Fuel would have to be the biggest offender when it comes to servicing and repair work.
Did you know fuel goes off? With out getting too technical (which is probably a bit beyond all of us) fuel when stored for an extended period of time and this can sometimes be as little as a month will go stale, it looses the gasses which make it explode.
How can we stop our fuel going off? There is a solution, the easiest option is not to store fuel for extended periods, winter would be the worst time of year when we’re not using our outdoor power equipment as often, that’s why when spring comes around your lawn mower doesn’t want to start. You could even empty out the fuel of your machine and fuel container for winter and start a fresh with new fuel again in Spring. Suppliers have also come to the ball game with Fuel Stabilizers, which is an additive to mix in with your fuel, once added to the fuel it can extend the shelf life of the fuel up to 24 months. Bearing in mind that this will vary between suppliers and who and where you buy it from.
What about water in fuel? This may seem hard to believe but water in fuel happens quite easily. A half empty can of fuel stored in the shed will expand and contract with the weather and condensation (water) can build up inside the can, same goes for the fuel tank on your machine for that matter. When you next fill your mower you now have water in the fuel tank of the machine too. The carburetor on your machines are not designed to pass water through jets and as little as 1 drop of water will stop your machine from running.
How can we stop water getting into our fuel? Try using a funnel, once again suppliers have thought this all through for us and have come up with funnels with filters in them that stop the transfer of water and debris into your machines. The other option once again is not to store fuel for extended periods.
Two Stoke Fuel With any two stroke machine it is essential that you mix the fuel and oil together and do it accurately. There are a few variables with various suppliers on what they suggest the best ratio is for their machine, this can vary from country to country depending upon the fuel emission levels and regulations of that particular area. As a rule of thumb we use two main ratios when mixing fuel.
Why two different mixes? Easy, it depends on the quality of the oil you use in the mix if your using a high quality oil like Shindaiwa or Echo two stroke oil it’s recommended you run the mix at a 50:1 ratio, some of the higher quality oils will also have built in fuel stabilizers and smoke reduction formulas etc, once again this will vary between suppliers. If your using another brand of oil or one of lesser quality it’s recommended you run the mix at a 25:1 ratio.
50:1 = 100ml of two stroke oil to 5 litres of unleaded petrol
25:1 = 200ml of two stroke oil to 5 litres of unleaded petrol
Four Stroke Fuel Not much to it really straight unleaded petrol and once again keep an eye on the length of time your store it.