Most small engine manufacturers indicate that today’s ethanol fuel begins to degrade in as few as 30 days. The ethanol in the fuel absorbs moisture from the atmosphere. The carburetor, where a small amount of fuel is held, is particularly vulnerable to clogging and corrosion. This commonly translates to the need to have your carburetor cleaned out or replaced.

Two Preventative Options: the BEST way to prevent fuel-related problems

If you have a fuel shut off valve- (Easiest)  Run the engine and turn off the fuel valve. The engine will run until the fuel in the carburetor is used up. After the engine stops, turn the ignition switch to off. No fuel shut off valve- At the end of the season, drain the fuel tank and carburetor. There is usually a drain screw on the carburetor float bowl.

Fuel Stabilizer Advice – We do not recommend fuel stabilizer but if you want to use one, use a thin product and follow the directions. A thick, syrupy fuel stabilizer may actually cause carburetor clogging. Fuel stabilizer must be added to fuel in a separate, portable fuel tank not the tank on the equipment.  The portable tank will have to be shaken vigorously so that the stabilizer mixes thoroughly with the fuel. Do not add stabilizer right into the equipment tank.  Never add “dry gas” to small engine fuel. It contains ethanol which makes the problems worse. With any equipment however you choose to store it, we recommend yearly Seasonal Tune-Ups

#2 BATTERY FAILURE- The life span of a riding mower battery is about four years. As it ages, it may fail to hold a charge for very long. A riding mower battery should hold a charge for 3-4 weeks when the mower is not in use. An older battery that only stays charged for 1-2 weeks is likely ready to fail completely.                                                                                                                                             Recommendation: A fully charged battery at the start of each season or replacement

#3 SPARK PLUGS that are worn or dirty- Wear or carbon build-up will result in start-up failure.   Recommendation: Change yearly

#4 LACK OF ENGINE OIL CARE- Routinely check and change the oil-  Scheduled seasonal maintenance along with frequent oil checks will significantly prevent the most common causes of start-up failures.     Recommendation- Yearly Seasonal Tune-Ups

#5 AIR FILTER CLOGGED- If your air filter is congested or clogged it won’t be able to suck enough air into the fuel system. This will cause the engine overfill with gas, restrict the air flow and trigger the engine to run rough with a loss of power.  In addition, be careful not to overfill the oil, it can get pushed through the system and saturate the air filter with oil.  Recommendation: Clean the air filter out with a compressor or replace it each season