Fogging the engine prior to storage?

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Oct 30, 2002
Great Lakes
For those of you who store your bikes over winter, do you fog the engine prior to storage? Is it really necessary? FYI, my bike's engine is carburated. In the past I would just change the oil, put some StaBil in the fuel tank and run it a bit and store it with the tank and carbs full, no fogging. If I were to fog, I would need to pull the tank off the bike to get to the carbs which is more work than I care for, to be honest. The bike is stored inside an attached unheated garage where the temps never fall below 40F, if that matters. If you fog, does the fogging oil contaminate the engine oil thus necessitating another oil change when pulling the bike out of storage?
Nope,never done it for the last 9 years or so I've stored the mustang in my signature. I'll add stabil to the gas,wash the car,remove battery,throw a car cover on it and leave it til spring,no issues ever. Same thing for a buddys motorcycle,car or motorcycle,doesnt seem to matter much.
I've had my '83 Yamaha XJ550 for about 18 years, and I've never fogged it over the winter. It's stored in an unheated shed. It couldn't hurt, but I don't think that it's necessary.
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Necessary, no way. Helps, yes. I always fog all my cylinders before off-season storage and have for ~25 years. Never an issue.
I have never done it for my Lawnmower, I've never had a problem. but if you have some $ invested in an engine. it won't hurt, gives you some assurance and may provide a little lube on start up. One can could last you many years!
What about, instead of fogging, you pull the plugs and put in a teaspoon of motor oil. Then crank it over a few times to distribute it. Put the plugs in and you're good to go next time. The poor man's fog method.
Originally Posted By: AandPDan
What about, instead of fogging, you pull the plugs and put in a teaspoon of motor oil.
In my case, pulling the plugs would require removing the tank as well. Again, more work than I really care for. I do what you suggested on my lawnmower and snowblower though, but getting to their spark plugs is very easy.
Count me in with: "good idea, yes." "Absolutely, critical?.... probably not." ...unless in really LONG term storage. There are rust inhibitors in true fogging oil. If the bike is in a relative constant temp setting it is less critical. What is bad is when the bike (a large mass of metal) gets quite cold, then the weather turns warm and you find the entire bike WET from condensation. THAT is bad and will cause rust all over the bike. Generally, this is worst in early spring when something is stored outdoors or in an UNcontrolled building. Personally, I do fog my lawn and garden stuff and boat because it sits in an outside shed. The bikes are in the garage and ridden about once a month or every six weeks all winter so I don't mess with winterizing. The absolute WORST thing you can do to an engine that is in storage is to start it up, let it run for a couple of minutes then shut it off. ALL that does is coat the inside of the cylinders, valves, exhaust system and internals with WATER from condensation. Either leave it sit all winter or start it up and RIDE it for 30 minutes to get full operating temp. Starting it up for a few minutes is just guaranteeing rust on some of the internals. I hear people tell me they start something up to "just circulate the oil a little". Yeah...and make sure condensation moisture is "circulated" too. This is the reason almost every portable generator manufacturer will tell you to run the Generator for 30 minutes if you start it up. That is what all the commercial backup gensets do....they run 30 min to an hour for their "maintenance run" avoid/reduce water in the engine and oil.
Many moons ago I used to fog my outboards when I put them away for the winter, but I found that the fogging oil caused its own problems, often resulting in fouled plugs and gummed up carbs in the spring. So I stopped fogging and lost that problem. Now, my routine for outboards and my motorcycle is to run marine StaBil (the blue stuff) in every tank of gas year 'round, and then with the last tank of gas I use the amount they recommend for winter storage, which I think is double the dose (read the bottle). Top off the tank to the tippy top after shutting it down, and that's it for the fuel system. Of course I also clean and lube the whole bike, change the oil and filter, etc. Been doing it this way for decades and the motors just start right up in the spring and no carb problems. One trick that you might want to try is to add an ounce of 2-stroke oil to every 5 gallons of gas. That stuff coats all the metal parts quite effectively--you can feel a greasyness to the gas and the tank after doing so. The two-stroke oil just burns right up. Just don't use too much. Some people run two-stroke oil in every tank of gas as a lubricity improver.
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I was about to say "Removing the tank should only be a 3 minute job", then I Googled how to remove the Vulcan 500 tank - still may only be a 5 minute job, but seems like you have to take lots of things apart to get there! Not quite as bad as the Suzuki Savage my friend has, which requires you to remove the petcock to get the tank off... Back on topic, I would say fogging isn't necessary for you. Helpful, sure, but will you notice a difference in the life of the bike? Almost certainly no. The usual recommendation is 6 months, I believe - if its going to be stored for 6 months or more, fog it. And to second another poster, avoid the temptation to start and run for just a few minutes - either take it out to get it fully up to temps, or just leave it sit.
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