Q1: What is ETHANOL, and what does it do?
The government has made it their way of making gas “cheaper”. That’s a hot topic we like to stay away from. The fact is, ETHANOL burns cleaner, but at a rate of 2 times the amount as gas by itself. It also loves to collect and hold on to moisture (i.e water), which does not burn in an engine. When fuel is mixed with ETHANOL, it will collect all the moisture it can, diluting the fuel to an non-combustable state, and if allowed to sit long enough, will varnish (clogging every small port it sits in with a thick cement like powder). The biggest reason for carburetor problems in small engines is ETHANOL.
Answer 1: How do you protect your engine from the damaging effects of ETHANOL?
Run the engine with fresh fuel every time and do not attempt to use old fuel that was bought over a month ago. Engines such as generators and home use power washers should be started and run for 15-30 minutes every 2-4 weeks if you are storing it with fuel in the tank. Second, you need to put fuel stabulizer in the fuel and run the machine for 10-20 minutes in order to make sure the stabilizer gets to the carburetor, and mixes well with the fuel in the tank. This, according to most fuel stabilizers, will only make the gas good from 6 months to 1 year, (so read the label).
Answer 2: The best thing to do is to run the equipment dry of fuel.
When the engine stops due to the lack of fuel, try starting it on choke 5-10 times to draw as much of the remaining fuel out of the carburetor as possible. For those that are super-proactive, take the carburetor off the engine, spray out all the jets and ports in the carburetor with some good quality carburetor cleaner after removing any gaskets and rubber seals. Before reassembling the carburetor and placing it back on the engine, allow it to air dry, or blow it off with compressed air . This step takes time, and if you would like, Leprechaun fixes can do this for you.
Q2: What is the difference between Full Service and an Engine Tune Up?
The simplest way to put it is that Full Service deals with the entire piece of equipment, versus the Engine Tune Up only deals with the parts designed to be serviced and changed to prolong the engines life. Let’s break it down even further as to what Leprechaun Fixes does in each case:
Full Service: This consist of tightening of loosened belts, pulleys, cables, cleaning of the equipment of all harmful debris, sharpening of the blade(s), replacement of any cracking or broken parts, greasing of any joints and bearings, full inspection for visible signs or problems soon to occur, an engine tune up with carburetor cleaning, fresh fuel if needed, fuel stabilizer packet, valve adjustment if needed, and a last double check of the equipment for anything that might have been missed.
Engine Tune Up: This is the basic yearly recommended procedure common to every piece of equipment. Oil change, air and fuel filter replacement, spark plug replacement, and a general cleaning of the engine block for cooling purposes.
Q3: How often should I have maintenance done on my equipment?
Yearly for residential lightly used equipment: 2-3 times a year if in a highly dusty environment and/or heavy used equipment. The reason is, proper timely maintenance of your equipment will keep it running longer and more efficient than an unmaintained piece of equipment. Plus, it costs less than buying new equipment. If you don’t want to maintain your equipment, we would be happy to sell you a new one.
Q4: Isn’t oil all the same?
No! Car oil is not the same as small engine oil in some cases. For instance, car oil is designed to run well inside a car that is maintained to different temperatures and types of conditions, where as lawn mower oil runs hotter and pulls double duty with seasonal use. There are different additives used in order to keep each oil running well throughout the year, but if you just grab any oil off the shelf, you run into a high chance or damaging your engine and shortening the life of the equipment. All brands claim to be the best on the market, but most fall short of their promises, so do your research and go with the what the engine manufacturer recommends if you don’t understand the difference in the oils on the market. As for Leprechaun Fixes, after many years of personal research and data gathering, we chose AMS oil overall for everything, from our equipment to our vehicles. If you’re interested on why, just give us call and we would be happy to explain.
Q5: Does Leprechaun Fixes buy and sell used equipment?
Yes. We do buy and sell some used equipment, and upon request, will search out equipment that a costumer wants within their price range, given they allow us ample amount of time to find the right one. It is tricky buying used equipment, for you never know the full story unless it is opened up and analyzed inside and out, but we do have some ways to give us an idea of how used the equipment is and if it is worth fixing. Compression is not conclusive, but will let you know if the valves are aligned correctly. The leak down test gives you an idea of how bad the rings are worn and how much life might be left. Spark plugs lets you know how well the carburetor is or was working. The air filter gives an idea of how well or badly the equipment was maintained. Fuel smell lets you know if it was recently running or if it has been down for a long period of time. Wearing of tires shows signs of how much the equipment was used. The coil-to-spark plug test lets you know if it is even capable of running, provided everything else works. Oil is a tall-tale sign of maintenance or the lack thereof. If you buy equipment through us, we do a comprehensive test to see if it is worth the money you are about to spend. We also give a 2-4 week guarantee that the equipment will run well for you.
Like we said, it’s a gamble at times when buying used equipment, for no one knows the full story without expensive engine tear down and rebuild, fixing and replacing all worn or broken parts. If your are in need of used equipment and want a reliable place to get it, just give us a call and we will see what we can do for you.
Q6: What is the difference between you and a certified dealer?
The biggest difference is that we do not offer a showroom full of equipment and accessories for you to buy. Brands such as Honda and Echo only will give a business certification if the business carries a preset minimal amount of the manufacturer’s equipment line in the showroom. Once a business has aquired the certification, they are given the ability to learn more about specific equipment they will be selling to the customer. Since we do not have the status of a certified dealer at this time, we do not accept equipment that is under warranty of the manufacturer or place of purchase. We work on any and all brands out there unlike most of the other companies out there.
Q7: Does Leprechaun Fixes use “OEM” or “Aftermarket” Parts?
Both. Depending on your needs, we will go with the most cost effective route for you. The more time we have to search for the lowest price, the lower the bill will be. If you only want OEM parts, we are happy to do that for you, too. It’s your satisfaction we are after. If your are on a budget, used parts in good working order can be used if available, and will be discussed with you before any work is preformed.