Scheduled Maintenance is more than just maintenance, it’s peace of mind knowing your outdoor power equipment is taken care of and ready to work when you need it.
In the automotive industry you would normally take your car for an oil changed every 5 to 10,000 kilometers, usually the service center will put a reminder on the upper corner of your windshield. In the outdoor power equipment industry the same should happen for in most cases does not. The majority of equipment owners rely on their equipment to work every time and only bring it in for service when it doesn’t work. this can lead to higher than required repair bills.
Having a Scheduled Maintenance program will keep your equipment ready when you need it and prevent longer wait times when dealerships are busy in peak seasons, Barr’s Small Engines schedules maintenance programs in the off season, get your lawn mower serviced in the middle of winter ? who would think of that, well to be honest it makes perfect sense. would you rather wait until the day you need to cut your grass and find out your mower isn’t in ship shape just like 90% of the outdoor power equipment users out there ? now your options are to take it in for a service when it might have only needed a tune-up and you will be looking at longer wait times due to back logs at your local dealer.
Even though Barr’s Small Engines is a new company, opening March 1st 2011, we have seen this kind of activity at every dealer and distributor we have been involved with in the past 15 years, and with out advertising and having a slow start we still had wait times of over 1 to 2 weeks ourselves as a new business.
Scheduled Maintenance is a preemptive measure to expensive service work, although small engines are internal gas power engines similar to automotive engines found in cars and trucks, there are not many other similarities, small engines are usually Air cooled, Air cooled engines run a much hotter temperatures than liquid cooled engines, this will significantly reduce the engine oil life, oil changes should be done in outdoor power equipment at as low as 25 hours of use, this would be the equivalent of 2,000 kilometers of driving time in a car.
As Air cooled engines run hotter than automotive engines a different oil will be required in most cases, your owners manual will tell you what oil should be used for different applications.
When oil is compromised it starts to burn and will not lubricate or cool the internal components of the engine like it should, changing your oil at the recommended intervals will extend the life of your engine, as well as help it to operate at a cooler and more efficient temperature, burning less gas and causing less emissions.
Now, does every unit need to have it’s oil changed ever 25 hours, no ! some larger multi-cylinder engines have spin on oil filters which can extend the engine oil life up to 200 hours, please check with your owners manual or come to see us and we’ll be glad to help you on on planning your next oil change.
Most Outdoor power equipment engines are only one or two cylinders, this can lead to fuel related issues, not only does fuel have a short shelf life, (see FUEL ISSUES for more info) but if there is a miss fire on one cylinder in a car you usually have 3 or 5 or 7 more cylinders to take up the slack, in a push mower for instance you only have one cylinder, if it doesn’t fire all the time, every time your mower will not do what it’s needed, basically the tall grass will not be shortened !
Most fuel issues arise in the fact that fuel only has a shelf life of less than 30 days when purchased from the fuel pump, in the automotive industry you are adding or topping up the fuel in your car more than once a month. if you purchased 20 Liters of fuel for your season, and it takes 4 months to burn through it you will run into fuel issues, they might not be present today, but over time the biological additives like Ethanol will start to grow bacteria and plug up the orifices in the carburetor making it hard to start, low on power or just not run at all.
The addition of fuel stabilizers are great preemptive measures, but be careful, most fuel stabilizers were designed for the automotive market and are not necessarily designed for outdoor power equipment.
Now the spark plug, in the 15 years I have spend in this industry there are only a hand full of times where the Spark Plug caused a no start or no run problem, I know everyone has a neighbor or an uncle that says “ah, the reason it doesn’t run is the spark plug” rarely the case, however it is still important to change the spark plug on a regular basis, spark plugs do wear out and corrode, when this happens the spark created by the plug to ignite the air and fuel mixture in the cylinder will be weakened, directly causing a much cooler and slower burn this can lead to performance problems as well as high fuel consumption from not being able to burn the entire mixture in the engine.
Scheduled Maintenance prevents most of these and other problems from developing and costing more when a service is required instead of a tune up.