• In this video, This Old House landscape contractor Roger Cook keeps outdoor power equipment running smoothly.

    1. Remove and replace the spark plug each season.
    2. Always disconnect the spark plug wire when working on the equipment.
    3. Inspect air filter frequently to ensure it's clean. Replace when it's dark and dirty.
    4. Check the level of the engine oil before each use. Also check the condition of the oil to make sure it's clean and not ultra-dark.
    5. Change the oil by either turning the mower on its side, or by using the drain plug. Be sure to recycle the old oil.
    6 To keep gasoline fresh, store only enough gas that you can use in four to six weeks.
    7 Use high-octane fuel in outdoor power equipment.
    8 Treat gasoline with a pink-colored stabilizer; it'll prevent the gas from going stale.
    9 Use blue stabilizer to keep gas fresh and to prevent water problems caused by the ethanol in gasoline.
    • Difficulty: Easy
      Engine maintenance can be a bit messy, but it's not difficult
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      Tools List

      • socket wrench
        Spark plug wrench
      • gas can
        1-gallon gas can

      Shopping List

      Spark plug

      Air filter

      Engine oil

      High-octane gasoline

      Pink gas stabilizer

      Blue gas stabilizer