"Once the coolant system is cleaned and/or flushed, fill the cooling system with the correct antifreeze/coolant mixture. It is a common practice to mix water and antifreeze at a 50/50 mixture and this can protect the cooling system to a maximum of -34 degrees Fahrenheit (-37 Celsius). Remember only ionized or distilled water may be used for the antifreeze mixture. After system is filled with correct coolant mixture run engine to insure coolant is circulated throughout coolant circuit," he says.
Storage. Before storage, wipe down your machine and the engine to remove any dirt, blow out any dirt that's in the fins, and check for loose bolts.
In a perfect world, you would be able to store your equipment in a dry, heated facility all winter long. However, that sort of room is often difficult to come by.
"If the equipment must be stored outside, cover the engine with a weather resistant tarp and frequently inspect to insure proper snow and water drainage occurs from the tarp," Johnson suggests.
Completing your maintenance needs before storing your equipment leaves you with less to worry about in the spring when your business operations start up again.
"If they're done everything in the fall, they don't have to do too much in the spring, just basically put some gas in there," Gabrielse says. "I think the springtime is a good time to change air cleaners, and you should recheck your oil and retighten the bolts."
Johnson offers the following suggestions for a spring check-up.
- Perform a thorough visual inspection. For example, inspect belts for any dry-rot damage and look for moisture ingress and/or rust. In addition, after prolonged storage, it is always necessary to inspect for animals and insects that may have relocated within the equipment.
- Insure battery is correctly charged.
- Remove the sealing tape on intake and exhaust manifold.
- Perform a comprehensive preventive maintenance service according to the operation manual.