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Lawn mower repair problems
Repair companies are booming with business as consumers walk in befuddled as to why their mower don’t start. It has to do with what’s in our gas. Gas now has up to 10% ethanol in it. Perhaps you’ve seen the sticker at the gas pump warning you. It may not mean much to car drivers, but it does if you’re putting that ethanol gas in a small engine like a lawnmower. Ethanol gas damages lawnmowers if you’re not careful.
Small engines like lawn mowers and chain saws can’t handle the ethanol. The corn-derivative draws moisture, and with time the water droplets clog the lines in your mower and cause rust on your carburetor. This doesn’t take long to happen.
Ethanol gas damages lawn mowers
You should only leave gas in your machines for two months at the longest, and that’s if you use a factory recommended stabilizer. Otherwise, the ethanol in the gas can cause problems.
Toro, a leading lawn mower manufacturer, recommends you only buy enough fuel for 30 days. They point out that the gas deteriorates over time leaving behind brown, gummy deposits. Those deposits eventually plug your lawn mower parts. That’s a problem regardless of fuel type.
If you use gas with 10% ethanol, which is standard, you’ll have more problems. Ethanol gas damages lawnmowers. Here’s why. Toro points out that the ethanol fuel absorbs water from the atmosphere causing the corrosion.
If you use a stabilizer, add it to the gas the day you buy it. Don’t wait. According to Toro, the stabilizer works by reducing the evaporation rate.
If you don’t take precautions when you buy and add the fuel to your lawn mower, the repairs will cost you. Sometimes the repair bill is almost as much as buying a new mower.
3 lawn mower storage tips
Since ethanol gas can damage a lawn mower, there are steps you should take before winter to make sure your mower is running next spring:
- Drain the gas completely before storing it for the season
- Buy ethanol free gas like MotoMix or Pre-blended fuel
- Rotate gas every two months during months of use
Pre-blened fuel and ethanol free gas like MotoMix will cost more money than regular gas, but they will save you hundreds in repair bills if you are not in the habit of rotating gas frequently.
This problem is likely only going to get worse. The EPA wants to allow up to 15% ethanol as their studies show many cars can safely use it. There are many critics of adding that much ethanol to gas, but it’s a sign that this issue is not going away.