In many parts of the country, it’s time to put your lawn mower away for the winter if you haven’t already. You should have run the equipment until the gas tank is empty before putting the items away for the year. What you may not know is that the gas you use all season long can damage your gardening gear if you aren’t careful, thanks to ethanol.
Ethanol is the plant-derived alcohol that makes up around 10% of the gasoline that we buy at the pump. Cars made in the last few decades can handle that 10% formulation without any trouble, and fuel that’s 15% ethanol will be hitting the streets (hitting the tanks?) soon. While cars manufactured since 2001 will have no problem with the 15% formulation, the smaller gas-powered engines in your lawn tools aren’t so lucky. Higher-ethanol fuel isn’t approved for use in them.
Yes, where you find the E15 fuel, there are warning labels on gas pumps, but they’re probably smaller than the signs advertising the sandwiches and donuts inside the store. They’re easy to miss. If you’ve been filling your home gas tank during regular trips to fuel your car, you may have a bad time.
E10 fuel is okay but not great to use in small engines, but you should add stabilizers just in case. for the discerning lawn ranger, fuel that’s totally ethanol-free is available at the same home store where you probably bought your lawnmower: Home Depot, Sears, Lowe’s, and so on. You can buy a few quarts for the first and last fueling of the year if you find it too pricey.
Don’t put the wrong gas in your mower or blower [Consumer Reports]