How to Protect Your Power Equipment When the Summer Turns Dry

An equipment rental assistant changes a spark plug as part of routine and seasonal maintenance on a lawnmower

Fuels are one of the greatest problems today, and fuel problems are worse when a unit sits for long periods of time. When the mid-summer heat slows down the speed of the growing grass, we mow and trim less often. In those cases, it’s important to pay attention to the unused fuel that remains in our equipment in order to avoid problems with carburetors.

Here are some essential things to remember the next time a heat wave rolls in:

1). The overall best practice is to use Recreational Vehicle, RV, non-ethanol fuel in all your small engines.

2). If using other fuels, regular or other grades containing ethanol, (all fuels except RV fuel contain ethanol) you should:

  • Make sure your fuel is fresh, not over 30 days old.
  • If it is over 30 days old, drain it from your units and put in in your vehicle’s fuel tank.
  • Also drain any fuel over 30 days old from your gas can into your vehicle’s fuel tank.

3). The dryer air and grass produces a lot of debris that gets trapped in the engines air cleaner and cooling fins.  You should:

  • Clean or replace the air filter.
  • Clean the cooling fins with compressed air.

4). It might be a popular opinion to shake the fuel, but that is only a temporary help, not a solution.  It only puts the water into suspension in the fuel, and it will settle out if it sits. The water is there because as the ethanol evaporates it draws in water and lowers the fuel octane.