Manufacturers of a variety of gas-powered equipment, STIHL Inc. recommends thoroughly preparing gas-powered tools before storage anytime the equipment will not be used for a period of three months or longer.
One of the major concerns of storing gas-powered tools is protecting the engine. Fuels purchased from filling stations have a very short shelf life, with the fuel’s chemical composition starting to break down within a few weeks. If left in power tools for more than two months, aging fuel will cause a gummy residue to build up inside the fuel system components, such as the gas tank, carburetor and fuel lines, requiring the equipment to be disassembled and cleaned, and possibly needing expensive repair.
An alternative to using standard gasoline, STIHL offers a premixed fuel called MotoMix that incorporates additives that make the fuel much more stable than fuel purchased from filling stations. STIHL MotoMix has a shelf life of up to two years, without breaking down and causing engine damage. However, if you are using regular gasoline, before storing your STIHL gas powered equipment it is critical to properly prepare the tools for storage.
Take the equipment to a well-ventilated area, away from open flames and any other equipment that has the potential to create sparks.
Wipe around the fuel reservoir cap with a clean cloth, so no debris falls into the tank. Remove the fuel tank cap and drain all the existing fuel from the reservoir, pouring the fuel into an approved storage container with a funnel. If the equipment cannot be tipped over far enough to fully empty the fuel tank, remove the fuel line from the carburetor with a wrench or a pair of pliers and drain the fuel into a gas can. Replace the fuel line immediately after draining the tank.
After emptying the fuel tank add approximately 2 ounces of STIHL MotoMix to the tank. Replace the fuel tank cap and gently rock the tool back and forth to distribute the MotoMix. Move the power tool at least 10 feet away from the fuel, as sparks created during ignition can ignite nearby fuel sources. Start the engine and allow the power tool to run until the engine runs out of fuel. Since MotoMix includes additives, the fuel will leave behind a protective coating inside the fuel supply system. As a word of caution, it is best not to simply run the equipment until all the old gas is burned off as this will leave internal engine parts vulnerable to rust and O-rings and the gasket susceptible to drying out, and cracking.
Wipe all exterior parts with a clean cloth. Remove the air filter cover and clean the air filter in accordance with the instruction manual. Give the power head a thorough inspection, checking that all nuts and bolts are secure and that there are no missing or broken parts.
When storing chainsaws, clean around the chain bar, chain and oil reservoir with a clean cloth and fill the oil reservoir with oil to prevent any internal parts from drying out, and rusting, while the saw is in storage. Remove the chain and guide bar with a wrench and clean both with a cloth. Clean the inside rail and oil holes in the chain bar with the saw’s grove tool. Coat the bar and chain with corrosion preventive oil.
For hedge trimmers, thoroughly clean the trimmer blades with a brush or cloth and coat the bar and teeth with rust preventive oil and place the scabbard over the blades. For string trimmers, remove and clean the spool with a cloth and then replace the spool.
Always place the power tool and all accessories in the carrying case, if possible, to keep the equipment and tools safe and organized. Place STIHL power equipment in a dry and secure location, up and out of the way of children, where it will not be in danger of damage from being knocked over or getting wet.
Ralph Helm Inc is a proud dealer of eco-friendly outdoor power equipment and genuine OEM parts from popular brands like Stihl and Toro. For more information and money saving coupons visit us online at www.ralphhelminc.com, call or visit us at any of our two convenient locations: Elgin, IL (815) 788-1616 and Crystal Lake, IL (847) 695-1616