Jump starting two-stroke engine equipment this spring

While leaving a small two-stroke engine full before storing it for the winter can be beneficial, decreasing the risk of a fire and preventing dry rot, those who try to immediately start two-stroke chainsaws or lawnmowers without taking certain steps could be adding to their frustration come spring.

A typical situation plays out like this: You store your chainsaw, taking all the necessary precautions, but still find that you’re on your knees on the driveway trying to get your motor to start, and slowly but surely, that one-hour task of cutting down a branch becomes a full afternoon’s work.

Many times this happens because the gasoline inside the tank has degraded over the winter. (Some sources say gasoline can go bad in as little as 30 days). Unlike four-stroke engines, two-stroke engines need to pump oil into the fuel, either from the same chamber or via separate chambers into the carburetor. And due to a degradation of the fuel, the chemical reaction necessary to start the engine may not place.

But, since storing a two-stroke engine with a full tank is the preferred method, you may be wondering the best way to start your chainsaw or mower.

I used to have this problem, and would typically try to solve it by purchasing another tank of fresh fuel. That was until I talked to Earl, a friend of mine who owns an auto body shop a town over. He swore by Start Your Engines! Fuel System Revitalizer, saying it could save bad gas by creating a powerful ignition and dissolving gunk and other buildup that collects over the winter.

I tried it a few years back and I’m a convert. After all, who doesn’t love having that extra time to enjoy an ice tea while taking in the smell of freshly cut grass, especially on the first days of spring?

Have you taken your small equipment out this spring? If so, what are some tips and tricks that have helped you make this task easier?