Always refer to the operator's manual before starting any maintenance on your equipment. Maintenance procedures often vary significantly by brand and model. Keep a maintenance log to assure regular maintenance.
The following items should be included in your small engine maintenance log.
- Air Filters – Clean air filters keep dirt and debris out of your engine and keep your mower engine running efficiently. Rule of Thumb – replace after 25 to 50 hours of use. Pleated, paper filters must be replaced. Foam filters can be cleaned with hot water and detergent then left to air dry before being saturated with new engine oil and reinstalled.
- Fuel Filters - Rule of Thumb – replace after 100 hours of use. Cleaning is not recommended.
- Oil & Small Engine Oil Filters – clean oil is crucial to a well running engine. Check the condition and level regularly. New oil is amber in color and darkens as it ages. Rule of thumb - change oil & filters every 50 hours. There are many different types and “weights” (i.e. thickness and viscosity) of oil. Use oil recommended in the owner's manual. Recycle old oil properly.
- Check the Spark Plugs - Fouled spark plugs prevent starting. Rule of Thumb – replace spark plug every 100 hours. Inspect plugs for black carbon deposits. Check owner’s manual for proper plug and gap recommendations
- Check and clean battery terminals. – check for loose connections and use a small brush to clean away any debris or corrosion.
- Clean the cooling fins- use a small brush to remove any debris from the fins. It may be necessary to remove the blower housing.
- Check the Fuel Cap – check the fuel cap vent holes. Replace the fuel cap if there is blockage from buildup or debris in the vent holes.
- Use a Small Engine Fuel Treatment - An ethanol treatment with fuel stabilizer protects your lawn mower engine from corrosion caused by moisture in ethanol blended fuels. Add STA- BIL® fuel stabilizer to gas cans with every fill.
- Regular service of small engines keeps them running at peak performance and reduces costly equipment downtime. A well-maintained engine will run better, last longer, and reduce costs of parts and repairs. Service engines more frequently with heavy use or dusty/dirty conditions.
- Degrease the Engine - Spray a degreaser on oil stains. Allow the degreaser to sit for 10-15 minutes before wiping with a clean cloth. Rinse with a hose.
The most common makers of small engines for outdoor power equipment are Honda, Briggs & Stratton, Kawasaki, Kohler, Yamaha, Generac, Toro/Exmark, and MTD Powermore.
No matter what type of equipment you use or who makes it, the pros at MowMore have everything you need to keep it in top shape. Check us out online and reach out if you have any questions.