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Ethanol gas


Dewey905's Avatar
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12-21-13, 08:33 AM   #1  
Ethanol gas

Is it safe to put ethanol gas in small engines like lawn mowers and snow throwers?

 
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12-21-13, 08:42 AM   #2  
Welcome to the forums! First take a quart jar and put about a pint of ethanol gas in it, and cap it. Put it on a shelf in your garage for a week or so. When you look at it again, you will note a white sediment at the bottom. That, my friend, is what your engine is trying to burn. Ethanol has no place in gasoline, especially in smaller engines. Endeavor to find an ethanol free supplier for your small engines, including motorcycles. None of the smaller engines are designed to run on it as your E85 pickup or SUV.

 
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12-21-13, 08:56 AM   #3  
If nonethanol is available in your area any place that sells power equipment should be able to tell you.
There's lots of company's selling additives to counter act the effects of it. Any auto parts store, hardware store, power tool place, even Wal-Mart sells it.

 
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12-21-13, 09:18 AM   #4  
Non-ethanol is actually widely available.

Just get on line and Google for "non-ethanol gas" or "pure gas". There is a U.S. map and by zooming in to your locality, you will find many locations without driving much. - I found one about 4 blocks from me (major regional gas station) that had the normal 15% ethanol and non-ethanol and was putting in tanks for 25% ethanol. I just had to find the right island/pump. That is my place for small engine gas or whatever.

Dick

 
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12-21-13, 09:27 AM   #5  
ethanol gas

Thanks everyone. Big help, non ethanol it is.

 
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12-23-13, 01:29 AM   #6  
I run ethanol based fuel in all my OPE. I use SeaFoam as a stabilizer in all my OPE fuel and haven't had any problems with clogged carbs, cracked fuel lines, etc. I don't even drain the gas prior to off season storage.

Is ethanol based fuel a good thing for small engines? No. But that doesn't mean you have to run out and find non ethanol gas.

In summary, you don't NEED to use non eth gas in your OPE.

Here are some good guidelines:

If you're not going to use all your fuel in 30+ days, use a good fuel stabilizer.
Use quality gas from stations that refill their tanks frequently. I only put Shell gas in my OPE.
Drain fuel prior to off season storage (I don't do this and some will argue that it's actually better to store with stabilized fuel with the tank completely full)

 
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12-23-13, 03:20 AM   #7  
As Woody and Joe has stated using a gas stabilizer is important. Seafoam or Stabil work well. Finding a non ethanol station is not always convenient.
At our store we are required to advise all our customers who buy a lawnmower that a gas additive is recommended by engine manufacturer.

 
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12-23-13, 03:47 AM   #8  
my 2 cents, I use 10% ethanol gas in my mower and any other 'larger' small engine but small engines like my chainsaws and weedeater I make sure I go out of my way to get pure ethanol free gas. I've never had any issues burning ethanol in a mower but have with a chainsaw.


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12-23-13, 08:28 PM   #9  
Maksr, was the fuel in your chainsaw treated with stabilizer? What type of ethanol related problems did you have? Most common problems I hear of are cracked fuel lines and gummed up carbs.

 
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12-24-13, 02:53 AM   #10  
I had a sthil chainsaw that had a bad sparkplug wire. They said I couldn't buy one, had to buy the whole ignition module [$130] just to replace the plug wire. Took 7 weeks for it to come in and then the saw never ran right again. Found out the motor was wore slap out which I had a hard time believing since I had just replaced the original chain and it still had the original bar. I was told the only thing that made sense was the fact that I had always used 10% ethanol. The only time I ever bother with stabilizer is when I know I'm not likely to use it again for awhile although some of the 2 cycle oils I've used have stabilizer in it [or so they say]


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12-24-13, 03:05 AM   #11  
Here's a list of company's that have issued warns about using ethanol fuels.
Maunufacturer Ethanol E10 Fuel Warnings and Precautions.

 
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12-24-13, 03:49 AM   #12  
I have a fairly new Poulan chainsaw and the gas cap has internal threads. Before I knew of the hazards of ethanol gas, I would let the saw sit upright with gas contacting the gas cap. It eventually took a screwdriver and pair of pliers (big) to remove the cap. Then it would never start the threads when I went to put it back on. THAT'S when I discovered the gas-in-a-jar thing at my local shop. Bought a new cap and it worked like a charm. I never run ethanol gas in it anymore and have never had the cap problem. Shop guy said the ethanol would absorb into the plastic and expand it permanently.

Some run their equipment dry at season's end, but I think the carb and other periphery need liquid to maintain pliability, so I use Stabil. I still discard the gas as the seasons start, but I think leaving something in the lines helps to keep the cracking down to a minimum.

Oh, Marksr, do you run anything in your tractor as an additive? Mine is a 1955 Ford 640 and I run Instead-o-lead in it, and find that it runs a bunch smoother, since the engine was produced so long ago.

 
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12-24-13, 04:02 AM   #13  
I used to run instead of lead in my 51 F1 flathead V8 mainly because they said unleaded gas would be hard on the valves. I read 10-15 yrs ago that they decided it was not a factor. Other than an occasional bottle of dry gas or fuel treatment, all I ever put in my 53 NAA is unleaded. The only fuel problems I've ever had with my tractor were related to the failing tank sealer that a previous owner had used. I did replace the carb and have rebuilt it once but I've had the tractor for 22 yrs.

I often find the gas and oil caps on both of my chainsaws too hard to remove without the aid of a screwdriver ...... but then I don't have the grip I used to have either I didn't know there was a chainsaw season I doubt there is ever a month I don't use mine.


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12-24-13, 08:52 AM   #14  
marksr, just curious, what was the model number of the saw you couldn't get a plug wire for. Have a good one. Geo

 
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12-24-13, 09:37 AM   #15  
I think it was either an 024 or 025 ... it's been a few years, I was really disappointed when I found out how hard it was to get parts for it. The closest Sthil dealer said it had to be ordered, should be here by the end of the week - I checked back a week later and they said 'it always takes at least a couple of weeks' They were quick to take my money but then they didn't want anything to do with me

I used to run instead of lead in my 51 F1 flathead V8 mainly because they said unleaded gas would be hard on the valves.
I mis remembered I used the 'instead of lead' for 10 yrs after they quit selling leaded gas. Didn't have anything to do with ethanol. There was a concern that unleaded gas would be hard on the older engines but was later proved to be untrue.


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12-24-13, 01:23 PM   #16  
I checked the IPL for a 025 and the wire and module are one unit, however today replacements on the internet are $30 instead of $130. Have a good one. Geo

 
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12-24-13, 09:06 PM   #17  
A few months ago I couldn't start my 35hp Mercury outboard motor. Turned out to be the fuel pump. I took it apart hoping to repair it (they cost $280). But I had to eventually use a Dremel with metal cutting disk to open it up because the parts would not slide apart like them should have. That's when I discovered that the cause of the fuel pump failure was a hard coating of something sort of tan colored on the inner core of the pump. I figured it was from the ethanol gas. After replacing the pump it ran fine again. But now I just use unleaded, ethanol free premium gas for my outboard, lawn mower, chain saw, blower, and weed eater. For the little I use, the additional cost is nominal. I have not yet found a suitable regular gas without ethanol, but if I do I'll definitely switch to it for my truck.

 
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12-25-13, 02:37 AM   #18  
There are several gas stations in our area that sell ethanol free regular gas. I know locally I can do a search for which stations have ethanol free gas so you might want to give that a try. I don't know if ethanol turns to varnish like the old gas did but it's always been an issue when gas sits unused for an extended period.

however today replacements on the internet are $30 instead of $130
It's been several yrs but when I searched online, I found that I could only get parts from an authorized sthil dealer and only an authorized sthil repair center was allowed to have a repair manual That's the main reason I replaced it with a Husqvarna ..... along with the treatment I received at the local Sthil dealer where I had bought that saw new.


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12-25-13, 08:54 PM   #19  
Regarding the list of lawn equipment companies that warn about using ethanol based fuels: They're basically saying that yes, ethanol attracts moisture and cause problems while sitting unused. It's also a way to deny warranty coverage. "Problem caused by stale gas/ethanol, not covered under warranty". That's why I add Sea Foam to all my OPE gas.

 
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10-06-14, 03:45 AM   #20  
Welcome to the forums morekal!

I don't know a lot about E85 but it's my understanding that the engine is built with different seals/parts, not just an add on kit. I also question the economy of E85 because it produces less power and has a lower mpg.


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