Small Engine Repair
Even a novice can usually figure out some of the basics no matter what model of car they're driving. They're all put together in more or less the same way, and if you can't figure it out, there's a wealth of information on the Internet, and you can usually buy your replacement parts and tools locally. This isn't always the case with small engine repair.
There are so many different types of small engine, for everything from chainsaws and lawn mowers to leaf blowers and tree trimmers. If you're not using one of the more popular models, there might not be any substantial information available for DIY repairs, and there's a chance that the parts are not even being manufactured any longer.
So when something goes wrong, we have two main questions to go over: What's wrong with your small engine, and can you fix it yourself?
The problem might be simpler than you think. So before you decide to bring it in for repairs, run down this quick list of checks to troubleshoot your problem:
- How old is the fuel you're using? If you've left your gas powered saw in the garage all Winter, you might just be using expired fuel. If the fuel is more than a month old, drain it, and replace it with new fuel and some fuel stabilizer.
- Is the filter in good shape? Pull the filter out and see if it needs cleaning or replacing.
- How's your oil doing? You'll want to change it every time the seasons change, or once for every 25 hours of use (not once a day, but combined usage over time).
- Clean the spark plugs. You'd be surprised how many people throw away perfectly good tools just because of a grimy spark plug.
- Is the engine emitting smoke? White or blue means you're burning your oil, while black means you need a carburetor adjustment.
- Clean the engine. A dirty engine might not need repairs, just a little elbow grease.
- If you have a chainsaw that pulls to one side, that means that it's sharper on one side than the other. You can get the chain sharpened or replace it with a new one if it's seen better days.
- Finally, check for any loose, unplugged, missing or damaged plugs and caps and gaskets and so on. A leaky gasket or a cracked cap can usually be replaced at home for cheap.
If you've run down this checklist and you're still having problems, then it may be time to bring it into the shop.
With proper maintenance, a well-built small engine machine can be kept running just about indefinitely. It might need a replacement part now and then or a tune-up, but a nice Stihl chainsaw or a Craftsman mower can last a lifetime if it's well taken care of. So if you're thinking of junking it, don't. Let us take a look at it, first.
$70 hr - Labor Rate
$30 - Inspection (the $30 goes towards the repair)