Golf Course Management

OCT 2014

Golf Course Management magazine is dedicated to advancing the golf course superintendent profession and helping GCSAA members achieve career success.

Issue link: http://gcmdigital.gcsaa.org/i/385759

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48 GOLF COURSE MANAGEMENT 10.14 starting. To avoid this entirely, always replace old fuel. Oil that hasn't been changed regularly can be - come thick and gummy and increase the risk of cor- rosion that can keep the engine from running eff- ciently. Replace it with oil that has the proper weight as specifed in the owner's manual. If the engine has accumulated dirt and dust while in storage, a thorough cleaning will get rid of buildup and keep it running effciently. Make sure the engine — and the recoil starter, if the engine is equipped with one — is free from dirt, grass or other debris. Also make sure the cooling fns under the shroud are clean and free of obstructions that could cause the head area to overheat. You can use an air hose to blow off the engine or wipe it down with a dry rag. Avoid washing it with a hose or pressure washer, which could force water into the engine and cause corrosion. Now you're ready to roll, push or pull into the season. What to do when… It's not uncommon to occasionally experience problems with starting or lost power. When this happens, always begin by inspecting the four things an engine needs to operate: fuel, oil, spark and compression. Always make sure there is enough fuel in the tank and the fuel valve, if the engine is equipped with one, is open and in the "on" position. Also ensure the en - gine has enough oil and the ignition is turned on. While these are obvious concerns, checking them frst can save you a lot of time and hassle. In addition, make sure enough fuel is making its way to the engine. Choke and pull the starter fve or six times, then remove the spark plug and see if the electrode is wet. A dry electrode indicates that not enough fuel is being supplied to the engine, which can be a result of several issues and should be in - spected by a repair shop. An improperly gapped or loose spark plug also could be the culprit of an engine that doesn't start. Inspect it to make sure the porcelain and electrodes are not damaged and that it's properly gapped so it can fre effciently. Refer to the manufacturer's man - ual for the recommended gap distance. Tighten the spark plug frmly, but don't make it too snug as this can damage the threads in the cylinder head. You also should check to ensure the spark plug is producing a spark. To test it, take the cap off and re - move the spark plug from the engine. Insert it back into the cap and place the metal base against the en - gine, which will ground the current as you test. En- sure the ignition is in the "on" position and slowly turn the engine over. If the plug does not produce a spark, then it should be replaced. Also test the engine's compression by slowly turn - Change oil regularly to prevent it from becoming thick and gummy.

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