Small Engine Fuel Choice

Did you know that one of the most important things you can do to keep your small engine running well is to use premium fuel with no ethanol?

Although the EPA insists that the ethanol added to most fuels will not adversely affect your small engine, take it from our repair center.  IT DOES.

Almost 80% of the engine repairs we have seen in the past couple of years are fuel related.  A fuel related issue is never covered under a manufacturers warranty either.

Most people figure that since ethanol in the fuel doesn’t adversely affect their vehicles, it is fine to use in the small engine.

This is simply wrong.

Most of our vehicles are fuel injected, not run by carburetors.  Also we use our vehicles far more often than our small engines, meaning the fuel stays fresh. Most people use their vehicle every day.

Basically ethanol attracts water.  Water in your fuel is never ok; it will cause your carburetor to fail.  Ethanol will eat the soft components of your fuel system. Think fuel lines, gaskets and diaphragms.

Fuel lines, grommets and diaphragms are just some of the parts that are simply eaten and ruined by ethanol.  There is more science involved in all the things that ethanol does to a small engine, but the main thing to know is that if you can and should avoid it.

There are a few gas stations that are offering fuel with no ethanol.  If you can find one (even if it means driving out of your way a bit), use that fuel for your small engines.

Some people will insist that spending another few dollars per gallon of gas is a waste; until they have to pay a fuel related service bill of anywhere from $65-$100 (every year!!).  The little bit of added money spent on gas will save you a ton of money in the long run and save you additional down time waiting for your unit to be repaired at the local shop.

If you are unable to find a gas station that provides ethanol-free fuel, always use the highest octane available coupled with a good fuel stabilizer. Unless you are a professional, using your outdoor power equipment every day; your fuel can go bad in a surprisingly short amount of time, as quickly as two weeks.  Fuel stabilizer will help avoid that.

Finally, another choice for anyone really interested in keeping their fuel related issues to a minimum is any of the pre-packaged fuels offered by most small engine repair centers.

We offer a product called Tru Fuel.  This comes in a 32oz can and retails for approximately $7.00 a bottle.  It is offered as straight fuel, with a 50:1 mix or a 32:1 mix for two cycle engines.

Tru Fuel has no ethanol and won’t go bad for about two years, unlike any fuel purchased at a gas station. Tru Fuel or any product like is can truly enhance the life of your small engine.


We carry a large selection of Small Engine Parts. If you need help finding your Parts, please complete the Lawn Mower Parts Request Form and we will be happy to assist you.

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Jack Hayes

Jack Hayes is the Head of Internet Marketing at LawnMowerPros and the editor of this blog. You can often find him creating featured articles, DIY guides, custom graphics and much more.