When a piece of handheld outdoor power equipment quits working out in the field, the problem can often be traced back to maintenance.
Can a piece of equipment simply “wear out?” Sure it can; unfortunately, much equipment dies much sooner than it should. These easy maintenance tasks will extend the life of your equipment, reduce costly repairs and downtime, and save money.
1. Unblock Cooling System
It’s important with any air-cooled engine that there’s an unhindered flow of air to cool the engine during operation. Inspect and remove any debris from the cooling air intakes with each refueling. Should cooling air intakes become 70 to 80 percent blocked, the engine can overheat and seize in as little as 10 to 15 minutes of operation.
Here’s an example on a handheld hedge trimmer. Continuous operation will cause the engine to fail.
2. Maintain Air Filters Daily
Power equipment can create dust during operation, so the air filter will need to be serviced often. During air filter maintenance, check the air filter sealing edge for tears and ensure the edges are not deformed or damaged. If they are, the air filter will need to be replaced.
3. Inspect Fuel Filter
Engine carburetors are set much leaner due to emission regulations. A plugged fuel filter, or anything restricting the fuel system, will cause engine performance issues and eventually failure. Inspect the fuel filter every 90 days. If the fuel filters are discolored or look dirty, replace it to ensure proper fuel flow. It is recommended to replace fuel filters every 3 to 4 months of commercial use.
Example of fuel filters in need of replacement on two different models of string trimmers:
4. Choose The Right Gasoline and Two-Stroke Oil For Engine
This is paramount to reduce engine problems. Choose a fuel with an Octane rating of 89 or higher to protect from detonations failures. If using an ethanol blend fuel, the percentage must not exceed 10 percent. For 2-stroke engines, choose a two-stroke oil that meets the JASO FD standard. Oils that are JASO FD certified will have the JASO logo and certification number on the bottle. Choosing a high-quality 2-stroke engine oil, such as ECHO’s Red Armor premium oil, will help extend the life of any handheld two stroke engine.
5. Inspect and Service Sparkplugs
Sparkplugs should be replaced every three months or 90 hours of operation. Replace the sparkplug with the correct type and heat range. Using the wrong plug will result in excessive carbon build up, low engine power output and possible engine failure.
These basic maintenance procedures will reduce costs by extending engine life and reducing equipment downtime.
About Echo Equipment
ECHO makes engine maintenance easy by providing YouCan™ Maintenance Kits that have everything that is needed to perform the job. These kits include an air filter, fuel filter and sparkplug. Additional details can be located at echo-usa.com