Preventative maintenance tips to extend the life of your power equipment

Red Lawn Mower

Kingspoint Small Engine in Brampton reminds us about the importance of preventative maintenance for small engines and power equipment to prevent premature wear and other problems. What follows are tips from the experts.

There are a number of things you can do to keep small engine equipment working properly and efficiently, as well as extend that engine’s life. Although much of what is recommended here is something you may be able to do on your own, some functions are best left to a qualified repair facility.

Fuel: Always use a high grade fuel. Higher grade gas has less ethanol and the fundamental problem with ethanol is that it’s hygroscopic, which means it draws water from the air. This is bad for carburetors and other engine parts, including the seals, because water and ethanol are corrosive, thus leading to possible engine damage.

Fuel begins to go bad within 30 days. It’s important to know this because what you want to avoid is leaving that fuel in your equipment. One solution is to use a fuel stabilizer, which can minimize the oxidation process. It’s generally best to put the stabilizer in the fuel tank when the tank is near empty and then fill the tank with gas. Then, by filling the tank entirely, any remaining bad gas will be diluted and there will be less chance of corrosion.

Alternatively, for storage during the off-season, run the engine dry and don’t leave any remaining fuel inside. Otherwise, you may later discover that you’ve got an issue with the carburetor and your equipment may not start.

Although the following tasks vary in complexity, each are recommended as preventative maintenance procedures:

Clean the engine: an air cooled engine should have its cooling fins cleaned if those fins become clogged with dirt. Methods of cleaning can vary. Engine covers should be removed. Compressed air, solvent, and a cloth can be used for cleaning but compressed air should be used with caution when directing the air. Use goggles and protective gear.

Change the oil: Crankcase oil in four-cycle engines should be checked every so often.

You can get into the habit of checking the oil whenever you add fuel. Engine oil can be changed easily after running the engine until it’s warm. Then, turn off the engine and disconnect the spark plug. The oil drain plug is located near the bottom of the crankcase.

Drain fully. Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for oil.

Spark plugs: These should be removed periodically for inspection and cleaning, or for replacement.

Depending on your “do-it-yourself” skills, attending to each of the following tasks before each new season of use will ensure your power equipment lasts for years, but some understanding of engines and their components is recommended: lubricate cables, clean the air cleaner before each new season, and clean the crankcase breather assembly. As well, depending on the type of equipment and the manufacturer’s recommendations, you may need to have the muffler, battery, and cooling system checked and serviced.

For the finest in small engine maintenance service and repairs, Kingspoint Small Engine in Brampton specializes in the repair and maintenance of all small engines, power equipment and tools. Kingspoint is an authorized warranty service centre for all major manufacturers. Total available services and products include an extensive inventory of parts, and a great selection of new and used lawn and garden power equipment.

Kingspoint also provides lawnmower blade sharpening and chain saw blade sharpening. If you don’t have the means to drop off your equipment, Kingspoint can arrange pick-up and delivery of equipment for your convenience.

Contact Kingspoint Small Engine by calling 905-453-8048 or 905-453-9590. Kingspoint Small Engine is located at 50 Van Kirk Drive, Unit 3, Brampton, Ontario. Free parking is available.