Drain small engine (lawn mower & chainsaw) gas tanks to avoid problems

lawnmower-384589_1280Have you started your mower yet this spring? If it started, you’re lucky because I bet you didn’t the steps you should have to prevent costly repairs to it.  You may have escaped problems this time around, but it may not happen next time.

Lawn mower repair companies are booming with business as consumers walk in befuddled as to why their mower didn’t start.  It has to do with what’s in our gas.  There’s up to 10% ethanol in our gas, and some states don’t tell you about it. In Ohio, there’s no regulation of gas so you have no idea what’s in it including ethanol.

In many states, there are stickers that say “May contain up to 10% ethanol” on the gas pump.  Small engines like lawn mowers and chain saws can’t handle the ethanol. It 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.

The repairs can be costly, and often it’s cheaper to just buy a new machine. The solution is to rotate your gas often and drain it completely when you’re not using a machine for a long period of time.  Just because the gas should no longer sit in your lawn mower, doesn’t mean it can’t be used in your car. We go through so much more gas in our cars it’s not as big a deal. Plus, cars can deal with the ethanol better than small engines.

You can also buy ethanol free gas like MotoMix although it’s 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.

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.


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