Engine Storage


Old 09-22-02, 04:46 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: middleboro,ma
Posts: 279
Cool Lawn Mower Care?

I live in NewEngland,and the winters are very cold.I just bought a new Craftsman 4.5hp push mower,wich I store in my garage (un heated)..
What should I do to this before storing it for the winter months?
Can I use a fuel stabilizer for the gas left in it?
Any tips would be helpful.Thanks
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Old 09-22-02, 06:27 AM
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Join Date: Feb 1998
Location: The Shake and Bake State USA
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Hello cschroth1. Welcome to our Small Engine forum.

Upon the final mowing, clean the entire decks top & underside and allow it to dry completely. Apply a lite coat of an anti rusting oil based product to prevent rusting.

Change the oil and replace the air filter. Lube the controls, cables, bearings and other parts which slide, roll and or move together with other parts. either sharpen the blade yourself or have it sharpened. Lube it and reinstall it at this time.

Mower blade sharpening methods can be located in my "Sharpening Topic."....

Do not cover the machine with any non breathable covering material such as plastic. Doing so traps in moisture which promotes rusting. Either cover it with canvas, a canvas like breathable material or leave it uncovered in a location out of the elements.

Adding a fuel stabilizer is helpful. However, I personally do not recommend allowing the engine to remain unused for months. Nor do I recommend running the carb totally out of fuel and draining the fuel tank.

I suggest running the engine monthly or semi monthly for about 15 minutes each time. Doing so allows the engine to reach normal operating temperatures which dries out moisture that accumulates in the crankcase and in the oil.

Failure to run the engine to operating temperatures or for a long enough period of time, will turn the oil into a milky whitish color and rendering it almost uselesss as a lubricant.

Most likely I have not covered all of the aspects of proper extended periods of engine storage. The other resident small engine service and repair professionals may offer additional suggestions & advice.

Check back on your topic several times over the next several days for additional replies.

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Old 09-22-02, 11:38 AM
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Tom doesn't leave a guy much space to further expound on a subject so I just want to say that if a person didn't do anything else Toms advice to start and warm the engine every 2-4 weeks during periods the machine isn't used is a must! If a person can manage all of Toms advice you will have done about all there is for the good of your engine.....Mike
Old 09-23-02, 09:12 AM
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A couple of things in addition to that.

Coat all of the body and painted surfaces with some high quality car wax. Buff it off as you would any other metal surface.

Craftsman mowers (usually made by AYP) have steel decks and tend to rot out over time, but I find if you keep the paint in good shape they last longer.

Pay particular attention to where the seams are underneath. Get all of the grass out of the cracks...

I'll think of more later on .
Old 10-03-02, 09:55 PM
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I run my small engines out of gas then pour in some 30W oil into the head. Then I pull it over several times. I normally change the oil as well. I have no choice. It is hard to start a lawn mower at -40 under a snow drift.

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