Best shut off practice?

Graham Piccinini

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Most of my small carb'd engines are started at least once a month, with few cold months being the exception. All have MMO in fuel (in recommended dosage) because carbs and bowls stay clean with it, as compared to straight gasoline. Is it best to shut them off manually, with fuel left in the bowl? Or am I fine to keep doing the fuel shut off and let the carb starve & die? I've been doing the fuel starve method by default, but recently wondered if I may be causing issues somehow? Thanks in advance.
 
If using a stabilizer, I see no need to run carb dry. Some people say gaskets could dry out. I’m not sure about that. But I have a small mowing side hussle, and I always leave equipment with full gas tank
 
If using a stabilizer, I see no need to run carb dry. Some people say gaskets could dry out. I’m not sure about that. But I have a small mowing side hussle, and I always leave equipment with full gas tank
Gas tank almost always has fuel in it. I just shut off the fuel flow to the bowl and starve it that way.
 
I always use stabilizer in the fuel and leave the tank and carb full. Never have had any issues starting it the next season (both lawn mower and snowblower). The one time I did have trouble is when I let pressure washer run dry. Had a hard time starting it the next year. Go figure 🤷‍♂️
 
I run my 2, 9,500 Watt Westinghouse generators around 15 minutes a month. (More than enough time in this hot weather to get everything up to operating temperature).

When I shut them down I first remove the load slowly, then allow them to run a couple of minutes with zero load, to help cool down the dynamo. I then shut off the fuel petcock, and allow them to run for about 30 seconds before shutting down.

This takes any gravity fed fuel pressure off the fuel system. Lastly, I slowly pull on the recoil starter until the piston starts upward on the compression stroke. This allows both valve springs to be fully extended and relaxed.

I don't know if it really matters, but I heard it was good to do if a single cylinder engine is going to sit for any length of time. Also I run Pri-G Fuel Stabilizer, and 93 octane non Ethanol fuel in them all the time.
 
Running until it stops doesn't get all the gas out of the carb bowl.
This is right, there is still some gas that can't reach the jets stuck inside the bowl.

I only use ethanol free gas in my carbureted engines and store the carbs full of gas. I also add MMO to the gas that I use in my mower, snowblower and in the CB750.
 
FWIW, in my generator I have always used the "auto-off" feature on my Wen 56380. It runs the carb mostly out of gas for storing or transporting. My other OPE I just shut them off. I run Stabil and a splash of MMO in my 91 E0 fuel.

just my $0.02
 
Looks like I'll be getting rid of that habit in the future then. I'll keep it dry for winter still, but otherwise just manual shut off. Thanks for chiming in fellas!
 
When I shut them down I first remove the load slowly, then allow them to run a couple of minutes with zero load, to help cool down the dynamo. I then shut off the fuel petcock, and allow them to run for about 30 seconds before shutting down.

This takes any gravity fed fuel pressure off the fuel system. Lastly, I slowly pull on the recoil starter until the piston starts upward on the compression stroke. This allows both valve springs to be fully extended ....

Bill that's an amazing shutdown procedure, probably more detailed than they do with jets.👍 What do you do with your mower and snowblower?😁

(Send them postcards from Arizona!)
 
I think running "dry" does more harm than good, comparing to storing the carb full of stabilized non ethanol fuel.
Good luck finding non-ethanol fuel though. Wish it was more widely available.
I don't know if it really matters, but I heard it was good to do if a single cylinder engine is going to sit for any length of time. Also I run Pri-G Fuel Stabilizer, and 93 octane non Ethanol fuel in them all the time.
Isn't high octane fuel bad for small engines? I guess unless it's designed specifically for it, I just thought you're supposed to use regular.

I only use ethanol free gas in my carbureted engines and store the carbs full of gas.
Where do you get your non-ethanol fuel?
 
If you use them every week or so, it's not really an issue. I'll usually close the fuel valve on stuff I'm not sure when I'll use again, and on older equipment so a faulty fuel needle valve won't allow fuel to fill the crankcase.

On stuff that will be stored for more than a few weeks I turn off the valve and run them dry, I will undo the bowl nut on something that I know will be stored long term (winter storage) to make sure it is completely dry.
 
Good luck finding non-ethanol fuel though. Wish it was more widely available.

Isn't high octane fuel bad for small engines? I guess unless it's designed specifically for it, I just thought you're supposed to use regular.

Where do you get your non-ethanol fuel?

You can buy 4-stroke Tru-Fuel at any Lowe's, Home Depot, or Tractor Supply. It's expensive, but if you only use it for storage, you don't have to use that much. It has no Ethanol, and is 92 Octane.

It also has a shelf life of 2 years or more. Even greater if you treat it with a good fuel stabilizer. Pri-G and Sta-Bil are both good products.

I can get 93 Octane Non Ethanol Marine Race Fuel right here in town. I haven't bought any since the insanity started, so I'm guessing the price is most likely near or above $7.00 a gallon.

All the big race boats here use either it, or AV Gas, which is also readily available. It has a super long shelf life, but it is heavily leaded, and fouls spark plugs in small engines quicker.
 
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