Spring is right around the corner, and it’s time to get all your STIHL equipment ready for another season of hard work and getting things done. Before you get to work, it’s essential to give your power tools a little TLC.
Of course, Timberland Supply is always here to keep your STIHL equipment in peak condition, but here are a few things you can do to get your equipment ready for spring projects.
Gasoline Engine STIHL Equipment Spring Maintenance
1) Check your spark plugs: The spark plug provides the energy to ignite the fuel in an internal combustion engine. If the spark plug gets corroded, worn out, or damaged, the engine won’t start, or the engine will not function as well as it should. It might result in more work for you or dangerous working conditions.
STIHL recommends replacing the spark plugs around every 100 hours of use. It’s a good idea to get in the habit of checking the condition of your spark plug after every 10 to 15 hours of use. If the engine is running well, the outside electrode should have light brown deposits. Thick, dark deposits usually indicate that there isn’t enough air in the fuel mixture.
Also, check the gap between the electrodes. The gap should be around 0.02 inches. Check for oil on the plug, which indicates that there is an oil leak.
2) Check and clean filters: Early spring is the perfect time to clean and replace dirty or damaged air filters. Remove any covers and brush away dirt, dust, and debris with a soft brush.
Remove the filter to inspect it for damage and thoroughly clean it. Some filters can be washed with water and a gentle cleanser. Make sure the filter is dry before you reinstall it on your power equipment. Don’t forget to clean the intake areas, too!
3) Replace broken or damaged parts: This one might seem obvious, but it’s easy to convince yourself to keep using equipment that has damaged or broken parts when the job is underway, and you just want to finish. Taking time now to replace and repair broken parts will prevent costly delays and avoid dangerous working conditions.
As you repair and replace parts, take the time to check screws and nuts to ensure everything is tight. Clean off any dust, debris, and buildup. Apply lubricant where appropriate.
4) Sharpen blades, change or sharpen saw chains, and replace trimmer line: They say to work smarter, not harder. Having freshly sharpened blades and saw chains is one step toward working faster and more efficiently. All blades and chains dull over time. Now is the perfect time of year to get everything razor sharp. Don’t forget to replace the trimmer line in your trimmer head, too!
5) Get fresh fuel: STIHL recommends using new 2-cycle engine oil and mid-grade, unleaded gasoline with a minimum octane rating of 89 for your STIHL gasoline engines. Lower octane fuel can cause higher engine temperatures, which can lead to piston seizure and engine damage.
Properly dispose of any fuel you mixed last fall. It’s best not to use any fuel stored for more than three months. STIHL also recommends using its patented 50:1 fuel mixture. MotoMix is perfectly blended to keep your STIHL engines running at peak performance year after year.
6) Let the engine warm up: When you do finally head out to tackle that first project of the season, give your STIHL power tools a few minutes of running to warm up. After all, they did sit in storage all winter. While you let it run for a few minutes, do a quick check to make sure it’s “all systems go.”
Battery Powered and Electric STIHL Equipment Spring Maintenance
Even though battery-powered and electrical equipment doesn’t need quite as much maintenance as gasoline engines, there are a few things to check before spring finally arrives.
1) Store your batteries properly: Store your STIHL batteries indoors in a dry place where it is safe from dust, dirt, and potential damage.
Store them away from heat sources and avoid keeping them in vehicles during hot weather. This can shorten the battery life and may cause the battery to rupture or even catch fire!
STIHL recommends storing the battery with about 30% charge. STIHL also suggests using all your batteries in rotation, instead of keeping “spare” batteries.
2) Inspect the electrical contacts: Check the electrical contact areas regularly. If they are damaged, don’t use the battery or put it in a charging dock. Don’t use batteries that are malfunctioning, cracked, or deformed.
3) Clean batteries regularly: Clean the plastic battery casings with a clean cloth and don’t use any strong cleaners or detergents. Avoid getting the battery wet and do not use a pressure washer to clean STIHL batteries.
4) Clean the cooling inlets: Inspect the control handle and cooling inlets of your electric STIHL power equipment. Make sure they are clean before starting your power tool.
5) Take STIHL electrical tools to an authorized service facility: STIHL electrical tools are double insulated to protect the internal components. Performing maintenance or repairs on double-insulated devices requires a higher degree of knowledge and precision. Additionally, replacement parts must be identical to the original parts in double-insulated power equipment. For this reason, you should take your STIHL electric tools to an authorized maintenance site for any repairs.
Our STIHL certified experts are always standing by to service and repair your outdoor power equipment! Contact Timberland Supply to learn more and have your equipment prepped for spring.