Small Engines - Top 3 Maintenance Tips

 We know our customers do not want to bring tool in for repair any more than absolutely necessary. Here are the main three problems we see with most small engines and how you can avoid them:


Fuel can become gummy inside your engine when left standing over long periods of time, especially in the cold. Once certain parts of the engine are gummed up, the engine must be disassembled and cleaned in order to function properly.

The best technique is to run your mower dry after that last mowing job. If you have to drain the tank, put the old gas into your car’s gas tank; it will not hurt the car and is probably the best environmental approach to dealing with waste gas.

Air Filter

Most small engines have a single paper filter element. The filter provides engine protection, but when clogged, it prevents the engine from breathing. Air filters are relatively inexpensive and easy to replace.

The best approach is to keep a spare air filter on hand and replace per the manufacturer intruction manual. In a pinch, a dirty air filter can be gently cleared of major obstructions with compressed air or a small brush.

Generally, plan on replacing the filter every two years - more often for heavy use.


Running a four stroke engine with low or no oil is a sure way to cause serious damange. Most lawn mower and small engine manufacturers recommend changing the oil annually - usually in the spring. For lightly used tools, the oil change can be extended to every other year but no longer.

Keep an eye out for significant oil loss. If oil is leaking, it will combine will dust and dirt to form an oily crust on the engine.