Off-Season Equipment Maintenance Checklist
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All gas-powered equipment requires proper annual maintenance to ensure proper operation when you need it. You’ve made a substantial investment in this power equipment and by completing this simple checklist, you can save yourself time and costly repairs in the future. As a rule, if you aren’t going to be using the power equipment for 2 months or more, you will want to follow this checklist.
1. Empty Gas Tank
Although it may seem harmless and cost-effective to leave unused gas in your equipment, it’s actually harmful for it. Over time, the fuel breaks down, and can actually slowly damage the engine. Simply turn on the power equipment and allow it to run until the gas is completely used up. You can also fill the gas tank and add fuel stabilizer, but most experts recommend emptying the tank.
2. Clean the Equipment
Before you store your lawn care equipment for the off-season, you need to ensure that it’s clean. Begin with the underside of the equipment, cleaning out any debris that has built up in your machine, and slowly work your way around the entire unit. Using a hose or a wire brush will work well in scraping off all the old grass and gunk that has collected. Avoid using a pressure washer on engine and electrical components as this could cause unwanted damage.
3. Inspect Air Filter
Inspection of your air filters is extremely important, because they prevent dirt from entering the carburetor. If the filter is dirty, it’s best to replace it and start fresh, as it will help ensure your equipment runs smoothly when you need it.
4. Change Oil
Just as a car needs proper oil maintenance, any gas-powered equipment needs that attention as well. If your oil level is low, or the liquid is dirty, your mower will not run properly and the engine could be irreversibly damaged. Make sure you do not overfill or under fill the oil.
5. Charge the Battery
If your equipment has a battery, it needs to be kept charged. It’s best to do this several times throughout the winter, as periodic charging will help the battery hold a charge.
6. Change Spark Plugs
Spark plugs help your machine start, and should be changed once a season, so if you haven’t taken this step during the past year, you need to do this during the off-season.
Any equipment that has blades (mowers, edgers, de-thatchers, chainsaws, roto-tillers, etc.) need to have a sharpened blade to perform the best work. While it can be a tedious task, it will prime your equipment for a great performance when you need it.
Check Fuel Filter and Line
If your fuel filter and line is clogged, your equipment will not run. Before you put away your unit for the off-season, clean around your fuel cap, inspect the fuel line and filter, and if they are clogged, replace them.
Once you finish these maintenance steps during off-season, you can sit back and relax, knowing that your equipment is prepped and ready to go.