Winterizing Your Gasoline Power Tools

How To Prepare For The Cold Weather.

Now is the time to start getting those gasoline engines ready for their winter rest.  If you have not run the engines in a while, start them up (if you can) and let them run for a while.  Remember always to check the oil first.  If you don’t plan to use them until spring, prepare them now.

Winter Storage

Once the engine is running, turn off the gasoline valve usually located below the gasoline tank and let the carburetor drain out all of the gasoline.  Now is a good time to change the oil when it is a little hot.  Check the owner’s manual for the correct oil and oil filter.  If your engine has a fuel filter, change it along with the air filter.


Some say the alcohol in the gasoline can separate and cause trouble in the spring when you want to start the power tool.  Other problems are letting the gasoline get old (three months or more) and can cause carburetor trouble in the spring.  So the best thing to do is to drain all the gasoline out of the tank and carburetor for the winter and take no chances.  You can put the gasoline in your car with a proper funnel.

Two Cycle Engines

With your two cycle gasoline engines (the ones you add the proper oil mix to the gasoline) you should do the same thing.  Drain all gasoline out of the tank and carburetor.

Do Not Forget

Remember to do this to all your gasoline engines.  That includes lawn mowers, weed whackers, leaf blowers, generators, compressors, chain saws, etc.


Once those gasoline engines are ready for storage, you are safe putting them away in your attached garage or basement.  Never store them full of gasoline nor should you keep cans of gasoline in these areas for safety reasons.  The fumes can cause further damage if there is a fire.  Never keep propane tanks in the same area with gasoline engines. 


Any questions?  Email me at William.petrone@yahoo.com

Mark November 22, 2011 at 04:12 AM
Your advice on fuel is completely wrong. I have been a licensed marine & small powered equipment mechanic for over 30 years and an OPE business owner for 15 years. The fuels today are very complex and the addition of ethanol is causing enormous problems if the fuel is not properly handled. The best method for storage is what you should be doing all season. Run premium fuel with a good stablizer (hint: store brand stabilizers do not generally fare well) and fill your tank fully before storage to reduce the air available. If you have fire concerns about a tank with fuel in it then you should also have concerns about an empty tank. An empty tank will still have vapor which is the highly flammable portion. Best to store the equipment in a safer location. Premium fuel has less or no ethanol, has a higher octane rating and will resist breakdown better than regular blends. The enemy of fuel is air which allows the fuel to degrade rapidly. By draining the whole system you leave all air but the fuel system will still have a thin coating of fuel and definitely some fuel left in the carb bowl. This thin layer of fuel will turn to a sludge or varnish and cause significant problems. None of this will be covered by a warranty. If you are starting your equipment up also be aware that most summer use equipment will use #30 oil. This oil is only rated to 40 degrees F so if the temperature is below that engine damage can result.
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