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According to Pete Stout, product manager at Origin Engines, today's propane irrigation engines do not require extensive winterization procedures beyond regular practices, such as removing debris and dirt that have collected on the engine, and changing the oil filter and spark plugs. He offered the following additional tips to keep irrigation systems in shape over the winter months:
- Disconnect the engine battery, check front drive belts for proper tension and wear, inspect the wire harness for cracked or exposed wires, and make repairs as necessary.
- Use cylinder-fogging oil to prevent rust on the cylinder walls for engines that are stored outdoors or in buildings that are not temperature-controlled.
- If possible, remove irrigation power units from the field and store indoors during winter. If engines are left in the field, they should be protected by a semi-enclosed structure to prevent as much exposure to the elements as possible.
“I also urge farmers who store engines outdoors to cover the engine with a tarp,” Stout says. “Moisture, UV sunlight, and rodents are the cause of most startup problems in the spring.”