Before you put away your lawn mower for the season, there are steps you should take to avoid a costly headache in the spring.
Lawn mower repair companies are booming with business as consumers walk in befuddled as to why their mower don’t start. It has to do with what’s in our gas. Gas now has up to 10% ethanol in it. Perhaps you’ve seen the sticker at the gas pump warning you. It may not mean much to car drivers, but when you use that gas on a small engine that ethanol packs a punch.
Small engines like lawn mowers and chain saws can’t handle the ethanol. The corn-derivative draws moisture, and with time the water droplets clog the lines in your mower and cause rust on your carburetor. This doesn’t take long to happen.
You should only leave gas in your machines for two months at the longest, and that’s if you use a factory recommended stabilizer. Otherwise, the ethanol in the gas can cause problems.
So here’s how to make sure your mower is running next spring:
1. Drain the gas completely before storing it for the season.
2. Buy ethanol free gas like MotoMix
3. Rotate gas every two months during months of use
MotoMix is expensive at around $9 a quart. The manufacturers are trying to come up with new products to deal with this growing problem and new products are continually rolling out on the market.
For now, the two free options (rotating gas and draining it at the end of the season) sound best to me.
This problem is likely only going to get worse. The EPA wants to allow up to 15% ethanol as their studies show many cars can safely use it. There are many critics of adding that much ethanol to gas, but it’s a sign that this issue is not going away.