Winterizing Small Engines

Tools aren’t cheap, but preventative maintenance is.  Don’t overlook properly winterizing your small engines this year.  If you do, it could mean having to spend hundreds of dollars on repairs next spring.  Instead, follow these easy steps to take care of your tools.


Clean Them

Spray off your mower or trimmer with a pressure washer and soapy water.  If you don’t have a pressure washer just use a hose, or what you have available, and a scrub brush.  Make sure you remove all debris.  Spray WD-40 into any tight areas, or areas that you notice any rust.

Change Oil

Old oil that is allowed to sit all winter can turn into a corrosive type of sludge that can cause serious damage to your engines.  Perform an oil change according to the owner’s manual for your tool.

Remove Gas

Drain the fuel from the tank.  Then start and run the machine until it dies to make sure to remove any excess fuel that is still in the lines and carburetor.  Try to restart it just in case.

Change Sparkplug

After the engine has cooled, remove the spark plug.  Prior to installing the new spark plug, pour about a tablespoon of engine oil into the cylinder, then pull the starter cord slowly to turn the engine over a few times allowing the oil to move over the cylinder and pistons.  Then replace the spark plug with a new one and reconnect.

Make a list

Now your small engine is safe for storage, but there still might be plenty of work to do prior to using it again next spring.  Now is the time to look over your machines and make a list of any other work that needs to be done that you can take care of during your down time this winter.


You’ve spent a lot of money on your tools, don’t neglect them now.  If you do, you will might be kicking yourself in the spring!

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