During the spring and summer months when outdoor power equipment is seeing higher use rates, it may also require more maintenance to keep it running properly. This maintenance requires knowing what gas your lawn mower and outdoor power equipment require and being aware of how gas selection can affect equipment performance. Using the right type of fuel is critical to helping equipment stay in good working condition from season to season.
Follow these selection tips below to help find the right type of gas for your lawn mower and small-engine equipment to help keep your tools running smoothly:
Fuels containing ethanol may not be the best choice for outdoor power equipment.
People often ask if ethanol-free gas is better for lawn mowers or small-engine equipment. Most fuel contains ethanol, which is a grain alcohol distilled from corn and sugar. Fuels with ethanol work well in larger engines, like cars, but can be very harmful to your outdoor power equipment, like a gas-powered lawn mower, because they burn hotter in smaller engines and can cause damage to engine parts. If possible, choose non-ethanol gas for small engines this summer to help keep your equipment running.
Ethanol also attracts moisture from the air, and when the two substances bond together, phase separation can occur, meaning water separates from the gasoline and settles at the bottom of the gas tank.
Water in the fuel tank can cause corroding and clogging of the fuel system, which can lead to starting issues and costly repairs. You can help prevent water in your lawn mower fuel tank by adding a fuel stabilizer to the lawn mower engine at the beginning and end of each season. It’s also a good idea to add a small-engine fuel stabilizer to the fuel remaining in the gas can, to help prevent water separation and accumulation.
Choose fuel with the lowest ethanol content possible.
To minimize issues, you should use either ethanol-free gas in your lawn mower or fuel that has the least amount of ethanol content possible. Fuel sold at a gas station is often E-10 gas, which contains 10% ethanol and can be used for your outdoor power equipment. Make sure to avoid any gas labeled E-15 because 15% ethanol gases may damage smaller engines.
Another option is to select a precision-engineered fuel that doesn’t contain any ethanol. You can find a wide variety of these fuels that are premixed and ready to use with 2-cycle and 4-cycle engines in string trimmers, walk-behind mowers, leaf blowers and snow blowers.