Briggs & Stratton has long produced some of the best engines for heavy-duty power equipment models, but even the company’s most powerful engines require regular tune-ups for great, long-lasting performance. In fact, a regular engine tune-up can produce a number of key benefits for equipment owners that will ensure they’re getting the most from their equipment all year long. Emissions can be reduced by as much as 50 percent simply by engaging in routine maintenance and tune-ups, while fuel consumption can be reduced by as much as 30 percent. These factors, as well as a longer overall engine life, can help consumers enhance the value of their engine and their equipment over the long-term.
Getting started with a tune-up is actually pretty easy, with just a few simple steps and considerations to be made on a regular basis. Whether it’s an oil change, a fuel filter replacement, or other routine maintenance, Briggs engines can be enhanced and extended by following these steps.
First, Check or Change the Engine Oil
There is perhaps nothing more important to engine longevity and efficiency than the oil level and the oil “freshness.” Consumers with a Briggs engine should check the oil level before each mower use, ensuring that it is filled to the indicated level on the dipstick. If it isn’t, simply adding a bit of extra oil can enhance the engine’s performance and efficiency. The company further recommends a full oil change after the first five hours of use when working with a new engine. Those consumers with older equipment, however, can use their engine for about 50 hours between oil changes.
Next, Check the Engine’s Fuel Supply
Most people don’t view gasoline as something that has an expiration date, but the age of the fuel in a Briggs engine actually can affect performance in a big way. Generally, gasoline starts to deteriorate and break down after 30 days in the engine. This can make the mower harder to start initially, and it can lead to lower levels of fuel efficiency during mowing. Deteriorating fuel can also age the engine much more quickly than new, fresh fuel, and this could potentially reduce the useful life of the Briggs engine.
Change fuel at least once every 30 days and, as an extra precaution, be sure to use a fuel stabilizer product that can help extend the useful life of gasoline after it has been deposited into the fuel tank. Some consumers may prefer to use a fuel stabilizer cartridge instead of a liquid additive, as this can extend the fuel’s useful life up to six months beyond the initial 30-day expiration period.
Keep the Mower Deck Clean and Free of Clogs
The primary job of a mower engine is to power the blades that cut each blade of grass. If the mower deck that contains these blades is blocked or excessively dirty in any way, this will reduce the efficiency of both the blades and the engine. The engine’s internal parts will have to work harder to spin the blades, increasing engine wear and tear. This could significantly reduce the life of the engine.
Disconnect the spark plug wire on a regular basis, perhaps once every two weeks or once every 30 days, and spray the underside of the mower to clean out the deck and remove any old clippings. This will ensure that the blades are free to spin without an extra push from the engine, reducing its wear and tear and actually improving fuel economy in the process.
Don’t Forget About the Importance of Blade Sharpness
A dull blade doesn’t cut grass very efficiently, which can elevate the level of friction endured by each blade and place an undue amount of stress on the Briggs engine. Be sure to sharpen or replace the mower’s blades on a regular basis to reduce this potential for excessive wear and tear. It’s worth noting that OEM mower parts will provide the best cut, the most efficient installation, and the longest lasting blade sharpness available.
Pay Attention to the Small Things, Like Air Filters and Spark Plugs
The finer details of equipment operation, like spark plugs and air filters, require regular cleaning or replacement so that the mower sparks efficiently and burns fuel effectively. Generally, spark plugs should be replaced with a new, OEM model at the start of each season. Air filters should be replaced on roughly the same schedule, though Briggs engine owners should check the air filter for excessive grime at least once a month and clean it or replace it sooner if necessary.
Ralph Helm, Inc. Can Assist with Regular Engine Maintenance
When it comes to Briggs engine service and maintenance, the parts and guides offered by Ralph Helm can help homeowners ensure that their engine is running in peak condition. The company has an extensive collection of replacement parts, fuel additives, spark plugs, and everything else equipment owners need to boost their engine’s performance and extend its life with ease.