Small Engines Proper Procedures For Storing Small Engine Equipment

Published on March 20th, 2015 | by Jacks


Proper Procedures For Storing Small Engine Equipment

Storing small engine equipment has changed in the last couple of years due to the use of ethanol in gasoline. This additive can harm your engine’s fuel system, if not treated properly.

If you perform the following end of season storage procedures, you should prevent any fuel related issues at the start of next season.

Storing 2 Stroke Engines (requires oil & gas mix)

1. Remove and dispose of old fuel from the unit.

2. Add a high octane gasoline with the correct oil mix ratio for your equipment, and a Fuel Stabilizer to the fuel tank. Only add enough fuel to run for a couple of minutes.

  • We recommend using SEAFOAM. It contains a stabilizer, a cleaner, and an anti-gel cylinder lubricant.
  • You may also use a brand of stabilizer called STA-BIL. This also contains a fuel system cleaner.
  • A product called STARTRON eliminates carbon build-up in the fuel delivery system, making the engine easily start and run smoothly. This fuel additive stabilizes fuel for up to 2 years.

3. Start up the unit and run the engine until it’s out of gas. After the engine stops, pull the starter cord a couple of times until the engine no longer sputters from gas remnants left in the fuel system.

4. The next step is to remove the spark plug, spray a lubricant into the spark plug hole, and pull the starter cord a few times. This will lubricate the engine’s cylinder parts. Reinstall the spark plug. Your equipment is now ready for storage.

Storing 4 Stroke Engines (requires straight gasoline only – NO oil mix)

1. Remove and dispose of old fuel from the tank.

2. Add a high octane gasoline (only a small amount) with a fuel stabilizer to your fuel tank. Preferably use a stabilizer with a fuel system cleaner and cylinder lubricant, such as SEAFOAM.

3. Start the engine and allow it to run for 5-10 minutes. This gives the stabilizer time to work through the entire fuel system.

4. Allow the engine to sit for 20-30 minutes if you used a stabilizer with a fuel system cleaner. This will also give it time to clean the ethanol residue and any other residual fuel remnants from the fuel system.

5. Restart the engine and run it until it’s completely drained of gas.

6. Your next step is to remove the remaining fuel from the carburetor. This is done several ways depending on the manufacturer of your equipment. First you must find your carburetor’s fuel bowl. You can find this by following the fuel line from your fuel tank to the engine.

  • If your fuel bowl has a drain on the bottom, loosen the drain bolt or valve and drain out the remaining fuel.
  • If the fuel bowl has a big bolt in the middle, break the bolt loose and drain the fuel. Then retighten the bolt.
  • If your fuel bowl does not have a drain or bolt in the middle of it, you will have to remove the fuel bowl. This can be done by removing the two screws at either corners of the fuel bowl where it bolts to the carburetor. Remove the bowl and dump out any remaining fuel. Then replace the bowl onto the carburetor.

Jack’s Safety Tips: Before servicing or repairing any power equipment, disconnect the spark plug and battery cables. Remember to wear appropriate safety glasses and gloves to protect against harmful chemicals and debris. View our Disclaimer.

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About the Author

Jack's Small Engines has been providing parts for outdoor power equipment online since 1997. We also run a service center for outdoor power equipment like riding mowers, snow blowers, generators, chainsaws, and just about anything else.

2 Responses to Proper Procedures For Storing Small Engine Equipment

  1. Roger says:

    would this same procedure be for a 4 stroke outboard motor?


  2. Chris Brown says:

    I have a 2017 Toro 20333 with a B&S engine, 104M02-0003-F1. The plastic carb has a drain plug with a recessed hex nut. Any idea what size allen key it would take? I cannot find anything on the B&S website or in any manuals.

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