Thanks in no small part to their small size and large amount of power, Kohler engines have become a mainstay in some of the most popular power equipment items in consumers’ garages and toolsheds. They power numerous riding and walk-behind mowers, as well as everything from snow throwers to leaf blowers and beyond. Maintaining these engines does require a bit of work and careful consideration, however, just as would be required of a car’s engine. By following a few guidelines for the engine’s fuel and oil, though, consumers can extend the life of their Kohler engine while boosting its performance and overall efficiency in the process.
Getting Things Going: How Fuel Plays a Crucial Role in Engine Integrity
To the novice power equipment owner, it might seem as if all fuel is created largely the same. Most vehicles, for example, will accept any of the three major fuel grades offered by gas stations across the country. Most people know only to differentiate between traditional gasoline and diesel fuels. For Kohler engines, though, knowing the difference between octanes and fuel blends is actually very important. The company offers strict guidelines for the type of fuel that should be used in its engines, and following these guidelines can both cut down on maintenance and promote a more fuel efficient, powerful operating experience for any piece of equipment that relies on a Kohler model.
Generally, the company recommends that consumers use unleaded gasoline in all of its engines, with a minimum octane level of 87. That allows consumers to fill their engine with the most affordable fuel on the market, and it’s a welcome requirement. In areas where the “Research” method is used to refine gasoline and indicate its octane level, however, Kohler does recommend a minimum octane rating of 90. Beyond the initial octane rating of the fuel, Kohler does impose some other guidelines when fueling up:
- Gasoline containing ethanol, or ethyl alcohol, should contain no more than 10 percent of this substance within the composition of the fuel. Luckily, current US regulations prohibit an ethanol concentration of greater than 10 percent in virtually all fuel sales.
- Ether blends, referred to as MTBE, should contain no more than 15 percent of this substance. This, too, is generally accepted as a limitation in all fuel nationwide and shouldn’t be much of a problem at the pump.
Safety Reminders: Don’t Let Fuel Cause Major Injuries
Consumers filling up their Kohler engine with the proper fuel should remember never to do so in an enclosed space, nor in an area that could produce static electricity and cause the fuel to combust. As most people should be aware, fuel is highly explosive and could result in serious damage or injury unless refueling is done in an unenclosed, open-air space that allows for greater safety.
Oil Considerations: What to Know When Lubricating the Kohler Engine
The type of oil used in the Kohler engine can have a dramatic impact not only on its power and performance, but also on the engine’s overall longevity. For this reason, Kohler has quite a few guidelines and recommendation for engine owners when it comes to properly lubricating the equipment at varying temperatures and for varying reasons. When getting started with the engine’s first oil change, Kohler owners should keep the following pieces of information in mind.
- All oil used should have a high-quality detergent composition, and should rank as SG, SH, SJ or higher according to the American Petroleum Institute. Any other oil could leave behind residual deposits that might shorten the lifespan of the engine rather significantly over time.
- The type of oil used with the engine should be chosen based on the air temperature when the engine is being used. Colder temperatures will require different types of oil with a different level of viscosity, while warmer temperatures will also require adjustment. Generally, Kohler recommends 5W30 oil for times when the air temperature is below the freezing mark of 32 degrees. For temperatures higher than 32 degrees, Kohler recommends high-quality 10W30 oil. Furthermore, if the air temperature is consistently very hot, and is at least above 50 degrees Fahrenheit, the company recommends SAE30 oil instead of 10W30.
Engine owners need to make sure that oil is placed into the proper area within the engine, and that it is never mixed with gasoline. Mixing the two substances can have disastrous results for the engine’s durability as well as for the safety of the equipment operator once the engine is placed back into active use.
For More Information on Kohler Engine Maintenance, Visit Ralph Helm, Inc.
Maintaining a Kohler engine is generally pretty straightforward, but those who have any questions about the best fuel, oil, and tune-up schedule for their Kohler product should always consult the help of professionals like those at Ralph Helm, Inc. With a wealth of experience that involves power equipment, powerful engines and more, the company can make sure that each unique engine need is met and understood over the long-term.