You can avoid the silent treatment from your power tools in the spring by providing some care before storing them in the fall. Executives from John Deere and Stihl share steps that you can take now to ensure your equipment is ready when the weather warms up again. Gasoline-powered gear isn’t guaranteed to start when left idle for extended periods of time, say 30 days or more, so a thorough cleaning is essential.

  • Change the oil and spark plugs in gasoline-powered equipment before storing it away. 
  • Dump leftover fuel into your vehicles. The shelf life for gasoline generally is 30 to 60 days. Run equipment until all the old fuel is gone, and then add fresh fuel along with some fuel stabilizer. Run for five minutes or so to cycle through the carburetor, which prevents sludge from forming and gumming up the fuel system.
  • Disconnect the batteries.

Don’t delay taking equipment to a dealer if you don’t have the time or inclination to do the work yourself. Not only will that extend its working life, but it also will save you time and money.