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Outdoor equipment that has been sitting unused through the colder months needs a little TLC to prepare it for seasonal work.
8 Spring and Summer Maintenance Tips for Outdoor Equipment

As winter turns to spring and spring becomes summer, outdoor equipment that has been sitting unused through the colder months needs a little TLC to prepare it for seasonal work. Before breaking out your heavy equipment for the busy season, make sure you perform the necessary inspections and maintenance. Just a little bit of extra time and care before use will reduce the chances of having to pay for major repairs or replacements. Here are a few tips from Equipment Trader to ensure that your outdoor equipment is primed and ready for use.

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Clean Your Equipment

Before any other maintenance begins, you want to make sure that your outdoor equipment has been properly cleaned. Dirt, mud, and grass clippings should be removed; excess grease that sat through the winter should be cleaned off; ensure that your equipment with an undercarriage such as excavators and dozers have been thoroughly cleaned and inspected to avoid damage; and check any rubber rings and hoses for wear. This will make the overall equipment preparation for the season run more smoothly and allow for more time for necessary repairs. 

There are several tools you can use  for carefully cleaning and preparing equipment for further maintenance. Air compressors with air blowers set to low pressure will help remove dust and debris, while different kinds of brushes, rags, and solvents can carefully clean parts without damaging them.

Look for Damage

After thoroughly cleaning your equipment, you should check for any damage. It is the first step in preventative maintenance that will ensure that you are not causing further harm to faulty equipment. If something seems off, it is best to remedy the situation before you begin working with the machinery. Having a checklist of common damage is a great place to start, because it will allow you to fix issues before they become worse.

Sharpen Blades

Have your equipment with blades freshly sharpened or replaced before use. Dull and damaged blades will hinder performance and put extra strain on the equipment. At worst, this might cause you to replace the entire piece of equipment as a result of damage or malfunctioning. Sharp blades will not only deliver your desired results, but will save you money in the long run.

Replace Lubricants and Filters

Summer heat can impact your equipment’s fluids. Coolant and oil should be replaced and replenished regularly. It’s also important to know how much fluid your equipment requires for best performance. Fresh filters will help protect the internal components of your motorized equipment from outside particles and ensure fluids are being filtered effectively during operation. Common fluids that you will want to check and replace before use of equipment include:

  • Engine oils (make sure you know the type of oil that your equipment takes, as it varies)
  • Hydraulic fluids
  • Gear grease and lubricants
  • Coolant


Replace Smaller Engine Components

Rubber O-rings, gaskets, and other components necessary for operation should be checked and replaced if they’re faulty. Excessive heat and cold over time will break down these engine components if your equipment has been sitting unused for an extended period, so you should have these items replaced to avoid damage. These are all inexpensive parts that will save you money over time if you keep your machines properly maintained.

Check and Replace Spark Plugs

Even if your equipment has been properly winterized, there is still a chance that your spark plugs might need to be replaced. When your machine is ready to run, check all spark plugs to ensure that they are operating. For electric equipment like pressure washers, blowers, trimmers, and mowers, the spark plug is often the culprit when your machinery won’t start. Spark plugs that are still operational but have experienced some degree of erosion or build-up should be removed and cleaned with a wire brush.

Remove and Replace Fuel

If you’ve left fuel in your equipment during the winter months, be sure to remove it and replace it with fresh fuel before you run the machinery. Fuel goes bad over time, and allowing it to run through your machine’s system can damage equipment, which will result in expensive repairs. Maintain your machine with fresh fluids at all times to avoid any damage.

Perform an Engine Diagnostics Test

For all equipment that is engine-powered, a diagnostics test will tell you if anything is amiss that might not be immediately visible. Performing this test after you have replenished fluids and replaced filters, gaskets, and other necessary components can be best. When all other components that might be a cause for concern have been remedied, your readings will let you know if there is still an issue with proper engine performance. Newer equipment is often made or can be equipped with an operator control panel, such as a Smart Touch display, that will let you see how your equipment is performing and whether anything needs immediate care.

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Clean, inspect, sharpen, repair, replace, replenish, and test. Just a few simple tasks performed seasonally will ensure that your outdoor equipment not only runs properly, but that it will last much longer for seasons to come. Start shopping today for your next piece of machinery with a new and pre-owned selection of heavy equipment at EquipmentTrader.com.

By Anna Tozzi

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Anna Cecilia Tozzi
Anna Cecilia Tozzi
Anna is a Virginia-based writer with a background in business. Although her initial writing experience was in satire, her love of research and learning about new subjects has given her the opportunity to write on numerous topics. When she’s not writing, Anna enjoys taking her camera out and capturing pictures of the world around her.

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