Once the brushcutter season comes to an end, your machine will need to be safely stored away. To ensure you get off to a good start again after the winter, there are one or two points to bear in mind when putting it into storage. It can't just be left on a shelf for 4-5 months without a bit of maintenance work first.
Here are a few useful tips to keep your strimmer in the best condition whilst in storage:
- Drain the tank
Before putting your machine into storage, the tank should be drained completely. Once the tank is empty, start the strimmer up and let it run at idle until the engine cuts off. This will ensure all fuel in the carburetor has burnt off, preventing the diaphragms in the carburetor and fuel pump from sticking together.
- Clean the Tank
Once you have completed step 1, be sure to give the fuel tank a thorough clean. Leftover fuel deposits will stick to the walls, and when you come to use the machine in the spring, those deposits could come loose and end up in the carburetor. The tank can be cleaned with a firm metal brush and a clean rag. If you need to get out any big chunks of dirt or grass, you can pour a small amount of fuel into the tank and swirl it around. You will also need to put a new fuel filter onto the end of the main fuel line. This can be done now or in the spring before starting the machine up again. Using a new fuel filter will ensure only the cleanest gas is reaching the carburetor.
- Clean the Machine
Give the whole machine a good clean. You can use the same brush and rag to wipe off any grass clippings, paying particular attention to the air vents around the muffler, the fins on the cylinder and the air filter cover. You will also need to remove and clean the air filter.
- Check the spark plug
Remove the spark plug and check it over. If the spark plug electrodes are a light reddish brown, then it's OK. If not, the spark plugs may need to be cleaned or replaced.
- Check the cutting blade
Carefully remove the metal cutting blade and give it a clean. Check it for any damage and protect it from corrosion. If necessary, your metal cutting blades can be taken to your local dealer for sharpening.
- Store mowing lines wet
To keep mowing lines elastic, remove the spool from the mowing head and store them in a damp place. Two or three days before the start of the new season, place the line in water to keep it flexible and supple (this also applies to the PolyCut blade).
- Hang the brush cutter
A brushcutter is best stored hanging up. You can fold in the handlebar to save space.
*Images from www.stihl.co.uk