oil with fresh, clean oil (follow engine manufacturer's oil service instuctions). Properly dispose of all old oil.
  • Add a fuel stabilizer to the last tank of fuel.
  • Run engine 5 minutes; let cool.
  • Pump or drain excess fuel from tank. Properly dispose of all old fuel.
  • Start engine, run until out of fuel.
  • Prime / Choke and attempt to restart.
  • Repeat until all fuel is used and none is left in fuel lines or carburetion system.
  • Perform routine maintenance for storage of the unit per the Operators Manual.
  • Store in a dry area.

NOTE:  Units with a DC (battery) starter system should take care to protect the battery from freezing during storage in colder climates. This may require removal of the battery in severe climates. Batteries should be periodically recharged (approximately every 30 days) while in storage as batteries may slowly discharge during periods of non-use.

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