The most common equipment failures in our shop are related to the fuel system. Old gas has never been a friend of lawn equipment, but current EPA regulations on carburetors and the ethanol in today's pump gas has magnified the need to properly maintain your fuel. As always, be sure to consult your owners manual for the manufacturers' recommendations specific to your equipment. Links to manufacturer-specific recommendations are below.
Our current recommendations:
1. All small engine equipment should be stored with a non-ethanol fuel if the machine will not be used for a period of 30 days or more.
2. Only use fuel in your equipment that is 30 days old or less.
3. Add a stabilizer to your gas as soon as you purchase it. Stabilizer can only slow gas deterioration; it cannot reverse it.
4. Consider using only non-ethanol fuel in equipment that is used infrequently and/or for short periods of time.
5. Make sure your gas can is clean and free of debris. Be sure to keep the can sealed when not in use. We recommend and sell the no-spill can.
1. Where can I find ethanol-free fuel?
Ethanol free fuel can be purchased at Arco and other equipment dealers and some home improvement stores. The highest quality brands are manufactured without ethanol and have a long term stabilizer. The VP brand can be stored in your equipment for up to two years. Sometimes non-ethanol fuel can be found outside of large metropolitan areas and near marinas at the pump. The Pure Gas app shows stations with ethanol free fuel.
2. My stabilizer additive claims to prevent ethanol damage. Can I just store my equipment with stabilized fuel?
Most stabilizer products claims effectiveness at preventing ethanol damage and suggest equipment can be stored for long periods of time. We have not been able to test this ourselves, but many customers with ethanol damage in the carburetors have claimed that they used a stabilizer. Manufacturers will also not warranty ethanol failures even if a stabilizer with the same manufacturers brand was used. However, we recommend storing the machine however the manufacturer recommends you store it.