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Old 11-04-2015, 04:00 PM   #1
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Small Engine Gas and Winter Storage


Have always used premium gas in my lawn mowers, tillers, chain saws, snow blowers and lawn tractors. Conversation I had with an older gentleman at Home Depot today has me questioning this practice as well as my usual routine for long term storage.
In brief:
He claimed that regular gas was fine IF you used Marine Stabil in the gas, and,
Regarding winter storage he recommended against draining the gas tank since fuel would remain in the lines and carb. He suggested topping it off with stabil treated gas. Didn't think to ask his opinion about running it to dry.
I'm guessing there won't be unanimity of opinion but I've always gotten excellent advice here at DIY and hope to again.
Thanks,
Rob
Jet fuel is also available at a nearby airport but I'd never considered that possibility. Should I???
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Old 11-04-2015, 04:14 PM   #2
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Even if you run them dry until they sputter and die there is still gas in the carburetor bowl and tank to do whatever it wants to do. I prefer them full with whatever specialty juice you like added. My specialty is marvel mystery oil or auto transmission fluid, which ever is handy at the time and do my best to start them about once per month during off season.

I've developed a primer for those difficult to start cold and it saves battery's and starters.

Jet fuel is kerosene. I wouldn't recommend it in a gas engine.
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Old 11-04-2015, 05:08 PM   #3
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I treat my gas with stabilizer, AND run the engine dry at the end of the season. Overkill, but varnish is a pain to deal with.

It seems that I have to pull the carburetor apart every year or so anyway as the ethanol trashes the seals, but I don't ever see any varnish forming.
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Old 11-04-2015, 05:30 PM   #4
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Total waste of money and time using High oxtaine gas.
Use nonethenol fuel instead.
Stabil has no effect on the effects on issues caused from ethenol gas.
Need a real additive that counter acts the effects of the ethenol.
I own 3, weed wackers, 2, chain saws, 2, gas lawn tractors, 1, gas powered two man post hole diggers.
All use nonethenel gas at the end of the year all are ran until there out of fuel everyone starts up first or second pull the next year.
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Old 11-04-2015, 05:45 PM   #5
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There are few "non ethanol" stations anywhere in New England.

Use a fuel stabilizer. I use Briggs and Stratton's brand and have had good luck with it.

I don't drain the tanks. I'd rather they be full so there is less opportunity for condensation.
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Old 11-04-2015, 05:54 PM   #6
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That's the old school way of thinking, every small engine manufacture, outboard manufacture has warnings about ethenol fuel.
Any marina's in my area carry nonethenol 90+ octaine fuel, some gas stations have at least one pump with nonethenol gas, some have two.
There's at least 10 gas stations within 20 miles of my house that sell it.
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Old 11-04-2015, 06:31 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
Any marina's in my area carry nonethenol 90+ octaine fuel, some gas stations have at least one pump with nonethenol gas, some have two.
There's at least 10 gas stations within 20 miles of my house that sell it.
They don't have it here. Different regulations for different parts of the country. We're forced to have ethanol in our fuel like it or not. Best you might find is "racing" fuel at $6+ a gallon.

...and I've never had a problem with ethanol in the fuel.
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Old 11-04-2015, 06:36 PM   #8
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O ring material suitable for ethanol.

http://www.efunda.com/glossary/desig...yl_alcohol.cfm
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Old 11-04-2015, 06:47 PM   #9
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Just like in a car, If the engine is designed to run on regular (basically, a function of the compression ratio), putting high octane gas in it has no benefit, other than premium frequently has more detergent it.

Aviation fuel (for piston engine aircraft) is high octane, but as just mentioned, won't give any benefit. Jet fuel is similar to kerosene and I definitely would not suggest putting that in your lawn mower.

Myself, I don't put any stabilizer in my mower for winter storage, and have never had a problem.
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Old 11-05-2015, 07:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeniorSitizen View Post
Even if you run them dry until they sputter and die there is still gas in the carburetor bowl and tank to do whatever it wants to do. I prefer them full with whatever specialty juice you like added. My specialty is marvel mystery oil or auto transmission fluid, which ever is handy at the time and do my best to start them about once per month during off season.

I've developed a primer for those difficult to start cold and it saves battery's and starters.

Jet fuel is kerosene. I wouldn't recommend it in a gas engine.
*Basically kerosene, ironically my brother in law took it upon him self to mow my yard once. I came home and the mower blowing some white smoke, walked over to the garage and lifted up the gas can.. empty. Went over and asked him what he used for gas, he replied the gas in the blue jug. The blue can is kerosene for my heater. I had had this mower for 12+ years I bought it with money we got from our wedding when we moved in to our first house. I used that mower for another 2+ years until the deck rusted out.

The whole time I had that mower I ran the cheapest gas and only used stabil at the end of the season, topped her off and let her sit outside uncovered.
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Old 11-05-2015, 08:18 AM   #11
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I don't drain any of they seasonal equipment, I just add this and run it for a few minutes to make sure it makes it way to the carb.

http://www.starbrite.com/item/star-t...ategory_id=587





When it comes to benefits of higher octane gas, I think the reason it's often suggested is because it's the only way to get ethanol free gas in alot of parts of this country. Ethanol free gas WILL last longer over storage periods than ethanol, but I'd still highly recommend using a stabilizer with it for more than 3-4 months storage.

Here's a handy link to some of the gas stations through-out the country that carry e-free gas. Looks like there's not many options in Maine, hopefully one of these is close to you:

http://pure-gas.org/index.jsp?stateprov=ME
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Old 11-05-2015, 08:29 AM   #12
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Ethanol free gas in New England is rare and almost impossible to get in the winter. We have E90 gas for a long time in the winter to reduce pollution. (Since the mid 80's) It's still law in most states I believe in this area of the country. It's only recently we have seen E85 . I never noticed ill effects from the E90
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