Sequim Small Engines reopens after three-year closure

Sequim might average less than two-dozen inches of rainfall per year but that doesn’t stop the grass from growing and needing to be mowed.

After a three-year closure, Sequim Small Engines is once again available to repair lawn mowers, weed eaters, chain saws and rototillers.

Employees don’t, however, fix electric, marine or motorcycle engines.

Gary Jakubisin and Cathy Curphy, partners in life and love, ran the repair business out of their home from 2002-2004.

“It just got too overwhelming,” Jakubisin said. “We couldn’t even park in the driveway, there were so many lawn mowers.”

Then, the couple faced insurance and liability problems that forced them to close the business despite a need in the community for a small-engine repair shop.

“Three years later, we are in the position to move into town where we need to be,” Jakubisin announced. “We’re back in business.”

Sequim Small Engines is located on River Road across from Applebee’s, the former site of Steve’s Repair that occupied the space before moving to Carlsborg.

“We saw a need for this in the area,” Jakubisin said. “There is basically only one other place that has a storefront and works at the capacity we do, yet a lot of people have big yards.”

According to Jakubisin, Sears in Sequim and Port Angeles sold more than 4,500 riding lawn mowers in the past seven years. “Somebody has to work on them,” he said realistically. “That’s what we are here for.”

Jakubisin is experienced in dealing with small engines, lawn mowers in particular. In fact, he mowed lawns professionally and did all the mechanical work himself for more than five years before opening Sequim Small Engines. “I liked fixing them more than I liked mowing,” he admitted.

If Jakubisin has his way, Sequim Small Engines will stay busy yearlong. “We are hoping to stay busy year-round, that’s why we are getting into repairing chain saws and offering lawn mower maintenance,” he said.

Annual lawn mower maintenance is very important, according to Jakubisin.

“You don’t want your equipment to sit all winter long,” he said. “When the spring season comes around, you want to be ready to work on your lawn.”

“The best thing is to have your mower serviced once a year,” he recommended. “That will extend the life of it.”

“Don’t leave gas in it either,” Curphy added. “Gas has a tendency to go bad and that leads to carburetor problems. Drain the tank and run it dry before winter.”

Annual servicing and maintenance packages include power washing under the deck, changing the oil, replacing spark plugs, blowing the air filter clean or replacing it if needed, sharpening the blade and checking for general wear and tear such as frayed or cracked belts.

Curphy, who runs the front desk and parts shop, worked as a health information specialist at Olympic Care and Rehabilitation before reopening Sequim Small Engines with Jakubisin on Jan. 2.

“I wasn’t too involved in the shop the first time around,” she said. “But I love being here and doing what we do. I just love greeting the customers as they call or come into the store.”

“Come in and see us for a part or a belt or just come in, say hi and have a cup of coffee,” she encouraged. “I’m pretty good at looking up parts and getting the one you need.”

Customer service and focusing on the “small” stuff, including restringing weed eaters, is important to the staff at Sequim Small Engines.

“We will do it and not charge you for it, just give you five business cards to hand out,” Jakubisin said. “We can’t make everybody happy but we are sure going to try.”

For more information or to make an appointment, call 681-3466.

Repairing lawn mowers and other yard care equipment

Sequim Small Engines, 131 River Road, repairs all makes and models of lawn mowers, weed eaters, chain saws and rototillers. Business hours are 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and closed Sunday. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 681-3466.

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