Ethanol at 10% has ruined all my small engines on my yard equipment. The engines surge constantly and eventually lose power and quit. I’ve had to change carburetors every 2 to 5 years. At that age, the carbs and surrounding areas are always wet with gas caused by the rubber deterioration. The ethanol also has an affinity for water and I’ve seen rust in the bowls of the carbs that were replaced. The shop I go to now sells two stroke engine fuel (gas + oil premixed) without ethanol plus some inhibitors in quart-size sealed metal cans for $22/gallon! (sic) I’m actually trying it on my string trimmer. Next step is to go to the nearby marina and buy marine gas which apparently does not have ethanol in it.
The equipment shops are besieged with complaints about engine problems and life these days.
This is the biggest boondoggle ever and does nothing for the air, for fuel economy, for equipment maintenance costs and diverts precious arable land to growing fuel crops. It is pure insanity. If only we had politicians with the balls to stop this crap.
>> Ethanol at 10% has ruined all my small engines on my yard equipment &etc
Wow. I feel like you’ve been looking over my shoulder or something. This has been my small engine experience as well, right down to the eight dollar a quart “moto-mix”! Thanks for the marine fuel tip though. I wonder if aviation gas is similarly free of ethanol.
>> It is pure insanity.
Yep. At least my truck and farm equipment are all diesel; even so, I’ve been seeing “10% bio-diesel” stickers on some fuel pumps, Wal-Mart’s for example, so that damned green revolution even infecting diesel. Biodiesel is hard on certain rubber components too. At least biodiesel’s lubricity is better than the typical ultra-low-sulfur diesel you buy at the pump, so you get *some* benefit from it.
You have my sympathy on the small engine problems with your yard gear. So far, I've had no problems with my 2 year to 6 month old engines and hope that holds up.
I will say though that it is BS on the engine manufacturer's part that they have apparently not done the small specification changes (mainly materials used for elastomers, fuel lines and such). Whoever is working on your engines should be up on the exact materials needed and just switch out his replacement parts inventory, unless he is just trying to assure a greater amount of repeat business. 10 or 15 years ago when ethanol in gasoline was phasing in, I can understand the tangled up mess of fuel system materials and incompatibilities, no excuse now though.
If you have a drag strip or airport close by, it would be lots cheaper to get some racing grade fuel or aviation gas than that outrageous $22/gallon stuff. Robbery!
I bought a new lawn mower last year and I've had to replace the spark plug and take the carb out and clean it.
I put the additive into the gas to keep it from doing a vapor lock but this ethanol really destroys these engines that are only used on occasions.
My snow blower coughs and sputters and it is because of the ethanol.
Try Startron fuel treatment. This is a blue liquid that you should be able to buy at your local Stihl small engine dealer. The only other one that works is the Marine Grade of Stabil fuel treatment. These two I have found to be the best products to eliminate the ethanol problems.
However, the only foolproof cure is to empty all the fuel out of your small engines IF they are going to sit for more than 2-3 weeks. Never leave fuel in a machine ,even with stablizer for more than a month. I dump the fuel back into the can and run them dry. In the case of a snowblower/lawn tractor make sure you drain the bowl on the carburator and then run them dry. You may have to prime them to get them going again but it will elimate rebuilding of carburators and dissolving of fuel lines.
My 2 Cents from years of experience and mutual frustrations.
Lastly, Zama and Walburton carbs are so cheap now, it is usually cheaper to replace them than try rebuilding them.
General aviation/local airport