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Well just like last year we have a winter that won’t quit. Warm spring weather will finally show up and with that comes the equipment change over. Snowblowers to put away and lawn care equipment brought out of storage.
For equipment going into storage this is the best time to change the oil. Your oil performs many functions. One of them is to suspend contaminants. These tend to settle out when the engine doesn’t run for long periods of time. Used oil also contains acids from the combustion process. Changing the oil now will flush these out. Make sure the fuel for storage is a premium fuel that has been stabilized with a good quality stabilizer. Better yet, drain your fuel and install canned fuel. Then engine should be run for 5-10 minutes to allow the fresh, stabilized fuel to work through the systems.
With any equipment coming out of storage it is important to check for signs of mice activity before starting the machine. The last couple of years have been very busy for mice along with the extensive damage caused by mice. Blown engines are very common as mice pack nesting materials around engine cooling fins. Watch for signs of nesting material. They love pink insulation! If even a tiny amount is seen then take apart the engine shrouding in that area. It is amazing how much material they can pack into small spaces. From just a tiny piece of insulation showing we wind up removing a shopping bag full of material once the engine has been disassembled. In the picture the customer had no idea there was a nest. The tractor came in because it was running rough. It was only running on one cylinder because the mice had chewed through the wiring on the cylinder where the nest was built. The cooling air was blocked on this cylinder and there would have been extensive damage if the engine had been run longer.