Small engine technology is constantly changing and to keep up on this technology we regularly attend seminars from the manufacturers.
We are on top of the latest developments to give you reliable information and service.
We hope you find the following information helpful in maintaining your equipment.
What is Ethanol fuel and what will it do to my equipment?
Fuel today contains up to 10 percent ethanol also known as E10. Most modern power equipment is designed to handle E10, but the problems arise when fuel is left to stand for prolonged periods of time. The high amount of oxygen present in ethanol naturally decays gasoline. Even under good conditions, ethanol-blended fuel can deteriorate, causing hard starting and the formation of gum or varnish in your fuel system. Ethanol also attracts water which causes the already corrosive nature of the fuel to become even more corrosive. If enough water is absorbed a condition called "phase separation" will occur. This is more likely to happen over the winter months when the temperature drops below freezing. The reason this is more likely to happen in the winter months is because ethanol can hold more moisture in suspension in warmer temperatures, but over the winter when it gets cold, the ethanol can't hold as much moisture in suspension and phase separation begins. Phase separation looks like water at the bottom of the fuel tank, but it's actually mostly ethanol with a small amount of water. This mixture is extremely corrosive and attacks metal parts and causes rubber parts to stiffen. It can also destroy carburetors and fuel system parts. Very rarely do we see a carburetor that is not affected by ethanol fuel. Mostly, we find that a small particle of corrosion has flaked off and plugged a carburetor jet or passage. The jetting in today's carburetors is very small to meet EPA standards. The next time you staple some papers together look at the thickness of the staple, some carburetors have jets smaller than that, so you can see how easily a jet or passage can get plugged. Luckily, we don't have to replace too many carburetors as we have the tools to clean the jets as well as an ultrasonic cleaning tank and a carburetor dip tank.
So, what can you do as a homeowner to combat the evils of E10 fuel?
Always use fresh fuel by buying only the amount that you think will last for only a few months. The shelf life of gasoline today is about 60 days. After that the combustability starts to deteriorate which causes hard starting in small engines.
It's also advisable to use a stabilizer in the fuel. This will not cure the E10 problem but will help to stop the breakdown of the fuel and stop your fuel from gumming up the carburetor, which we see on equipment that has been using old fuel.
At the end of the season drain the fuel out of the fuel tank and then start the engine and run it until it dies. This will remove fuel from the carburetor. If you prefer, bring in your lawn mower to us at the end of the season and we will service it and winterize it for you. With your snow blower, bring it in at the end of the season and we will service and summerize it.
When you refuel the following season don't use the fuel that's been sitting around in a gas can from last season.
That's usually one of the questions we ask when a customer brings in a piece of equipment with a no start or poor running condition, "How fresh is your fuel?"
Did you know that we carry only one brand of 2 cycle mix for two cycle engines like chainsaws, string trimmers, leaf blowers, etc.? It's called Opti2 and we have been selling this oil for approximately the last 20 years.
Our customers love it and once they use it they always come back for more. For one thing, It's smokeless. Any time you add 2 cycle oil to gasoline it lowers the octane rating of the fuel. So, if you can add a smaller quantity of 2 cycle oil to gasoline and still get superior lubricating and cooling qualities you are ahead of the game. Another feature of this oil is you only need one fuel can for ALL your 2 cycle equipment. That's right! Opti2 oil will work in any 2 cycle equipment regardless of what mix ratio the manufacturer calls for. Our customers like this as many have stated that they used to have several different fuel cans with different ratios for different equipment and now they only need one! Plus, it has a stabilizer in it.