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Winterizing Your Engine-Powered Products

Pressure Washers, Boats, ATV’s, & Jet Skis

Winter is just around the corner and with the cold weather fast approaching, it’s time to prepare all your summer toys for storage. Whether you have a boat, pressure washer, jet ski, or ATV it’s time to lock it down and prepare it for ready-use next year. As you might expect, the engines on many of these products are prepared for storage in the same way. Here are just a few simple tips that are necessary to protect your products.


1. Drain Fuel or add fuel stabilizer

Any engine-powered product that is being stored long-term will require some sort of fuel maintenance. If possible, drain the remaining fuel. If that’s not possible, add fuel stabilizer to prevent the gas from breaking down and gumming up engine components. After adding the stabilizer, run the engine for about ten minutes to be sure it circulates throughout the engine.

2. Change the oil

Changing the oil regularly is an important part of annual maintenance, but it’s even more important prior to storage. Changing the oil eliminates moisture and corrosion, preventing excessive wear, which can lead to power loss, poor fuel economy, and possible engine failure.

3. Drain water

For watercraft or products like pressure washers that contain water, draining any remnants can safeguard against water freezing in the chambers, potentially cracking the units and causing severe damage. Follow manufacturer’s recommendations regarding the use of recreational antifreeze before storage.

4. Add pump shield

Now, this step only applies specifically to pressure washers, but other protective treatments can be used on your boat, Jet Ski, or other products being stored for the winter.  Pump saver or pump shield prohibits moisture from forming in the pump, stopping the pressure washer from freezing in the cold weather. It also protects against build-up from minerals and other deposits, making start-up easy.

5. Drain gear case lubricant

Specifically for winterizing your boat, make sure to drain the gear case lubricant and recycle it properly. If the lubricant is clear and amber-colored, the gear case seals are in good shape. If the lubricant is milky or lumpy, you will have to replace the seals.

6. Fog engine cylinders

For all engine-powered products, you should use an aerosol fogging solution to coat the inside of the engine to protect it until spring. Fogging the cylinder protects against corrosion that can form on the cylinders, pistons, and rings.

7. Store the product

The last step for winter prep is to make sure you safely store your products. Remember that engine-powered appliances should never be stored next to heat or an open flame, especially if they still contain fuel. They should be stored away from the elements and protected with a cover. Remember to follow your owner’s manual as to the exact recommendations regarding your pressure washer, boat, or ATV.


If you follow these easy steps, you can protect all your engine-powered products from any serious damage so they’ll be ready to go when the weather warms up!