What Type of Fuel Should You Use in Your Outdoor Power Equipment? What You Don’t Know Can Cause Damage to Your Engine

While ethanol-blended fuels have been widespread at fuel pumps for quite some time now, people are still unsure what type of fuel they can safely use in their outdoor power equipment. According to a recently conducted survey* in March 2016, 42 percent aren’t sure what kind of fuel they are using in their outdoor power equipment and 22 percent report that they don’t pay any attention to the fuel they use. Additionally, 60 percent say that any gas sold at a gas station must be safe for all of their cars or power equipment.

These are concerning results considering gasoline that contains greater than 10 percent ethanol is illegal to use and can wreak havoc with small engines in lawn mowers, chain saws, generators and even recreational power equipment including motorcycles, boats and utility vehicles. The ethanol in E10, E15 and E85 fuels attracts water, which separates from the fuel in the gas tank and can cause corrosion and rust – making it hard for your engine to start.

The OPEI has been trying to educate folks at the pump with their Look Before You Pump campaign, but according to the survey, only 24 percent of Americans look at the ethanol content and half of them don’t even look at warning labels.

We will continue to work with key industry organizations like the OPEI to help educate the owners of outdoor power equipment, but one way for equipment owners to proactively combat the impacts of ethanol-blended fuel, or stale gasoline is to treat it with fuel stabilizer. It’s a good habit that every time you fill your gas can, treat your fuel.

*The survey was conducted on behalf of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) by Harris Poll in March 2016 among more than 2,000 adults

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