With winter approaching, many of you will be putting equipment such as motorcycles,
lawnmowers and personal watercraft into storage. Though it can be tempting to park it out
of sight after the final use and hope it starts again next season, such action (or
inaction) can have serious consequences. Engines left unprepared for storage can suffer
from fuel degradation, condensation and corrosion. The results can lead to poor
performance, costly repairs or replacement, so it makes sense (and cents) to prepare
equipment for the off-season so it's protected and ready for springtime use. Even if you
live in a moderate winter climate, extended periods of non-use warrant following these
- Wash and dry - Road contaminants can permanently stain and corrode paint and
- Change oil - Combustion and its by-products
cause oxidation, which can be detrimental to internal engine components. Fresh oil
protects engines against such unseen damage.
- Stabilize fuel - Gasoline can begin to degrade in as little as 30 days, forming gums
and deposits on engine components. Treating it with AMSOIL Gasoline Stabilizer can prevent degradation and
carburetor and injector problems.
- Remove battery - If storing for an extended period, remove the battery or connect a
float charger to keep it at full capacity without risk of damage from overcharging.
- Lift off ground - Use a stand or ramp to prevent flat spots.
- Cover - Cover the motorcycle to protect it from light and dirt.
Outboard Engines (Two- and Four-Stroke)
- Stabilize fuel with AMSOIL Gasoline Stabilizer after the final use if
storing four months or longer. Quickshot® provides fuel
stabilization for periods less than four months. No Gasoline Stabilizer is required if
you've been using Quickshot and the engine will be stored fewer than four months.
- Change lower unit oil - If any water has invaded the lower unit over the summer and
it's left there during storage, rust can form on bearings and the lower unit gears can
- Change oil and filter (in four-stroke engines) - Most four-stroke engines use a
separate spin-on filter. Change the oil and filter for protection against oxidation, rust
and corrosion acids from combustion.
- Fog engine - AMSOIL Engine Fogging Oil gives engine components an
extra protective barrier against condensation and dry starts.
Personal Watercraft (PWC)
- Stabilize fuel during last use with AMSOIL Quickshot® or Gasoline Stabilizer.
- Wash and dry equipment.
- Flush with storage antifreeze if the PWC is stored in subfreezing temperatures.
- Flush with freshwater if the PWC is used in saltwater.
- Fog engine with AMSOIL Engine Fogging Oil (if applicable).
- Remove battery and store it off the ground in a warm, dry place.
- Leave the seat open slightly, cover the PWC and store indoors (preferably).
- If storing outside, cover the PWC but not so tightly that it restricts air flow.
Lawn, Garden and Handheld
- Stabilize fuel with AMSOIL Gasoline Stabilizer or AMSOIL Quickshot®.
- Change oil and filter (on four-stroke engines) at least once a year.
- Fog engine with AMSOIL Engine Fogging Oil (if applicable) - This is
a good idea for four-stroke engines, too, but fogging is a must for twostroke engines if
they are being stored for 30 days or more.
- Wash off grass, dirt, wood chips, etc.
- Apply AMSOIL MP Metal Protector to exposed metal parts to
- Equipment is best stored indoors. If left outside, protect it with a cover.
Following these simple steps can keep your equipment in peak operating condition, even
when it's not in use for several months. An hour or two of preventive maintenance now
means next spring you’ll be spending more time on the road, on the water or in the
yard instead of in the shed tearing apart dirty carburetors.
For more information also see: