Keeping your small engine running in top shape requires some routine maintenance. Since this needs to be done on a regular basis, it’s easy to do some at the start of an engine’s season of use and the rest when it will be put up for a while.

Start of season small engine check list

  • Change oil every season
  • Don’t put in gas that in a small engine that is more than thirty days old
  • Don’t put in ethanol gas in your small engine, it will destroy your small engine
  • Change spark plug(s)
  • Clean or change air filter

For your lawn mower you will also need to do the following:

  • Spray mower deck with mower deck  spray
  • Make sure the blade is sharp
  • Clean any grass buildup from the engine cooling fins of a riding mower

End of season small engine check list

  • Empty gas
  • Make sure mowing deck is clean
  • If leaving gas in a small engine over the winter (or summer for your snow blower!!) you should add gas stabilizer

If you want to run your engine empty of gas then turn the fuel shut off switch to “off” and run then engine until it stops. Then empty any remaining fuel in the tank.

Why are we doing these things? Glad you asked! Changing the oil makes sure your small engine is in tip-top shape and ready to run. Changing spark plug(s) yearly will keep the engine starting every time and running smoothly. Having a clogged air filter will starve the engine of air make your small engine run poorly. Emptying your gas tank insures your carburetor does not get build up.

For your mower, the use of deck spray will keep lawn mower grass from sticking to the deck and keep it from rusting. Cleaning the cooling fins on a riding mower engine will keep the mower from overheating. And if you don’t keep a sharp blade on the mower can cause disease issues for your lawn. Even so, don’t sharpen the blade too sharp. Doing so will shorten the life of your blade. People use the term ‘’butter knife sharp’’ when talking about how sharp the blade should be.

Have something else you do for your small engines? Drop it in the comments below! Looking forward to hearing from you!