Pre-season auger tips

prep

With even limited mechanical ability, you can prep your your ice auger like a pro this pre-season. Most tasks can be completed in minutes with tools you already own.

To run true, your StrikeMaster® auger requires good fuel, good spark plugs and good blades. Ensure you’ve got all three, and you’ve got the essentials for a great season on the ice.

Fuel
Don’t run old gas. Your engine will start and run better on fresh, premium, winter-grade fuel, which is usually available most places Nov. 1 through April 1.
Use a quality oil at a 40:1 ratio (3.2 oz. of oil / 1 gallon of gas). Don’t like the mess of measuring? Buy oil in pre-measured 3.2 oz. bottles, adding them per gallon of gas.

Stick strictly to the 40:1 ratio. Extra oil will make your auger harder to start and is more likely to cause issues with the carburetor and leak out of your muffler. You can use a 40:1 ratio even if your engine calls for 24:1. You’ll use less oil and your auger will run better and cleaner.

Spark Plugs
If your auger is running rough or back-firing, a faulty spark plug is the likely culprit. To prevent problems, check your plug for deposit build-up around – or on – the electrode, cracks in the insulator or other signs of wear. If you observe any of these, replace the plug.

Blades
If your auger was cutting a bit slower at the end of last season, replace your blades this year before hitting the ice. When replacing worn-out blades, consider picking up a spare set as well.

Starter Rope
99 percent of all recoil problems are the result of pulling your rope all the way to the end. When this happens, the rope can fray and springs can fail. If you’re starting to notice significant fraying, or if your rope retracts slowly or incompletely, chances are your rope and/or recoil must be replaced. The way to avoid such damage is simple – shorter pulls on the rope.

Air Filter
Over time, air filters can get dirty and clog, restricting airflow to your engine. When this happens, your auger can bog down when drilling or lose power completely. If your air filter is oil- or dirt-soaked, it’s time for a replacement.

Should you encounter more-serious issues — or would rather out-source your basic maintenance — visit strikemaster.com for a list of Strikemaster Certified Repair Centers near you.

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