After prolonged periods without use, small engines are bound to need a tune-up to keep them running at peak performance and in order to maximize the lifespan of your engine. Does yours need a tune-up? It’s recommended that after every 50 hours of use, or once a season – whichever happens to come first – you should tune your engine.
Usually, it’s things like lawnmowers and leaf blowers that you’ll end up taking into the shop for a quick fix. However, often times these visits end up costing more than expected, and take much more time too! You’re not the only one who brought your lawnmower in, so you might end up having to take a number and get in line. Thankfully, you can avoid much of this hassle and do it yourself with a DIY tune-up kit. There are companies that specialize in this, take a look at the Pat’s Small Engine Blog, which showcases their kits. They are optimized for small engines like the ones found in common lawn equipment, and include the main components necessary for a solid tune-up. Let’s take a look at what’s involved.
Check out the air filter
The air filter is one of the key components to your small engine. Even if you have never worked on an engine before, it’s not difficult to locate and assess the condition of your air filter. If it’s been an entire season since the engine’s last use, you should change the filter. Any kit worth its cost will include an air filter, so be sure to first inspect the engine and figure out what type of filter you’ll need. Different engines, even ones by the same manufacturer, require different kinds of filters. Be sure to order the right one.
Change the oil
Similar to the air filter, you’ll have to first determine what type of oil your engine needs. Then, it’s time to acquire the right type, get out the funnel, and start changing the oil. Depending on the make of your engine, you may need to change the oil filter as well. Don’t worry – this step is quite easy. Anyone can change the oil and filter, and there are plenty of YouTube videos or simple text tutorials available on the Internet if you are unsure of how to do it. Or, just ask a neighbor!
Change the spark plug
Again, decide what spark plug you need, get your hands on it, and swap it out with the old one. A faulty spark plug can make starting your engine a real hassle, so be sure to keep it fresh for optimum performance. After you’ve changed spark plugs, you should immediately notice a difference in how easy it is to start your engine.
Determine other needs
Every engine is different, some more than others, so be sure to consult your tune-up kit retailer for your exact needs. Some kits will include fuel filters and fuel stabilizers, or perhaps even pre-filters as well. Pat’s Small Engine has specially made kits available for your small engine, so check out their packages to see exactly what you need. Remember, a little bit of maintenance now can save you a lot of headaches in the future.