Stored Equipment Requires Preparation to Ensure It’s Protected

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Stored Equipment Requires Preparation to Ensure It’s Protected

Rust, Corrosion and Degraded Fuel Can Attack Unprepared Equipment in Storage

With winter approaching, many of you will be putting equipment such as motorcycles, lawnmowers and personal watercraft into storage. Though it can be tempting to park it out of sight after the final use and hope it starts again next season, such action (or inaction) can have serious consequences. Engines left unprepared for storage can suffer from fuel degradation, condensation and corrosion. The results can lead to poor performance, costly repairs or replacement, so it makes sense (and cents) to prepare equipment for the off-season so it’s protected and ready for springtime use. Even if you live in a moderate winter climate, extended periods of non-use warrant following these winterizing strategies:


  1. Wash and dry – Road contaminants can permanently stain and corrode paint and chrome.
  2. Change oil – Combustion and its by-products cause oxidation, which can be detrimental to internal engine components. Fresh oil protects engines against such unseen damage.
  3. Stabilize fuel – Gasoline can begin to degrade in as little as 30 days, forming gum and deposits on engine components. Treating it withAMSOIL Gasoline Stabilizer (AST) can prevent degradation and carburetor and injector problems.
  4. Remove battery – If storing for an extended period, remove the battery or connect a float charger to keep it at full capacity without risk of damage from overcharging.
  5. Lift off ground – Use a stand or ramp to prevent flat spots.
  6. Cover – Cover the motorcycle to protect it from light and dirt.

Outboard Engines (Two- and Four-Stroke)

  1. Stabilize fuel with AMSOIL Gasoline Stabilizer (AST) after the final use if storing four months or longer. AMSOIL Quickshot ® (AQS) provides fuel stabilization for periods less than four months. No Gasoline Stabilizer is required if you’ve been using Quickshot and the engine will be stored fewer than four months.
  2. Change lower unit oil – If any water has invaded the lower unit over the summer and it’s left there during storage, rust can form on bearings and the lower unit gears can degrade. AMSOIL Synthetic Marine Gear Lube (AGM) is the best choice for lower units specifying  an SAE 75W/80W-90 gear lube.
  3. Change oil and filter (in four-stroke engines) – Most four-stroke engines use a separate spin-on filter. Change the oil and filter for protection against oxidation, rust and corrosion acids from combustion.
  4. Fog engine – AMSOIL Engine Fogging Oil (FOG) gives engine components an extra protective barrier against condensation and dry starts.

Personal Watercraft (PWC)

  1. Stabilize fuel during last use with AMSOIL Quickshot® (AQS) or AMSOIL Gasoline Stabilizer (AST).
  2. Wash and dry equipment.
  3. Flush with storage antifreeze if the PWC is stored in subfreezing temperatures.
  4. Flush with freshwater if the PWC is used in saltwater.
  5. Fog engine with AMSOIL Engine Fogging Oil (FOG) if applicable.
  6. Remove battery and store it off the ground in a warm, dry place.
  7. Leave the seat open slightly, cover the PWC and store indoors (preferably).
  8. If storing outside, cover the PWC but not so tightly that it restricts air flow.

Lawn, Garden and Handheld

  1. Stabilize fuel with AMSOIL Gasoline Stabilizer (AST) or AMSOIL Quickshot® (AQS).
  2. Change oil and filter (on four-stroke engines) at least once a year.
  3. Fog engine with AMSOIL Engine Fogging Oil (FOG) (if applicable) – This is a good idea for four-stroke engines, too, but fogging is a must for two-stroke engines if they are being stored for 30 days or more.
  4. Wash off grass, dirt, wood chips, etc.
  5. Apply AMSOIL MP Metal Protector (AMP) to exposed metal parts to prevent rust.
  6. Equipment is best stored indoors. If left outside, protect with a cover.

Following these simple steps can keep your equipment in peak operating condition, even when it’s not in use for several months. An hour or two of preventive maintenance now means next spring you’ll be spending more time on the road, on the water or in the yard instead of in the shed tearing apart dirty carburetors.

Check out these pages for AMSOIL Synthetic Engine Oils and products for power sports and power equipment:

For Motorcycles

For Marine Power Sports

For Lawn, Garden and Handheld (2-Stroke)

For ATVs and UTVs

For Small Engine Power Equipment (4-Stroke)

AMSOIL Synthetic Greases