Well… it has been a couple months since our last article about ethanol. We want to be vigilant about reminding our customers about the effects of marginal fuel has on small engines and their outdoor power equipment.
In fact, since the last article, an organization has taken the lead in creating educational materials for all folks about the dangers. The association of small engine, utility vehicles and outdoor power equipment manufacturers and suppliers (whew… long name… luckily there is another name they go by… OPEI – Outdoor Power Equipment Institute) has created a national campaign called “Look Before You Pump.”
So you’re an end user/owner of small engines, UTVs and outdoor power equipment. When you get gas, no doubt you have seen the E15 warning labels at the pump. Most gasoline now contains 10 percent ethanol (E10) but more and more, stations are increasing the percentage blend of ethanol in fuel. You’ll start to see 15, 30, 50 or 85 percent ethanol!
According to OPEI and Look Before You Pump:
Higher ethanol blends (above 10% ethanol) are not meant for outdoor power equipment such as mowers, garden tractors, chain saws, boats, snow throwers, trimmers, UTVs, power washers, blowers, chippers, grinders, generators, jaws of life, concrete saws and other compact construction equipment, as well as small engine applications such as water pumps and irrigation systems. (source)
Every manufacturer that we sell (and really this goes for ALL small engine power equipment) say that their equipment was not designed (or warranted) to run on greater than E10 fuel. This higher ethanol content fuel can damage and even destroy your equipment. Everything inside this small engine is potentially at risk. Tubing, seals, metal parts can corrode, or just flat out fail because of some of the properties in this higher percentage blend!
We see equipment EVERY DAY in our shop that has been damaged because of poor fuel.
The other problem with Ethanol in general is that it doesn’t sit well. The shelf life is decreased because the ethanol actually attracts moisture which is NOT good for fuel. Your fuel physically breaks down and separates. Water will dissipate from the fuel and that water will go through your machine’s engine. This is VERY BAD.
What do you need to do?
- Create a healthy fuel hygiene. Be aware that gas isn’t the same as it used to be.
- Literally LOOK BEFORE YOU PUMP, so that you know what you’re putting in your gas tank or gas can.
- Only store what you can use in a short amount of time. Don’t allow fuel to go uncapped or go bad.
- Protect your equipment investment by only using E10 or ethanol free fuels (we sell several versions of small engine fuel that is ethanol free)
Check out this video: