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Small Engine Repair Business Idea

Your love of tinkering can lead to profit from a small engine repair business.

Do you spend your spare time repairing or revving up engine parts? You could build a successful business repairing small engines.

Small engines produce less than 25 horsepower and are often gas powered. In fact, people who repaired small engines used to be called small engine mechanics.

With the increase of gas-powered equipment, many in the profession now refer to themselves as Outdoor Power Equipment Technicians.

If you imagine the insides of your neighbor’s garage, you’ll probably see at least several machines using small engines. You can almost always find a lawn mower engine or a tractor engine.

You can also find snow blowers, trimmers, and leaf blowers, all using small engines.

Small engines are found away from the garage as well. Outboard motors, portable generators and pressure washers qualify.

Starting And Growing Your Small Engine Repair Business

It helps if you already are comfortable working with machines – taking them apart, putting them back together and troubleshooting. A background in engineering or mechanics is extremely useful.

However, if you have the interest but not the experience, enroll in a small engine repair school. Many schools offer online training, and trade schools offer onsite training.

Although it is not required, you can also get certified as a technician. The Outdoor Power Equipment Engine Service Association ( offers a certification process they believe will add to your credentials.

Getting Your Business Started

You will need a work area, usually a well-lit, well-ventilated garage, with a good set of tools.

Depending on the season that you start, you can market your repairs to the types of machines currently in use, or about to be in use. For example, in late winter, begin advertising your lawn equipment repair service, and continue until fall.

In spring, advertise for outboard motor and motorcycle repair. In fall, advertise for snow blower repair – you see the trend.

You can put ads online at, and small ads in local and free newspapers. Periodically distribute flyers to neighborhoods where people do their own yard work, and are likely to have equipment. Once customers come in for repairs, offer a maintenance plan and a service guarantee.

In addition to getting jobs from individuals, you can also work with businesses. Landscapers have lawn care equipment, businesses use pressure washers and construction companies use portable generators—all with small engines.

Contact the businesses periodically so the next time they have an engine problem, they think of coming back to your small engine repair business.

In addition to making repairs, you can also stock and sell supplies like common lawn mower parts. Or you can buy components needing repair for a low price, fix them and sell them for a profit. You can also become a certified warranty repair center for particular equipment.

With technical experience and a little marketing, you can rev up a profitable small engine repair business.

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