If you are a corn farmer or work for the EPA, please look away now, this article is not for you wonderful people.
For the rest of us, who have suffered through performance problems with our snow, or lawn and garden equipment, I’m here to give you the cure for your woes.
You see brothers and sisters, Ethanol is the root of all evil.
Remember the days when you parked the lawn mower away for the winter with a full tank of gas, gave it one pull in the spring, and off to the lawn mowing races you went, happy that ol Bess is running like a top. Those days are gone my friends. We have to now pay attention to a fuel management program. I know, I know, you’re thinking, not another problem to think about. Hang In There!!!
First a few facts. Because of new EPA emission standard for the small engine industry, new equipment carburetors had to be jetted differently, the openings are smaller if you will. Ethanol is an alcohol and is blended with gas to act as an oxygenator during the fuel burn. Alcohol draws water into the fuel system. Now with water in the fuel system, nice things like corrosion, deterioration of fuel lines or the fuel itself turning into a varnish smelling substance. Now combine this stew with those smaller jets in your carburetor, and whola, your mower or snow blower won’t start. And folks, this can happen in as little as 30 days. No Kidding.
To prevent this $80 repair bill, try these routines on for size.
- Buy Premium (92 or 93 Octane) gas at the pump. Do Not use 87 Octane gas (Regular).
- Buy only enough fuel so you have to go to the gas station for more fuel in 30 days.
- Add a fuel stabilizer to the fuel.
- Run the piece of equipment out of fuel (Dry) when it is not going to be used for more than 30 days.
- Buy an ethanol free fuel (Some Marina’s have it at the pump, most dealers have it in quarts) for equipment that is used sparingly. I’m thinking Snow Blowers, Generators, Tillers, ect.
- Start each equipment season with fresh Gas for that piece of equipment.
- Commit to the fit.
In conclusion, I’m thinking of that the old saying. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Put a few extra steps in your fuel routine. A one pull start will be music to your ears.