Spring is here and that means the sound of lawn mowers, string trimmers, blowers, edgers, tillers and chain saws will soon be in the air. Keeping your outdoor power equipment running well means following a proper maintenance schedule and selecting the best fuel for each tool.
The introduction of E15 fuels (those that contain 15% ethanol and are intended for some vehicles manufactured after 2007) has created concern and confusion about it’s effect in small engines. In order to help clarify the confusion, here is a list of tips from the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) and a video from Briggs & Stratton to help you avoid fuel-related problems and ensure a smooth-running engine.
Small Engine Fuel Tips from OPEI
· If fuel has been sitting all winter long in the fuel tank, don’t use it in the spring. Drain it responsibly and put in fresh fuel.
· Do not use gas with more than 10 percent ethanol (E10). Some gas stations may begin to offer 15 percent ethanol (E15), but this higher ethanol fuel is dangerous – and is in fact illegal – to use in any small engine equipment, such as chain saws, snow throwers, generators, lawn mowers, lawn tractors and all other lawn and garden equipment. For more information on E15 and why you can’t use this in lawn and garden equipment, go towww.opei.org/ethanolwarning.
· Don’t leave fuel sitting in the tank for more than 30 days. Untreated gasoline (without a fuel stabilizer) left in the fuel system will deteriorate, which may cause starting or running problems and, in some cases, damage to the fuel system.
· After finishing mowing, turn the fuel valve OFF and leave it OFF until it’s time to mow again. Fill the mower’s fuel tank between uses to minimize air in the tank.
· Store gasoline in a clean and sealed plastic container approved for fuel storage, and store the container away from direct sunlight.
· Keep the air filter properly serviced and check it before each use. A properly maintained air filter will help prevent dirt from entering the carburetor.
Where can you find ethonol-free gasoline?
Click here to find the nearest gas station that sells ethanol-free gasoline.
VIDEO: Learn more about E15 fuel and selecting the best fuel for your small engines.
- NASCAR takes steps to drive ‘green’ (usatoday.com)
- EPA to approve E15 for cars built in 2001 and later (reviews.cnet.com)
- Federal agency wants separate E10 fuel pumps at certain gas stations that sell E15 ethanol-gasoline blend (motorsportsnewswire.wordpress.com)
- Controversy brews over increased ethanol fuels for older cars (reviews.cnet.com)