What’s the Best Fuel for My Snow Blower?

In the midst of a busy winter, you may notice your snow blower is having trouble getting started. This is usually caused by one of the most important, yet often overlooked issues affecting equipment health and performance - bad or stale fuel. If your equipment is left unused for 30 or more days, fuel can begin to evaporate causing it to become stale. This frequently causes engine starting and stalling issues.

To make sure your equipment is running properly and will be ready for next season, follow these tips on selecting and maintaining healthy fuel.

 

Consider Your Engine: To choose the right fuel, you need to know whether you have a 2-cycle or 4-cycle engine, as this will help determine if your equipment requires a gas and oil mixture. For a 2-cycle engine, you need to mix gas and oil. It's best to reference your operator's manual for the correct ratio for your specific model. All Troy-Bilt® snow blowers built after 2006 have a 4-cycle engine. These engines require only gas, but you'll need to change the oil at least once a season.
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Avoid Ethanol: Ethanol is a grain alcohol distilled from corn and sugar. Most fuel contains ethanol, which works in larger engines, like cars, but it is very harmful for the smaller engine on your snow blower. Ethanol burns hotter in small engines and will cause corrosion to the rubber, plastic and metal components of your equipment. To avoid engine damage, use fuel that has the least amount of ethanol content possible. If you're at your local gas station, look for 'E-10' gas which contains 10% ethanol. This fuel is safe for your snow blower's engine.

Use Fresh Fuel: Fuel deteriorates over time as its compounds begin to evaporate. As more compounds evaporate, the fuel will form sticky resin deposits that, if left unattended, will turn into a hard varnish. This can cause passages in the carburetor to be blocked leading to start and stalling issues. As you prepare your snow blower for storage, remember to empty the fuel or add a fuel stabilizer so your engine is ready for next season.

Add Fuel Stabilizer: Fuel stabilizer can elongate the life of your snow blower by helping the engine stay clean and run smoother. It is usually made from petroleum products that bond with gasoline to prevent evaporation. If your equipment is unused or in storage for 30 days or more, it's best to add fuel stabilizer. Reference your operator's manual for specific instructions on how to add stabilizer to your fuel.