My OPE winterizing experiment

Messages
1,415
Location
Pacific Northwest
Last fall I thought "To heck with it!" and decided I wasn't going to do a thing to winterize any of my OPE equipment with the exception of sucking some RV antifreeze into the pressure washers and ensuring that non-ethanol fuel from farm co-op was used for the last tank of the season for everything.

Fast forward six months and guess what? I went out last weekend and tried to start everything in the shed from line trimmers and tractors to chainsaws and everything in between and wouldn't you know, everything started on the first or second pull or crank and ran great - on old gas, no stabilizers, no nothing.
 
Messages
528
Location
SW Missouri
We run non-ethanol fuel in all small engines and gas tractors. Never have a fuel issue. I also run RV antifreeze through the pressure washer before winter. I did put some stabilizer in the fuel for it because it is so heavily relied on and was around $4000.
 

Nick1994

$50 Site Donor
Messages
13,609
Location
Phoenix, AZ
Same, have a 4-5 year old Honda mower that we have not taken care of at all. I was planning on taking it to the lawnmower shop for a carb cleaning etc. anyways, but decided to try to start it last week after sitting since October. Started on the second pull. It might have started on the first pull if I pulled harder.
 
Messages
773
Location
UK
I seem to only get problems with my 2 stroke chainsaw and old fuel. Lawnmower is 4 stroke and has no issues with old petrol.
 
Messages
18,456
Location
NH
Same, but I use E10. I just add some fresh gas. But these are cheap motors, I might do different if I had spent big money on something nice.
 
Messages
596
Same here. I left 2 stroke mix in trimmer over winter. And I let mower run dry and changed oil. But I poured in old gas and it ran fine.
 
Messages
26,105
Location
Upstate NY
Last fall I thought "To heck with it!" and decided I wasn't going to do a thing to winterize any of my OPE equipment with the exception of sucking some RV antifreeze into the pressure washers and ensuring that non-ethanol fuel from farm co-op was used for the last tank of the season for everything.

Fast forward six months and guess what? I went out last weekend and tried to start everything in the shed from line trimmers and tractors to chainsaws and everything in between and wouldn't you know, everything started on the first or second pull or crank and ran great - on old gas, no stabilizers, no nothing.
The fuel going bad is a chemical process effected by the temp. Less of it going on in the winter vs summer. Storing a snow blower without stabilizer over the summer might cause problems vs storing a lawn mower over the winter.

However blue marine Stabil costs less than a dollar to stabilize several gallons of gas, enough to do most people's OPE. If you can get E0 fuel so much the better.

I use blue marine Stabil in all the 4 cycle OPE fuel throughout the year. The extra cost is trivial.
 
Messages
14,899
Location
Central NY
I'm amazed at these primerless carburetors. I didn't do anything to winterize my lawnmower other than the usual non-ethanol gas. First pull it started!

Still having issues with the generator, but it just needs a new carburetor.
 
Messages
90
Location
Georgia
The fuel going bad is a chemical process effected by the temp. Less of it going on in the winter vs summer. Storing a snow blower without stabilizer over the summer might cause problems vs storing a lawn mower over the winter.

However blue marine Stabil costs less than a dollar to stabilize several gallons of gas, enough to do most people's OPE. If you can get E0 fuel so much the better.

I use blue marine Stabil in all the 4 cycle OPE fuel throughout the year. The extra cost is trivial.
I always did that with boat never any fuel issues.

If you can't find the blue stabil the red is the same stuff. Red just has you dose at half the rate of the marine stuff so of you double up the red your good to go.
 
Messages
2,862
Location
Caldwell Idaho
Last fall I thought "To heck with it!" and decided I wasn't going to do a thing to winterize any of my OPE equipment with the exception of sucking some RV antifreeze into the pressure washers and ensuring that non-ethanol fuel from farm co-op was used for the last tank of the season for everything.

Fast forward six months and guess what? I went out last weekend and tried to start everything in the shed from line trimmers and tractors to chainsaws and everything in between and wouldn't you know, everything started on the first or second pull or crank and ran great - on old gas, no stabilizers, no nothing.
What gave you the idea there would be a problem? I have had a pressure washer sit for 3 years and start up. I have never "winterized" my ope and that is 7 pieces of equipment. The oldest is 20 years old. I use regular pump gas.
 
Messages
4,616
Location
N.C.
I use E10 in the heavy use months then non ethanol in late fall prior to winter storage. All my OPE fires up without a hitch every spring.
 
Messages
2,670
Location
MN
The fuel going bad is a chemical process effected by the temp. Less of it going on in the winter vs summer. Storing a snow blower without stabilizer over the summer might cause problems vs storing a lawn mower over the winter.

However blue marine Stabil costs less than a dollar to stabilize several gallons of gas, enough to do most people's OPE. If you can get E0 fuel so much the better.

I use blue marine Stabil in all the 4 cycle OPE fuel throughout the year. The extra cost is trivial.
I don't think it is the temperature that causes the problems, it is moisture from the air that does it. Ethanol absorbs water and if it isn't in a perfectly sealed container it will absorb water up until the point of causing problems. Makes sense why a snow blower might have more problems sitting in the humid summer vs drier winter. Most OPE tanks aren't sealed very well at all so the fuel is exposed to air easily.

I always use non-oxygenated fuel because I can get it easy and I have never had issues. I have a 15-20 year old mower that starts the first pull and I have never had the carb off. My snow blower is an early 80's Toro that has never had the carb cleaned in the 25 years that I have had it. I have used E10 in a pinch but I always make sure it is used up within a month and I never never store it over the off season with it.
 
Messages
6,550
Location
Connecticut
Last fall I thought "To heck with it!" and decided I wasn't going to do a thing to winterize any of my OPE equipment with the exception of sucking some RV antifreeze into the pressure washers and ensuring that non-ethanol fuel from farm co-op was used for the last tank of the season for everything.

Fast forward six months and guess what? I went out last weekend and tried to start everything in the shed from line trimmers and tractors to chainsaws and everything in between and wouldn't you know, everything started on the first or second pull or crank and ran great - on old gas, no stabilizers, no nothing.
I'm not surprised. Non-ethanol fuel does help, but so does storage. Equipment stored inside a shed has a way better chance of starting without issue compared to stuff stored outside uncovered in the elements.

I have the same experience, but with E10 fuel. My stuff is stored inside, and I use Marine Sta-bil. In some of my rarely used equipment I shut off the fuel valve and let them run out of fuel, and never an issue. Some of my stuff is 40+ years old.

I have customers that use non-ethanol fuel, and still have carb issues. Come to find out the mower was stored outside uncovered and the fuel is full of water. 🤦‍♂️
 
Messages
1,621
Most people these days don't know how to take care of their own shoes,let alone anything else.

Lawn equipment is simple stuff. Keep it clean,good gas,use a clean air filter and filled with oil it'll run when you have things to get done.
 
Messages
641
Location
WV
I posted about this before, and it's happened again. I use regular old pump unleaded regular gas in my tractor. I do put B&S fuel stabilizer in it most of the time, and I had a full tractor, and three full 5 gal cans set the entire winter. I've now used what was in the tractor, and two of the 5 gal cans and the thing starts really well and runs like a champ. I'm not even sure I stabilized the gas, because sometimes I forget to put it in. I've never had a problem with pump gas. I hope I'm not jinxing it.
 
Messages
2,670
Location
MN
I posted about this before, and it's happened again. I use regular old pump unleaded regular gas in my tractor. I do put B&S fuel stabilizer in it most of the time, and I had a full tractor, and three full 5 gal cans set the entire winter. I've now used what was in the tractor, and two of the 5 gal cans and the thing starts really well and runs like a champ. I'm not even sure I stabilized the gas, because sometimes I forget to put it in. I've never had a problem with pump gas. I hope I'm not jinxing it.
You won't have problems if the cans are sealed air tight, but leave it in the tank that is vented and you will in most cases.
 
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