Tecumseh Engine Maintenance

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Tecumseh engine
Tecumseh engine

Tecumseh is one of the most popular small engines on the market today, and chances are that if you own a snow blower, lawn mower, rototiller or any other small engined piece of lawn and garden equipment, one or more of them will be powered by a Tecumseh engine.

There are three specific areas of Tecumseh maintenance that the owner should be familiar with: engine oil, spark plug and air filter. There are also several other general maintenance habits that will keep your engine running well.

Change the Oil

Every year without fail, you will want to change the oil on your Tecumseh engine. You'll find beneath the engine a small little oil nut or plug that needs to be unscrewed. Either a wrench or a socket will work, and get a little bowl to catch the oil that will run out.

Once drained, replace the oil nut and refill the engine with 30 weight automotive oil, and check the engine's own dip stick to make sure it is filled properly.

Unscrew the oil plug
Unscrew the oil plug

Change the Spark Plug

Change the spark plug is one of those things that gets done without fail, also once per year. The main cause of hard starting engines are bad or corroded spark plugs, and since they only cost a couple of dollars each, there is no sense in cleaning them; just replace it once per year at the same time you replace the oil.

You'll need a spark plug wrench to do this, but before you reinstall the new one, shoot a little spray lubrication into the spark plug hole on the engine. That will make it easier to thread the new plug in, and get rid of any moisture that has been trapped inside.

New plug and wrench
New plug and wrench

Clean the Air Filter

The air filter sits on top of the carburetor, and the air filter container is held in by one screw. Unscrew that, and the actual foam filter will pop right out.

Fill a bucket with water, add a good squirt of dish soap, and wash the filter by repeatedly dipping into the bucket and squeezing out all the oil and gunk that has collected inside. Rinse under a hose or in another bucket with clean water, allow to dry for a couple of hours and then reinstall.

Again, this is a once per year maintenance item that can be done when the plug is replaced and the oil is changed.

If you do these three things every year to your Tecumseh engine, you will likely not have any major problems for years and years to come.

Foam air filter
Foam air filter

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