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Ethanol gasoline blends are becoming more prevalent at the pump. In fact, recently the EPA raised the allowable ethanol limit to 15 percent for some motor vehicles. But right now, millions of lawn mowers, snow blowers and other lawn and garden products are in use throughout the U.S., which were not designed to run on fuel blends containing more than 10 percent ethanol. So, what can you do?
#1 Minimize the Ethanol
Well, number one: Try to find gas without any ethanol possible. But again, make sure you never exceed 10% to cut down on the amount of moisture that gets absorbed.
#2 Keep the Fuel Fresh
Only buy enough for 30 days or less and add a fuel stabilizer the first day you get it. Toro offers a premium fuel treatment that could be purchased through a dealer or online.
#3 Get the Right Gas
Get the right gas. Buy only unleaded gas with a minimum 87 octane rating.
#4 Empty the Fuel Tank
Toro recommends that you run the mower until the gas is completely gone after your last mow of the season before storing it for the winter. Here’s why:
Fuel, especially when it contains ethanol, absorbs water from the air and water can cause corrosion in the fuel system. It really can’t be prevented since most carburetors and gas tanks are vented and air will always get in. Plus, fuel deteriorates over time. Basically the most volatile compounds start evaporating first and once those are gone it can be hard to start the engine. And once enough of the fuel evaporates, it frequently leaves gummy deposits, which then harden. These deposits can plug up the fuel system.
There are lots of other handy fuel tips on Toro’s website, so go check them out at Toro.com/fuelfacts.