Small engines are the power behind your everyday equipment like lawnmowers and generators. These essential engines offer high performance in a compact and portable size. If you want to extend the life of your small engine and get the most out of its capabilities, regular maintenance must be performed.
How do you maintain a small engine? Upkeep varies between different types of equipment, but there are a few basics that cover small engine maintenance in everything from lawn and garden equipment to motorcycles. Let’s take a look at the best ways to prolong your small engine’s life span.
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- Check Your Oil (and Other Parts)
- Clean Consistently
- Read the Manual
- Store Properly
- Select the Right Replacement Parts
1. Check Your Oil (and Other Parts)
Before you use any piece of equipment, check to make sure your oil and fuel are fresh and at their proper levels. It only takes a few seconds and can save you a great deal of time and trouble. This tip applies to other parts of your lawn mower or small-engine equipment as well. Your operator’s manual has a maintenance checklist that includes things like air filters, spark plugs and the carburetor. A quick check now is so much easier than an expensive repair or replacement later.
2. Clean Consistently
Grass, dirt and other debris accumulate quickly on and within lawn care and garden equipment and other tools. One of the best ways to ensure your small engine lasts season after season is keeping it clean. Clear away debris, remove grass or soil clumps and inspect equipment for damage after every use. Regularly cleaning your small engines will prevent the buildup of harmful materials. Consistent cleaning also helps you catch potential issues early on.
3. Read the Manual
Reading the owner or operator’s manual for your small-engine equipment might seem like a waste of time, but it’s a step that many owners should take more seriously. While you’ll get useful tips from books and blogs, the manual that comes with your small engine is specific to that model. Its sole purpose is to inform about safety and correct operational procedures about your lawn mower, trimmer, or chainsaw.
Additionally, owner’s manuals typically provide care recommendations tailored to your equipment so you can find the optimal ways to prolong the life of your small engine.
4. Store Properly
Proper storage is crucial to extending the life of your small engines. If you’re getting ready to put your lawn equipment away for the winter, take the right steps to prepare equipment for long-term storage. Empty the gas tank to prevent gasoline from damaging the fuel system over time. Clean both the outside and inside of your small engine to prevent rust development, and make sure you sufficiently lubricate the components before putting the equipment away in a dry place.
5. Select the Right Replacement Parts
Whether your lawn mower ran into a problem (literally) or is just losing performance due to use and age, there are ways to get it back in action without buying an entirely new piece of equipment. If you want to prolong the life of your small engine, use OEM (original equipment manufacturer) the right replacement parts. Investing in proper replacement parts or repairs will save time and money and aggravation in the long run.