I was hoping someone could help us avoid some trauma next year!
For the first time, we've invested in a petrol mower (mountfield) and a
strimmer (ryobi) - 4 stroke and 2 stroke respectively. As it's coming
to winter, is there Anything special needs doing to these to prepare
them for a long period of no use. Do I run the mower till it runs out
of fuel? Should there be a fuel drain somewhere?
Any help or ideas that will ensure they start next year would be
Read the owners manual. I think it goes like this, NOT positive for
Two countries separated by a common language :)
Assuming "petrol" is the same as "gasoline" :)
if the machine uses gasoline only, I keep the tank full. Gasoline should
act as protective coating to keep the gas tank from rusting. Most lawn
mowers are gas only. An oil change with fresh oil may also help it start
easier in the spring. I change my oil and air filters in the spring, but
may not be best for winter storage. One should sharpen and oil the
blades to keep from the blades from rusting.
If the machine uses a mixture of gas and oil, drain or run the machine
until it runs out. Most string trimmers use oil/gas mixture. The oil/gas
mixture can gunk up the machine and make it hard to start in the spring.
Some machines have a drain plug some do not. I use a simple hand pump
drain tool, about $10 US for changing the oil. I use a dremel power tool
$100 with a blade sharpener.
My line trimmer is gas only, my chain saws are oil/gas. My lawn mower is
a commercial mower that cost as much as a small car, I take that in each
year for a turn up in the spring. My lawn is around six acres. Some
people also have their small powered lawn equipment professionally taken
in for service each spring.
Usually best to run dry. My Honda 4 stroke mower has a fuel shut off
valve so I can leave tank full but run carburetor dry. Two stroke
string trimmer seems OK to leave gas in but I do drain my 2 stroke chain
saw. There are gas stabilizers and they may or may not help as if gas
evaporates in carburetor it may leave gunk. I had this problem with my
4 stroke snow thrower and now store dry.
"Mark Heptonstal" wrote in
message news: firstname.lastname@example.org...
Here in N.America the idle winter period lasts 5-6 months. We:
1. Run these motors until dry. This is mainly to avoid petrol
additives gumming up the carburettor during the winter.
2. Remove spark plug, add a few drops of motor oil and
pull the starter gently to lubricate piston and crank.
3. Drain the sump of 4-stroke motors.
Besides running till fuel empties replace spark plug and air filter.
Place a spoonful of engine oil into the cylinder and crank a few
times... leave spark plug wire disconnected over winter. Some air
filters are washable foam and then should be lightly coated with clean
engine oil. Naturally clean mower exterior well especially the
underside. I recommend a new blade rather than sharpening; after a
season of mowing the blade will become bowed and the metal fatigued,
and it's impossible to properly correct an imbalanced/bowed blade...
it will damage your motor and is dangerous to life and limb... mower
blades are cheap. Remove wheels, clean and relube bearings.
There are many web sites, search .
Why running dry is best general advice along with winterizing with a
little oil in the cylinder.
Some people never do anything and never have a problem.
Also advise starting your mower maybe a month before it will be first
If you wait until grass needs to be cut and your mower does not start
and needs shop repair, you can bet that your's will be in a long line
at the shop and may take weeks to get to. Same applies to snow
throwers and generators.
if and old mower mechanic can add his bit?
with diaphram carbies like on chainsaws etc.,. not a good diea to run
them dry as the diaphram will dry out and could need replacing at next
start. yes when engine is cold put a teaspoon or 2 of oil into plug
hole (remove plug first) then with not a lot of effort gently spin the
motor over using the strater, bring piston to top dead centre you may
be able to see this through the plug hole or put spark plug back in
and gently ease on the starter until you meet the resistance of top
dead centre, tis helps to stop moisture entering the upper cylinder
throuhg the inlet and exhaust ports. empty the fuel out of the tank
and refill with fresh fuel to maximum least air space as can be
achieved in the tank. the macine will store well over winter for the
next season fit new spark plug and empty and replace the fuel.
our winters are shorter so i find the fuel is still good.
on 2 stroke mowers if they have float bowl carby turn tap off and
empty carby out then fill fuel tank, this to stop rubbers from drying
out and tap filter from gumming up with old fuel residue. again use
oil to lubricate upper cylinder and bring piston to top dead centre,
refit the spark plug and replace at beginning of the next season, same
as with chainsaws etc.,. if teh mower has a diaphram carby again like
the chainswas don't run it dry, they are hermatically sealed so there
should be little risk of gumming up.
we have b&s 4 stroke so the tank stays fullover winter, with 4 stroke
again put some engine oil in teh upper cylinder and with plug in place
pull motore over to top dead centre this ensures the valves are all
the amount of oil used for upper cylinder lubricant not critical as
over winter it will drain into the crank cases so be sure to use 2
stroke oil for those machines, ensure that air filters are clean and
As at have mentioned, it can be confusing what is best to do in these
situations as some people never have a problem with machinery standing
over the winter and others have problems every year!
The main problems is that modern "Unleaded" fuel only has a shelf life
of approx 2-3 months. After this time the liquid that is left will
start to thicken and can possibly block fule lines, main jets etc etc.
This is more of a problem for engines which do not have a "Primer"
(round bulb that needs to be pumped 3-4 time and is used instead of, or
often in conjunction with a choke". The Primer will flush old, stale
fuel from the carb and replace it with fresh from the fuel tank
(providing you have filled the tank with fresh fuel from the filling
station which is always recommended when the start of the grass cutting
season is upon us).
This feature is on the majority of 2-stroke engines (such as your Ryobi)
and along with the 2 stroke oil that is present in the mix, I would
recommend leaving it alone and just adding a fresh Fuel / Oil mix when
you require the machine again next year.
As for the Mountfield, if it is the more modern variety from a large DIY
Store! It will be fitted with Mountfields own engine (RM45, RM65,
SV150, RV150 or similar) which is a "choked" engine which does NOT have
a primer. For this machine I would recommend allowing the engine to run
out of fuel prior to storage for the winter and refilling it with fresh
at the start of the season. It will require 2 or 3 more pulls than
usual to start as each pull on the recoil starter draws the fresh fuel
through the system but once this has happened it should start straight
I would not recommend the use of Fuel Stabilisers for either the
Mountfield Engine or a Honda Engine as I have found they tend to cause
more problems than stale fuel does.
If your Mounfield is fitted with a Briggs & Stratton engine, It should
feature a Primer system but NO choke mechanism. This engine will work
with Fuel Stabilisers or it can just be left and filled with fresh fuel
again at the start of the season and use the primer to pump the fresh
fuel through again as mentioned above.
Avoid storing in "variable conditions" such as in an outhouse or garage
with a tumble dryer so example. This can cause excess moisture to form
inside the engine and will rust internal components etc.
Hope this helps
'Mountfield Spare Parts - Lawnmower World'