// //]]>

Welcome to the STIHL USA Blog

Friday, October 5, 2012

Outdoor Power Tool Extended Storage Tips

It may not be time just yet to put your equipment up for the season, but it is a good time to start planning for it.  If you are looking to "mothball" a 2–cycle tool for a long period – say over 30 days or more – a few easy steps will help your equipment be ready for action when you are ready to go back to work.

You can also watch a new video on storage tips for your equipment on our YouTube Channel.

Clean it first: The air filter and the cylinder fins can be cleaned by gently brushing them with an old toothbrush. 
  • On your chain saw, remove the sprocket cover and brush away all the wood chips and sawdust.
  •  On a trimmer, clean the inside of the deflector to remove built-up grass. Remove the cutting line head on your trimmer, disassemble it and clean out all the debris (see your Instruction Manual).
  •  On an edger, clean out any dirt that has accumulated in the cutting guard.
  •  On your hedge trimmer, clean the cutting blades and spray them with a lubricant like STIHL Penetrating Oil.
Check the Spark Plug: Remove and examine the spark plug for excessive carbon buildup and adjust the electrode gap to its specification. See instruction manual. You may want to replace it once a year. Carefully reinstall the spark plug, making sure not to cross thread it or tighten too tightly, damaging the threads or breaking the plug. Carefully reconnect the ignition lead.

Check the spark arresting screen. It is a small screen at the muffler exhaust that is usually fastened with a screw or clip. Carbon can build up on the screen. The screen must be cleaned or replaced with a new one.

Dispose of old fuel:  Standard pump gasoline quickly deteriorates and should not be kept over 30 days in any season. Learn more about fuel related issues.  If you need to dispose of fuel mix, please do so in a proper and responsible manner. Small quantities (a quart or so) of STIHL 50:1 fuel mix can be used up in any gasoline engine without a catalytic converter, like a lawnmower, ATV or motorcycle. Remember that all STIHL products use the same 50:1 fuel mix, so the fuel you used for your trimmer will work in your blower or chain saw, while your trimmer is in storage. It is important to realize that you shouldn’t use the fuel you bought in the fall for next spring. Start each season with a fresh batch of 50:1 2–cycle fuel mix.

Empty the equipment fuel tank. After the tank is empty, if it has a primer bulb, pump the bulb until dry, then replace the cap and start the engine – otherwise, just start the engine. Run it at idle until the engine stops. It is important that the engine is run only at idle speed, so there will be lubrication in the system. Do not operate the throttle or "rev" the engine. Just let it idle until it stops. On a chain saw, engage the chain brake. Note: using a small splash of STIHL MotoMix® to run your engine dry will help clean out the entire system of any residual ethanol.

Put it away. For long–term storage, a dry and, if possible, dust– and frost–free place would be ideal. Some equipment can easily be hung on a wall, so you can save space. Store it out of the reach of children.

By taking a few steps to prepare your equipment properly for storage you can help ensure your equipment is ready for trouble-free operation for next season.
Tell us what you think and if you have any tips of your own.