Winter Storage Tips
Halloween just passed, we set our clocks back an hour, the temperature is dropping; all of this means it is fall and winter is just around the corner. It also means it is that time of year again to think about winterizing your summer equipment. Good storage practices mean that the equipment will start for you in the spring when you need it.
Without trying to rehash last year’s blog about the same thing, I will try to shake it up a bit. There will be some new stuff as we have some new/improved products to talk about. However, I wanted to discuss the reasons why a person should properly store their equipment. The simple answer is so that it will start in the spring time. The long answer is what happens to the gas as it sits in the fuel system for 3-6 months waiting anxiously to be used again.
Most of you know that ethanol-blended gas starts to go bad in as little as 30 days. Most service technicians also know the harmful effects that ethanol will do to the fuel system. For those that do not know, ethanol will cause the gas to decay faster. As it decays, the gas will actually varnish the insides of the entire fuel system. This includes the fuel tank, the lines, the carburetor, even the engine (especially on 2-stroke units).
When the fuel system is all varnished up, there are two ways to clean it. The first is to disassemble the entire fuel system and clean it or replace it, which obviously is very expensive. The second option is to use Mechanic In A Bottle. This will get into the fuel system and clean it for less than $10 a treatment.
To prevent ethanol issues from happening, use Ethanol Shield. In fact, Ethanol Shield has been reformulated to military specifications (Mil-Spec). Anybody who has been in the military knows that they have stringent regulations especially on fuel. We call our new product Ethanol Shield Mil-Spec. It has greater ability to fight the decay of fuel; resist phase separation, provide better bonding to oil, gas and ethanol. Basically, Ethanol Shield is now on steroids.
A lot of owner’s manuals want the owner to drain the gas out of the system before storage. That is fine however, two issues still exist. One is that there is still residual gas left in the carburetor that will cause issues. The second issue is what to do with the gas that was just pulled out of the equipment. Again, use Ethanol Shield and the issue is moot. The fuel system does not have to be drained unless one really wants to. And if it is drained, the residual gas is still protected. The gas that was pulled out can sit in the gas can until next year. As long as it is treated with Ethanol Shield, the gas will remain fresh.
Another product that helps fight the decay of gas is the Gasoline Tank Shield. This product simply sits in the gas and absorbs the bound water as well as absorbs the chemicals that cause the gas to go bad. When used with Ethanol Shield, it’s the gold standard in fuel protection.