The truth about 2-strokes

Old 09-22-08, 07:21 PM
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The truth about 2-strokes

What do I need to do to make small 2- and 4-stroke engines last?

How true are the following things I've read and heard?

1. I shouldn't use fuel more than 30 days old.
2. I should use 89 octane fuel.
3. I shouldn't use gas conditioner to extend fuel life (if it works, why don't manufacturers say so in their manuals?).
4. I should remove fuel if the unit won't be used for a few days.

Some of this (emptying the gas, throwing out a half-gallon of gas) is really a pain - is it worth it?

Last edited by suobs; 09-22-08 at 07:23 PM. Reason: clarify
Old 09-22-08, 07:53 PM
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with 2 strokes the main thing is use the proper fuel/oil ratio and don't store fuel for more than a few months unless it has a fuel stabilizer added. most fuel nowadays needs to be used within 30 days or have a fuel stabilizer added. even then the storage life is only going to be about 6-9 months. don't pour fuel on the ground for disposal. either run it in something as a blend or mix with used oil for recycling. if you have fuel that is over 30 days old you can mix with fresh fuel in a 1 to 1 ratio and it will usually work fine.

if we're not supposed to eat animals why are they made out of meat?
Old 09-22-08, 08:52 PM
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My responses would be:

#1...depends. If your fuel is in an airtight container, out of sunlight, and in a cool place, and is not an ethanol blend, it can last a lot longer than 30 days. If you have to dispose of some that is a little stale, dump it in your cars gas tank. It won't make a noticeable difference when it is mixed in with the several gallons of fresh fuel in the car. I wouldn't recommend dumping extremely stale gas in the car tank though. You can tell when gas has gone too far by the smell of it.

#2...I don't know why anyone would recommend 89 octane fuel. The engine is made to run 87. You lose money at the very least by running 89, unless maybe this is a factor that considers ethanol blended fuel. (I recommend not using ethanol blend at all).

#3...I don't see any harm in using a fuel preservative. I've never seen a related failure that occurred by using a fuel preservative in accordance with the directions on the bottle.

#4...No. There is no need to remove the fuel just because you won't be using it for a few days. A few months, well, maybe. If you ever put one away for storage, make sure very fresh gas was the last thing to run through the carb to lessen the chances of the carb gumming up or sticking during storage.

If you are considering buying a 2-stroke, you can avoid a lot of the hassle of owning a 2-stroke just by upping the budget and getting a quality piece of equipment. Then, if you pay much attention at all to the age and quality of fuel you are using, you will be doing more than most folks do.

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