By BOB & BARBARA EPSTEIN
For The Vista
Nothing wreaks havoc on your summer and fall gear; whether its lawn and garden equipment, boating equipment or anything you plan on storing for several months, like wintertime.
Of course here in Cumberland County and environs, although not as cold as other more northern areas, temperatures do reach down well below freezing zone.
When there are low temperatures and plenty of condensation (dew on everything) all manner of items alternately get wet and dry, gas goes bad in storage, unless treated, oil and lubricants thicken, rubber hardens, seals on all manner of gear, both contract and expand, causing in many cases; leakage, etc.
Far too many of us forget the cardinal rule — take care of the “life-blood” of any fuel powered machines: Lawn mowers, tractors, weed eaters, gas saws, bush trimmers, leaf blowers.
Once we finish properly putting our leaves to bed (don’t forget, leaves are excellent mulch and fertilizer for all your greenery) our boat motors; either on the lake, in the driveway or garage. There are several additive products that work for fuel and oil.
The following are the ones I use and have used for several years now. They help me get my gear started and running tip-top after being stored in some cases, for 6-months, more or less.
OK! To begin winterizing all of your motorized fuel powered equipment first make up a plan and a check off list.
On one side of the page in a diary, list the items you need to keep up with. Basically a maintenance schedule, and on the other side of the page make a column for dates completed with a check off column.
This way you know just about when you did add any products to protect your fuels and subsequent carburetors’.
Oil changes, any fluids added such as window washer fluid, anything that you’d do to keep up with the maintenance on your equipment.
If you have a boat; did you check and grease the bearings on your boat trailer and when you should change the oil in your lower unit.
You’ll feel good knowing that when you head out to fish or take a boat ride, your gear will be as ready as you are.
Well-used equipment and well maintained equipment has the best resale value and least frequency of repairs.
The bonus of well-maintained and cared for gear; is more fun and less aggravation and that’s worth a lot!
As far as your vehicle is concerned, get the oil changed to proper viscosity for cold weather driving, spray all moving parts with quality silicon lubricant.
The proper moisture shedding lubricant should also be used on all electrical connections from the battery on down and through your vehicle-wherever you can reach them.
Door hinges, hood and rear lift up doors all should be lubricated.
Check those windshield wipers, lights, in general and specifically everything that can rub, corrode, fail in any way from cold contraction, should be protected as best possible.
I visited one of our hardware stores and picked out several items (most of them I use now) that can help protect your equipment and allow you to be able to jump right on that mower, trim your bushes, blow away winters held-over leaves and bits of branches, edge your lawn, whip those weeds and grasses around your mailbox or fence-line hookup and head for the lake or river.
You will appreciate doing due diligence when you take off for that winter or spring shopping spree, or vacation to the beaches, or wherever you want to go with a clear and low stress mindset!