Friday, February 25, 2011

How to Keep Your Power Equipment Running

Power equipment like lawn mowers, chain saws, snow blowers, trimmers, and blowers all require regular maintenance if you want them to keep working and get a good long life out of them. It's easy to forget that they're machines with wear-and-tear parts, and there's a little bit more to the upkeep than just putting fresh fuel in the tank before you use the equipment.

To keep your power equipment running in top shape, for all types of yard and garden power equipment, you'll want to pay attention to these areas:

The Fuel System
The main thing to remember about a fuel system in power equipment is that the fuel you're purchasing won't stay fresh very long. Due to the high levels of ethanol in gas, the fuel quickly disintegrates and can leave a sticky, nasty varnish all inside the fuel system of your lawn mower or snow blower. The small parts involved in the fuel system of any piece of power equipment don't appreciate this varnish, and it can cause serious problems. You might find that your machine won't start, or that it will start and then die out, or that you have a kind of up-and-down thing happening, with the engine revving up and then nearly dying out.

The easiest way to make sure you don't get that varnish in your machine's fuel system is to add fuel stabilizer to all the fuel you purchase. At Arco Lawn, we carry individual packs that make it quick and mess-free (no measuring) as well as larger bottles with easy ratios to follow for adding to gas cans.

The Lubrication System
For 2-cycle machines such as trimmers, blowers, and chain saws, you know you need to add oil to the gas so the machine's engine gets adequate lubrication. Be sure of two things: first, that you're using the right kind of oil and second, that you're adding it in the correct ratio for your machine. For Stihl equipment, which we carry at Arco, there are small and large bottles of 2-cycle oil. If you don't want to mess with measuring, get the smaller bottles and add the whole thing to the appropriate amount of fuel in your gas can. You'll have your pre-mixed fuel ready to go when you're ready to use your equipment.

The Maintenance Parts
It's easy to forget, but some engine parts aren't meant to last forever. Spark plugs and air filters are parts which get a lot of wear and tear and should be replaced every season. Other commonly replaced maintenance parts include self-propel cables, fuel lines, and, of course, the chain on your chain saw and the blade on your mower will need to be regularly sharpened for best performance. Use our quick and easy Parts Look Up online system to find the parts you need for your machine.

We're happy to help you figure out what you need to do to keep your power equipment in working order. Feel free to stop by our store {14657 Manchester Road, Ballwin, MO 63069}, give us a call {636-394-0044}, or leave your question on our blog or Facebook page.

Image courtesy of tourist_on_earth.

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