(NAPSI)—If you have a classic car, a boat or any other small engine you are putting into storage for the winter, you can do yourself a big favor by preparing it properly now to save yourself some major headaches down the road. Here are hints on how:

Outdoor Power Equipment

Before storing your lawn mower, weed wacker and any other small-engine machinery, it’s a good idea to:

• Clean and sharpen the blades.

• Check the belts for wear and tear, cracks and stretching.

Be aware of when you bought the fuel as today’s ethanol-blended gasoline can start going bad in as few as 30 days. The fresher the fuel, the better.

• Add a high-quality, non-alcohol-based fuel stabilizer, such as STA-BIL® Storage, to your fuel can before filling it with fresh fuel. This will protect the equipment from corrosion and ethanol issues and help it start right up again after up to two years in storage. It can also clean the fuel system, clearing out gum and varnish that can build up over time.

Caring For A Classic Car

• Clean it inside and out. After washing and drying the car, add a coat of wax to all painted and chrome surfaces and apply a protectant like 303® Aerospace Protectant to all vinyl, plastic, leather and rubber surfaces to protect from the elements.

• Replace engine oil. Old oil contains contaminants, including acid and moisture, which will pit bearings and other engine parts. First, run the engine briefly to warm the oil, as more old oil and contaminants will come off.

• Lube up joints and bearings. Grease bearings on the wheels, the steering components and suspension.

• Stabilize fuel. Fuel can cause gum and varnish buildup while in storage, resulting in hard starting, poor performance and reduced engine life. To remove water, clean carburetors and fuel injectors, and keep fuel fresh, protecting the engine from gum, varnish, rust and corrosion, add STA-BIL Storage to fresh fuel.

• Fill the radiator with the correct mix of coolant and water.

• Remove the battery, clean off the terminals with water and baking soda, then rinse them with distilled water. Store the battery in a cool dry place off the ground and attach a trickle charge.

• Cover and store your car in a safe, climate-controlled, dry location that has limited or no light exposure. To reduce moisture and odors, place open boxes of baking soda inside the car and trunk. Keep critters at bay with a plastic bag over the air intake inlet and exhaust pipes.

Keeping A Boat Shipshape

• Start with the exterior and work inward. Thoroughly rinse all residue and dirt from the boat. Then use a surface cleaner like 303® Multi-Surface Cleaner on the upholstery, countertops, bathrooms and more.

• Leave your gas tank 95 percent full of fresh fuel and use a fuel stabilizer such as STA-BIL 360° Marine, which emits a vapor that protects above and below the fuel line while keeping your engine running cleaner. Then run the engine for a few minutes to make sure the fuel stabilizer gets into the carburetor and injectors.

• Use a fogger to coat the inside of the engine and prevent corrosion.

• Make sure your battery is properly charged.

• Cover the boat and propeller to keep out the elements.

Learn More

For other great tips and facts on fuel, visit www.STA-BIL.com.

On the Net:North American Precis Syndicate, Inc.(NAPSI)