Gas Engine Tips


Here are a few tips and suggestions for handling gas and gas engines.

Ethanol is in most gasoline that you buy today. It's a nasty product that can eat away at carburators and leave deposits and varnish behind. Even fuel injected machines can suffer if left to sit long enough. It is hydroscopic so it absorbs water which further erodes and ruins carburated engines.

1. If using ethanol fuel, try to run the engine dry (if it has a fuel shutoff lever) when you are done using the equipment. Some carburators make it easy to quickly drain the float bowl.

2. There is a website that tracks ethanol free fueling stations. The map will tell you if any are available in your area. Ethanol free fuel, while more expensive, will not damage your carburators and small engines the same way that ethanol gas does. It can last longer in storage as well if treated with a stabilizer.

3. Fuel stabilizer helps keep fuel decent for a few months, but does not help much with the ethanol. I have had stabilized fuel last for a year, but I try not to since it can absorb a lot of water in the ethanol. As gas ages it loses its octane rating, which can cause engine knock.

4. Purchasing a fuel pump (battery operated or otherwise) is a great way to transfer fuel from those new horrible epa compliant gas cans, or to equipment that is difficult to pour into. I use this product: and it pumps at a good rate.

5. Rotating your gas supply into your vehicles is a good way to keep fresh gas on hand. The fuel pump will help make transfer much easier, and you don't lose money on bad gas. I do so about once every 6 months.

6. For two stroke small engines, try to run ethanol free only. You can buy ethanol-free pre-mixed cans of gas at power equipment stores and on amazon as well. These engines are very suspectable to damage from ethanol fuel, and a lot of them are ran infrequently (weed eaters, chain saws).

7. If you have small equipment that is suffering from carburator issues and you don't feel up to fixing it, many towns have a small equipment repair shop. These shops are kept fairly busy by the constant repair costs of ethanol fuel. Often you can get your equipment up and running for not that much money. Motorcycle shops are very busy in the springtime due to failed carburators. The culperit? Ethanol fuel.

8. Power Service Diesel Fuel Supplement can be used in diesel fuel to prevent gelling in the winter. It also contains lubricant for injector pumps that can wear out due to low sulfur diesel that is supplied in the US. Not all diesel sold contains winterizing agents. If you use it year round you don't have to worry about whether you added it or not. Sitting equipment will not suffer from gelled diesel if you use it year-round.

9. If you are sick of the new style gas can spouts, you can still purchase the old style online:

10. If you don't want to mess with purchasing caps, the most reliable gas can I've found are the NoSpill gas cans. They are sold all over and are very easy to operate. They do come at a price however.

11. Spark plugs last a long time. You don't have to waste money on purchasing new ones each season. Air Filters and Oil are great preventive maintenance however. Oil filters as well if your item uses it.