If you’re not going to use your lawnmower for a few months, it makes sense to drain the fuel from it before packing it away.

Drain the fuel from your lawnmower
If you live somewhere where grass just doesn’t grow for a part of the year (usually winter), you probably pack your lawnmower away in the shed for months at a time. But do you drain the fuel from it, or from your weed eater or chainsaw, before packing it away?

While draining fuel is more applicable to 2-stroke engines which have oil mixed into the fuel, it’s a good idea to do the same thing with 4-stroke engines.

You see, petrol doesn’t last forever – it goes ‘off’ over time and shouldn’t be stored for longer than three to six months, depending on the temperature. Petrol that has expired degrades and can lead to poor starting or loss of engine performance. In extreme cases it can even become gummy, which blocks the fuel line or carburettor. This can mean an engine that simply won’t start when it comes out of winter hibernation.

To drain a lawnmower, it’s often easiest to unplug the fuel lines and drain the fuel from the tank this way. If this isn’t possible or easy, you might have to turn the lawnmower on its side and drain it that way. When you’ve drained as much as possible, start the lawnmower and run it until the fuel is finished and the engine cuts out. Do this and you can store your lawnmower knowing that the carburettor is empty and won’t be clogged when it’s time to mow the lawn in spring.

While you’re working on your lawnmower, you might as well check or replace the spark plug, air filter and blades, if necessary. If the blade is still good, perhaps have it sharpened or give this a bash yourself – both your lawnmower and the lawn will thank you.

Note: Please ensure that any old fuel is disposed of correctly – many municipal dumps have facilities for fuel and oil disposal.

Shop for lawnmowers, weed eaters, chainsaws, oils and accessories at Builders, either in-store or online at builders.co.za.

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