Now that the kids are going back to school (that is if the smoke will go away) it's time to accept the fact that summer is, more or less, at an end. But, the good news is we are coming into the best season of the entire year, at least for sunny Central Washington. The beauty of the Fall season is the fact that we still have nice warm days, but not usually to point of melting your average person, cool nights and even a little rain now and then.
Fall at our place also means that for a while the yard starts growing like crazy, while at the same time the trees start dropping their leaves. You might be looking at that old leaf blower that has been sitting since last Fall and wondering if it will actually start, or maybe thinking that it's time to get the lawn sweeper ready and of course don't forget about your trusty chainsaw. If that's the case you are on the right track. The time to get those things fixed and ready is now, before you actually need them. Don't wait until your yard is completely covered to figure out of your leaf blower is not working. If you do, there is a good chance that by the time you do get things running there will be snow on the ground and then you have a really nasty job to do in the Spring.
Here are some little things you can do that may help getting things going. The number one problem we encounter here at the shop when it comes to hand-held 2-stroke engines is bad gas and carburetors. Once upon a time, gas lasted for years without going bad. But, thanks to ethanol those days are gone. If you have been buying non-ethanol gas and using a fuel stabilizer you are probably good. But, if you have been just buying your gas at the local gas station, chances are it is mixed with ethanol. In that case, if it has been in your machine for more than a month it is most likely already separating from the path of light and going to the dark side. Do yourself a favor, don't even try starting your machine. Dump the fuel that's in the tank and dump the fuel that's been sitting in hour gas can and get clean gas. If you can find it, get ethanol free gas and mix in a little bit of Sea Foam. Once you put the freshly mixed gas into your machine, make sure to pump the primer bulb several times. One most small carburetors this will flush the old gas out of the carburetor and allow the new gas in.
Once you have some clean gas in your machine go ahead and start it. It may still take several pulls to get it going. If it doesn't want to start with the choke on, turn off the choke and hold the throttle wide-open. Doing this will dry things out inside, if the engine is flooded. If none of that works you can give it a couple of squirts with starting fluid. Just keep in mind, it's very important to only use a little starting fluid. 2-stroke engines rely on the oil that is mixed with the gas to lubricate the engine. Starting fluid has no lubrication, so too much can cause serious damage to your engine's internal parts.
If none of that works and you are ready to dump some of that fresh gas on the machine and throw a match it's time to walk away, pick-up your phone and give us a call. In most cases we can save these pieces of equipment for right around $100, sometimes less. Depending on your particular equipment, this can be an economical alternative to replacing the unit. Of course, if you are ready for something new that can be fun as well.