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TechLauren 01-31-2011 02:54 PM

Gas Jelly in snowblower - make it stop
When I bought my home many years ago, my dad, who is gone now, bought me a used Simplicity 870 (8hp/28") snowblower. I do not love this machine but I do need it. The problem is, when I go to use it, it will not start even after being serviced by a reliable place over the summer.

I do not think it is the fault of the machine which, while old, I do see in use everywhere even commercially.

My problem is jelly gas. And since people I have tried to ask for help have denied the existence of jelly gas, here is a nice photo of it taken an hour ago with 3" snot strings hanging out of my nose and gas and carb cleaner soaked into my skin up to my elbows. Pretty much exactly where I don't want to be on a winter's day.

Please anyone how can I avoid this happening?

I live in Wisconsin all the gas is 10% ethanol but I have access to rural unreformulated and Milwaukee reformulated of any brand or grade.

I have Gold Eagle brand original STA-BIL and Iso-HEET and while I find these items to be of small use in extending the longevity of gas in my 6 gal plastic can in the warm months, I find them to be of zero use in the prevention or treatment of jelly gas in winter.

I have some Briggs & Stratton gasoline additive for 2&4 cycle engines that I use in my riding mower only. I honestly have not tried it in the snowblower.

This is my only cold weather machine. I have several warm weather machines I never experience this issue with.

The snowblower has a shut off. All I can do is make sure I shut the gas off and run it dry and make sure the gas is never more than 2 weeks old in winter but it's kinda hard to go get gas when the whole point is you need to snowblow the driveway to get out! After I had it serviced this summer, the guy did not shut off the gas and I didn't think to check it and when I went to use it, nothing, carb bowl all jelly.

nap 01-31-2011 03:07 PM

it is a combination of the 10% ethanol in the gas you buy and then some additional water contamination on top of what is typically in gasoline you buy. It causes the ethanol to settle out of the gasoline, mix with the water, and you end up with that jelly.

Popular Mechanics Feb '11 has an article on this exact problem. I can't find it on their website.

their best solution was to avoid storing gasoline. Avoid storing equipment with gasoline in the tank.

If you can get 100% gasoline, it would go a long way to preventing that

TechLauren 01-31-2011 04:53 PM

Thank you very much. I just got 3 fresh gallons and doped it up with stabil. If I do not get my promised 12" of snow, I will dump that mess in my car and look for real gas and be thankful I live where I can still probably get it!

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