Ethanol Continues to Cause Costly Repairs in Outdoor Power Equipment

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Today's equipment is far more complex and precise to meet environmental and noise regulations. 
When they are functioning as designed, they are extremely productive and efficient.
 
All lawnmowers and chainsaws. They all use gasoline for fuel, and this brings up ethanol, that additive that can be good and bad.
 
Ethanol is promoted as a means to make oil supplies go further. 
 
Ethanol is made from vegetation, and corn is a primary source. Growing corn for making ethanol has been a boost to agricultural interests. 
 
Ethanol works well in vehicles and usually in big outboards of late manufacture but not so well in small engines. 
The small motors struggle with ethanol filled fuels. Extended use and prolonged storage may create damage.
 
If you couldn’t start your weed whacker, push or riding mower or chainsaw after it sat for several months, chances are ethanol is to blame – unless you drained the tank and used an additive in fuel mixes last season.
 
 
The corrosive effects of ethanol alcohol can play havoc with small carburetor tubes and other parts of small engines.
 
Many folks in our area have learned to live with the ethanol problem by two or three methods.
 
One is to seek out ethanol-free gasoline. Yes, a few stations carry it. Buy a supply, and it should get you through the season unless you do a lot of yard work.
 
Several brands are available at auto parts outlets. The additives may seem pricey, but just a small amount takes care of a gallon of gas-oil mix, and you don’t have to worry about the ethanol issue.
 
An extensive study of ethanol in small engines has been done by Scott Frazier, a professor at Oklahoma State University. 
 
He concludes, in general, that outboard and other small engine users can live with ethanol in their fuel by following precautions such as the use of additives and by draining fuel tanks if the engines are not in use for several weeks or over winter. He adds that tanks should be drained whether or not ethanol is in the fuel.
 
Some forms of gasoline these days are labeled E10 and touted to be safe for any motors. 
 
 
This means there is no more than 10 percent ethanol in the gasoline. Frazier says, in many words, “maybe.” In layman terms, don’t bet the homestead on E10 being all right to use in small engines any time and anyhow.
 
 
Frazier brings out another point. Fuel in idle engines may have water separating from gasoline, even in tiny amounts. This water creates damage. Parking a boat motor or a lawnmower under a tree or under a tarpaulin increased the chances of water appearing, he adds.
 
Here are 4 things you can do to avoid ethanol damage on your equipment
 
1. ALWAYS USE PREMIUM FUEL.
Regular gas has upwards of 10%+ Ethanol whereas premium gas has traces, if any at all.
 
2. USE FRESH GAS. DO NOT STORE GAS FOR EXTENDED PERIODS.
Untreated regular gas has a lifespan of 30 days.  
 
3. STORE EQUIPMENT IN DRY, COVERED AREAS.
By simply protecting your units from the bad weather, you avoid a lot of unnecessary rust and wear.
 
 
4. ADD ENZYME BASED GAS STABILIZER.
Gas Stabilizer helps prolong the life and concentration of your gas.  The fresher the gas, the better and longer your machine will run, maintenance free.
 
At Alpine, Our goal is to help you keep your equipment running smoothly and effectively. By doing a few simple steps every year you can save yourself a lot of time, aggravation and money.  If you have a unit that needs some maintenance we will be happy to help you.    
 
Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
 

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