• 52°

Take care of your mower, other engines before storing them for winter

SALISBURY — The weather still has a few homeowners mowing, but many are seriously contemplating hanging up the string trimmers and mowers for the winter. It is important to winterize your small engine equipment at this point. Winterizing small gasoline engines helps to extend their life and make the first use in late spring much easier.
Before initiating any work, be sure to disconnect the spark plug wire as a safety precaution.
The first step is to give the mower a thorough cleaning top and bottom, removing dirt, grime and plant material. Sharpen cutting edges, and if a lawn mower blade needs more than a light sharpening, check it for balance before remounting it. Spray blades and bare metal parts with a penetrating oil such as WD–40; lubricate, per the owner’s manual, cables etc., where indicated, with motor oil. It’s also a good idea to install a new spark plug at the start of the mowing season.
The air filter should also be cleaned. If you have a paper type filter, avoid using pressurized air, as a hole can be blown through the paper. When in doubt, replace the filter. Change the oil if the engine is a four-cycle type.
Winterization of your gasoline engine can be done in a couple of ways. One approach is to drain the fuel system. Check the owner’s manual on draining the system, if recommended for your engine. It reduces evaporative emissions that occur during storage. If the manual says the gasoline can be removed and done easily, carefully drain the tank (and carburetor if possible) into a clean, approved storage container. Run the engine to remove any residual gasoline until the engine stops.
The other approach is to add a fuel stabilizer to the tank. To minimize air space, fill the tank full with the gasoline/stabilizer mixture. Operate the engine a few minutes to draw the stabilized mixture into the carburetor. Local small engine mechanics prefer the first step of draining the engine because of the extended storage problem with ethanol.
In either case, adding a small amount of engine oil or “fogging” oil through the spark plug port can help winterize an engine. For added protection, you may want to close the engine’s valves by pulling on the hand-pull starter cord until resistance is felt, which means the valves are closed.
If the equipment has an electric start/battery, the battery can be left in place with negative cable removed or connected to an automatic trickle charger. The best choice is to remove it, fully charge it, and store in a cool dry place.
As a final step, store your motorized equipment in a cool, dry place that is well ventilated and out of direct sunlight.

Darrell Blackwelder is County Extension Director, Rowan County Center; 704-216-8970
www.rowanmastergardener.com
rowan.ces.ncsu.edu
www.rowanextension.com

Comments

Comments closed.

Health

County updates health director job description, will advertise for position

Elections

Board of Elections to purchase upgraded voting equipment using federal grant

Kannapolis

Kyle Seager drives in winning run in first game as Mariners split doubleheader with Orioles

Local

City exhausts this year’s funds for Innes Street Improvements, Municipal Services District grant programs

Landis

Landis adopts amendments to Zoning Ordinance related to signs, Planning Board terms

Nation/World

Cop, police chief resign 2 days after Black motorist’s death

Nation/World

Expert says cop was justified in pinning down George Floyd

Crime

Blotter: April 13

Coronavirus

County switches vaccines for Livingstone clinic after federal, state guidance

Coronavirus

US recommends ‘pause’ for J&J vaccine over clot reports

Education

Superintendent talks first 100 days, dives into district data

Business

‘It was an answer to a call:’ TenderHearted Home Care celebrates 10 years of providing care at home

News

Political Notebook: Local polls find increasing number of North Carolinians want COVID-19 vaccine

News

Trial begins on challenge to latest NC voter ID law

Local

Burch, Fisher, Marsh honored as 2021 recipients of Elizabeth Duncan Koontz Humanitarian Award

Landis

Landis board talks revenues, budget planning, department updates

College

College baseball: Catawba rolls 7-1 and 24-1

Nation/World

Student fires at officers at Tennessee school, is killed

Nation/World

Police: Minnesota officer meant to draw Taser, not handgun

Crime

Man receives consecutive prison sentences for sex offenses

Education

RSS Board of Education approves Faith Elementary sale

Coronavirus

Rowan Health Department receives 400 Pfizer, 800 Johnson & Johnson vaccines for week

Crime

Blotter: Accident in Food Lion only weekend shooting to produce injuries

Crime

Salisbury man charged with felony drug crimes