The Briggs and Stratton Maintenance Minder (P/N: 5081) is a very inexpensive hour meter that allows you to monitor engine time for oil changes, air filter changes, and other engine/equipment related services.
The first and only draw back to this particular 'hour meter' is that it is a battery operated hour meter and once the battery goes dead - the unit is worthless and all run time of the unit will be lost. Hence, if you plan to own a unit for a lifetime, this maintenance minder will not fit your needs.
There are various good points about this device that make it valuable for the user. First of all, it can be installed on any spark-ignited engine (not diesel) that has a frequency of 10 Hertz or better. That means just about any small engine in your tool shed. You do not need an electrical system of any kind (battery, alternator, regulator, wiring, etc) to use this unit. It is all self-contained.
The meter has a foam backing that allows the meter to be stuck in any place that will fit your needs. There are two wires for installation. The C-type end is fitted around a bolt for a ground. You can use any bolt that the C-type end will fit around. On my riding mower, I used a cylinder head bolt to install the ground. The red wire is wrapped around the spark plug wire (about 4 times). The pulse of electricity, generated from the coil (or magneto) travels in the spark plug wire to the spark plug. The red wire 'feels' this pulse and starts the hour meter. There is no tachometer to this unit - only the measurement of time. Since the unit only uses the pulse of the spark plug wire, it doesn't matter if you use it on a 4 stroke or 2 stroke (4 cycle/2 cycle) engine or a multiple cylinder engine.
The hour meter will begin to flash at 25 hour increments to remind you that services are needed. You reset the flashing numbers with the reset button. After about 5 years, the battery goes dead and you buy another one.
I use one on my riding mower and pressure washer. I don't use one on my walking lawnmower or my string trimmer. I was amazed at the amount of hours I put on my riding mower. I use my riding mower for broadcast spreading, lawn aeration, and small dump cart hauling and lawn mowing. My idea is that I don't plan to keep total hour log of my riding mower for resales purposes. I keep the hour log to insure mainteance is performed in a timely fashion.
So, that's why I would buy a Briggs and Stratton Maintenance Minder.
UPDATE: 8/26/2007: One of the things pertaining to this guide is the lack of votes for the information. Even though there are B&G hour meters listed along this guide - I do not sell any of them. The idea of this guide was to present information concerning this particular product. If for some reason you vote 'no' - please drop me a line and tell me why. I would be very curious as to why and I would also like to improve this guide.
UPDATE: 20 June 2008: I corrected the guide to reflect 25 hour increments for the hour meter to flash. Thanks, reader!
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