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View Full Version : Regular gas or premium gas?


alpine692003
02-03-2005, 08:10 PM
Do you guys use regular 87 octane gas for your power equipment or 92 octane and higer?

ie) lawn mowers, hedge trimmers, backpack blowers, edgers, grass trimmers, etc..


My dealer saids to use higher octane 92+ because of less carbon bulid up and will give you more power and a cleaner/smoother running engine..

payup :help:

Rhett
02-03-2005, 08:15 PM
Everything I have in the owners manual requires 87. So that is what it gets

lqmustang
02-03-2005, 08:17 PM
My recommendation is to use whatever the owner's manual tells you to use. Anything more and you are wasting your money. Higher octane fuel does not burn cleaner, or give you more power. Octane is a measure of the fuel's resistance to detonation, meaning that the higher the octane, the harder it is to light the fire. Today's fuels all contain detergents and additives to help keep fuel systems clean. Save your money and get what the product specifies.

alpine692003
02-03-2005, 08:19 PM
Yah, well my manuals said to use 87 octane...

Woody82986
02-03-2005, 08:23 PM
as goes the manual...87 octane it be...

lwcmattlifter
02-03-2005, 08:27 PM
All my Stihl and Echo manuals call for 89. I have never had a problem with using 87.

rodfather
02-03-2005, 09:09 PM
Just recently I was told if you use Echo equipment, you should be using 92 octane...dunno about all the others?

Eddie B
02-03-2005, 09:25 PM
The carb went on my echo trimmer... I had used 87 in it for a couple years. Dealer recommended using 89 and above. I now use the 87 in the mowers, 89 on the echo trimmers.

alpine692003
02-03-2005, 09:32 PM
I see, I am just going to use 92 octane for everything..

Screw the 87..

DR Lawn & Landscape
02-03-2005, 09:37 PM
I have torn down engines that have had both oct fuels ran through them, and the chamber, top of piston, and valves and head all look pretty close to each other . I would agree with others run what manual says, just on the basis that when it comes to warranty work they always look for an excuse

TClawn
02-03-2005, 09:51 PM
I run my trimmers on 89 octane and my mowers on 87. take a look at the shindaiwa manual. they say that your not supposed to use 92 octane, it has an additive that is bad for the engine.

proenterprises
02-03-2005, 09:55 PM
i have always run 87 octane. mostly for price reasons, but based on what people are now saying, i may run 89 in the trimmers.

the scaper
02-03-2005, 10:41 PM
I run mid grade fuel and prescribed oils in everything , engine or carburation problems have been almost non existent.

Popper357
02-03-2005, 10:58 PM
higher compression engines require higher octane fuels, All my lawn equipment works on regulars gas. A mechanic told me to use premium in the mower when it's above a hundred outside to keep the engine cooler, other than that, nothing a lawn business uses needs premium unless it's specified. It will be specified if it needs it.

My Honda XR is a higher compression engine than any lawn equipment I own and it requires premium per owners manual. Any race vehicle should use high octanes. If your engine is pinging, it needs a higher octane. Things like ATV's, motorcycles and race vehicles with race pistons need high octane. I know some guys who use 102 octane in thier motorcycles and it makes a nice difference. Some you have to use the 102, its about four bucks a gallon. Yikes!

QualityLawnCare4u
02-03-2005, 11:17 PM
I use 93 octane in all my 2 cycle equipment and 87 in the mowers. I can tell the difference on the echo when I used 87 octane.

alpine692003
02-03-2005, 11:28 PM
I use 93 octane in all my 2 cycle equipment and 87 in the mowers. I can tell the difference on the echo when I used 87 octane.

Really eh? I think I might start using 92 octane starting this season on all my equipment..

lwcmattlifter
02-03-2005, 11:41 PM
What kind of difference do you guys notice? Easier to start? Consumption? Runs smother? I may have to give premium a shot if thats the case. I tried it before and could not tell much of a difference.

QualityLawnCare4u
02-04-2005, 12:01 AM
Really eh? I think I might start using 92 octane starting this season on all my equipment..

Alpine, on my weedeaters when I ran the 87 octane they would bog down in thick grass. With the 93 octane did not bog down as bad and were also easier to crank.

truenorthlandscaping
02-04-2005, 12:40 AM
I've been to a couple small engine seminars over the last few years. The ECHO rep did a darn good job of convincing everyone there to stay away from 87 as a general rule. To keep it simple, we've taken a middle of the road approach & put 89 in everything.

KINGjosh
02-04-2005, 12:41 AM
I run everything the manual says to!

Scag48
02-04-2005, 02:23 AM
Now I don't know about power equipment in regards to octane but it does burn better in cars, dirt bikes, etc. I know for a fact it will make your dirtbike go faster, put 106 octane racing fuel in there, basically like riding a rocket. Not quite the same as 92, but you get the idea. Personally I run 87 in my equipment, makes no difference to me. These engines are so small that the extra octane isn't going to get much more burn out of your extra .20 a gallon.

lqmustang
02-04-2005, 08:42 AM
I must say, all these perceived benefits of running higher octane fuel just amaze me. The fuel companies have done such a wonderful job of marketing higher octane fuel that so many people will make up reasons on why they need it. Higher compression, supercharged, and turbocharged engines usually require a higher octane, but they will also list the correct octane to run. High altitude areas might actually require a lower octane for proper performance. Using higher octane fuel doesn't do much more than putting extra money in the pocket of the gas station. Once again, all you need is what is recommended in the owners manual. Profit margin on regular 87 is very low, but because the cost of the high octane fuel is marginally more than 87, that extra ten to twenty cents you are paying for premium fuel become mostly profit for the retailer. Trust me, I spent many years working in the retail fuel industry.

timturf
02-04-2005, 08:44 AM
My recommendation is to use whatever the owner's manual tells you to use. Anything more and you are wasting your money. Higher octane fuel does not burn cleaner, or give you more power. Octane is a measure of the fuel's resistance to detonation, meaning that the higher the octane, the harder it is to light the fire. Today's fuels all contain detergents and additives to help keep fuel systems clean. Save your money and get what the product specifies.

Follow engine recommendations, but I have found the 2 cycle oil mix engines require a higher octane

No cheap gas, the high end stuff, exxon, shell ect, have better additives and woth the extra 3-5 cents per gallon, especial in the smaller engines!

meathead1134
02-04-2005, 01:20 PM
I run everything the manual says to!
same here

I do the same exact thing

proenterprises
02-04-2005, 02:13 PM
somthing that i was just thinking about. when you are at the pump and you--say put 87 in the mowers, you have to stop the pump and start a whole new transaction in order to switch grades of gas. correct?

chefdrp
02-04-2005, 02:15 PM
i use 87..........

Eddie B
02-04-2005, 02:17 PM
depends on the pump... you can switch grades of gas on the same transaction as long as you don't put the pump handle back on the pump. (one handle for all 3 grades)

proenterprises
02-04-2005, 02:19 PM
depends on the pump... you can switch grades of gas on the same transaction as long as you don't put the pump handle back on the pump. (one handle for all 3 grades)


okay, on some stations aroudn here, there is a different nozzle for each different grade. never made sense to me why they would do this, seems easier to have one, especially so the gardes can be swithced.

lqmustang
02-04-2005, 02:41 PM
okay, on some stations aroudn here, there is a different nozzle for each different grade. never made sense to me why they would do this, seems easier to have one, especially so the gardes can be swithced.

Easy answer. The stations that have a different hose for each product has separate storage for each grade of fuel offered. Those that have one hose for all products only need to store the low and high grade fuels. All the middle grades are created from blending the high and low product at the pump.

Also, unless there is new technology I'm not aware of, I don't think you can change grades in the middle of a transaction. You would likely need to finish the sale for one grade, then start new for a second grade.

KathysLGC
02-04-2005, 02:53 PM
I made a bet with a good Ford mechanic and he said if I stored gas in a gas container it would be stale by the summer unless it was 87. So we did the test. My 87 against his 92 and guess what? No difference. They both started equipment as if the gas was new. I've ran a number of tests on my own with different grades of gas and i think brand is more important then octane but I did notice my BP blower runs better/smoother with higher octane gas. i also noticed the gain isn't worth the cost.

turf9
02-04-2005, 03:02 PM
1. when truck tank is dry go to same service station ( big enough to accommodate all my stuff (truck and trailer + no new vendor entry in the accounting software)
2. pour out right amount of Quality 2cycle oil into mixed gas Jerry can then fill it up using gas pump as the measuring device.
3. fill up big mower and large Jerry can with straight gas
4. fill up truck till i get bored of seeing my money getting taken away from me usually I get bored around $70
5. Cut lawns and bushes for 5 days

All this with cheapest gas possible 87proof no changing grades for any of them. Life is to short to hang around the gas station paying more than I need to.
This has been the routine for over 6 years now none of the equipment has ever complained about what I'm feeding it.

Hope this insight really comes in handy Apline now get to work ( To the top )

yrdandgardenhandyman
02-04-2005, 04:33 PM
89 octane has ethanol in it. Should you run ethanol through these engines? I was told by my dealer that the alcohol would damage parts of the carburetors.

lqmustang
02-04-2005, 04:55 PM
Just because a fuel is labeled 89 octane does not mean there is or is not ethanol in the fuel. Some stations blend with ethanol, some don't. I'm sure if you ask the manager at your particular location they would be happy to tell you if they do or do not use an ethanol blend. Both of them will also tell you why their's is better. :rolleyes:

Now to the 'is alcohol bad for my equipment' bit. This turns into a yes and no answer. If the fuel you are purchasing is blended with ethanol, there should be no problems. Ethanol mixes very well with gasoline. It also burns cleaner, reducing emissions. It is also a renewable resource, so you are helping the environment by using ethanol blended fuels. Ethanol will also help keep your fuel systems clean and moisture free. Most manuals will tell you that it is ok to run a blended fuel up to 10% ethanol. (Another note, if your station says they have 'winterized' fuel, chances are the winterizer is ethanol)

Now for the bad. If you see that the fuel is blended with methanol (very uncommon) stay away from it like the plague. Methanol is corrosive, especially to your rubber fuel lines and gaskets. It also has a tendency to separate from the gasoline if proper additives are not mixed in correctly.

alpine692003
02-04-2005, 05:01 PM
It's good to see why we all use different types of gas..

yrdandgardenhandyman
02-04-2005, 07:03 PM
[QUOTE=lqmustang]Just because a fuel is labeled 89 octane does not mean there is or is not ethanol in the fuel. Some stations blend with ethanol, some don't. I'm sure if you ask the manager at your particular location they would be happy to tell you if they do or do not use an ethanol blend. Both of them will also tell you why their's is better. :rolleyes:

I am in Iowa and around my area, you can't get 89 octane that isn't ethanol blended. All places you have a choice of 87 octane reg unleaded, 89 octane ethanol blended unleaded or 92 octane super clean unleaded. In my town, at least, methanol blend hasn't been available for over 5 years and then it was only 1 station, that had a heavy farmer clientele, that offered methanol.

TMlawncare
02-04-2005, 07:16 PM
We have always used 87 octane in all of our work trucks and equipment. To use any higher octane is just a waste of profits. These engines are not designed for high octane gas. The only engines that benifit from high octane fuel are european cars they are designed for 98ron (93-94octane) because they run higher compression and a more agressive timing curve. Put any of the craptane in those and they won't run for nothing. Turbo engines are low to mid compression with lots of timing and boost, they need lots of octane. Lawn equipment is designed for cheap gas 87/89 octane, anything more is a waste. One of the biggest misconceptions about high octane fuel is that you will get more power. If you take a 2001 chevy truck that requires 87 octane and you put 93 octane in it, you will only see a fraction of a difference. If you change the ecu to compensate for that high octane gas (i.e. advance timing, etc.) you will see substantial gains. Just using high octane gas, no adjustments = no real performance gains.

WildLake
02-04-2005, 07:48 PM
Exmark former dealer once told me to use the highest octain available, "burns cooler and cleaner" he said. He must have owned a share of the station down the street. My current dealer says B.S, I stick with the low grade stuff.

Shadetree Ltd
02-04-2005, 08:28 PM
Shindaiwa service rep said that these engines are able to run on much worse/dirtier fuel than we will ever run in them. He said that the octane levels in south america and other parts of the world where they sell these engines is nowhere near as high or quality as our 87 octane. The higher octane might burn cleaner or better but only marginally so in his opinion and not worth the added expence.

Scott

PS I have ran 87 since the early 90's with no problems.

alpine692003
02-04-2005, 10:11 PM
Alright SCott,

Since you are in the same area as I am, I think I'll stick with the 87 octane in all my equipment then.

weve
02-05-2005, 12:23 AM
Here is some info on fuels from a Turf Magazine article in 2003:

FUELS BULLETIN

Turf Magazine Nov.2003

"Most OPE manufacturers recommend 30 days as a recommended shelf life for gasoline. If used in extreme high temperature conditions and stored in an above ground fuel container, we would shorten that to one week maximum. Use of compounds such as Sta-Bil can extend the shelf life of gasoline for as long as one year.

Alcohols (methanol and ethanol) are chemically unstable in gasoline. They do not want to stay mixed due to the hygroscopic effect when water is present. Alcohol readily absorbs water to the extent that it will combine with water and, then as the heavier component, it sink to the bottom of the tank. The alcohol also acts as a degreasing agent and washes the protective lubrication film off of components, leading to rust, corrosion and the potential for accelerated wear. It can also lead to deterioration of gaskets, grommets, fuel lines, etc.

Fuel recommendations:

Use fresh fuel with at least a 91 octane rating.
Use name-brand fuel that has given good performance in your area.
Avoid cut-rate economy brands."

Shadetree Ltd
02-05-2005, 12:59 AM
To add to weve just posted, the service guy said the most important factors considering fuel were to make sure it is fresh, buy from a reputable station and to stay away from the alcohol blended fuels.

Scott

alpine692003
02-05-2005, 01:05 AM
Shadetree - check your private messages on here..

Greenstar Services
02-05-2005, 01:25 AM
Well Alpine did you figure out what to run on. We use 89 in all machines. I find the fuel economy is up in the way of hour time. And by that I mean we run longer before having to fill up.

alpine692003
02-05-2005, 01:44 AM
Ya, I think I'll just use mid grade 89 for everything ...


:sleeping:

timturf
02-05-2005, 07:55 AM
Here is some info on fuels from a Turf Magazine article in 2003:

FUELS BULLETIN

Turf Magazine Nov.2003

"Most OPE manufacturers recommend 30 days as a recommended shelf life for gasoline. If used in extreme high temperature conditions and stored in an above ground fuel container, we would shorten that to one week maximum. Use of compounds such as Sta-Bil can extend the shelf life of gasoline for as long as one year.

Alcohols (methanol and ethanol) are chemically unstable in gasoline. They do not want to stay mixed due to the hygroscopic effect when water is present. Alcohol readily absorbs water to the extent that it will combine with water and, then as the heavier component, it sink to the bottom of the tank. The alcohol also acts as a degreasing agent and washes the protective lubrication film off of components, leading to rust, corrosion and the potential for accelerated wear. It can also lead to deterioration of gaskets, grommets, fuel lines, etc.

Fuel recommendations:

Use fresh fuel with at least a 91 octane rating.
Use name-brand fuel that has given good performance in your area.
Avoid cut-rate economy brands."

In this article, what kind of engine were they talking about?
2 cycle, small hp for small equipment ( 21" to wb), large engines for ztr, or tractor engines, skid steers , or etc, or our gas and desiel engines in our trucks?

truenorthlandscaping
02-05-2005, 01:04 PM
One more response & then I'm not spending any more time on this thread. To have a fair discussion about wether it matters or not, it needs to be acknowledged that 2cycle & 4cycle are COMPLETELY different animals. Higher octane make a difference in your 95 Ford? Probably not. In your ECHO/STIHL/REDMAX trimmers, blowers, etc. ? You better believe it.

weve
02-05-2005, 06:54 PM
timturf,

In reply to your question about engine type and size regarding the Turf Magazine article on fuels.

The article was in the Turf Tech section of Turf Magazine. I found the complete article and it began by talking about the changes in the gasoline of today compared to 10 or 15 years ago and farther back. The article states that in the 1950s, about 28 percent of a barrel of crude was refined into gasoline. Today 45 percent to 75 percent of a barrel is refined into gasoline. One effect of this is the shortening of the shelf life of gasoline.

The article did not talk about engine size or type in its fuel recommendations.

timturf
02-06-2005, 06:35 AM
timturf,

In reply to your question about engine type and size regarding the Turf Magazine article on fuels.

The article was in the Turf Tech section of Turf Magazine. I found the complete article and it began by talking about the changes in the gasoline of today compared to 10 or 15 years ago and farther back. The article states that in the 1950s, about 28 percent of a barrel of crude was refined into gasoline. Today 45 percent to 75 percent of a barrel is refined into gasoline. One effect of this is the shortening of the shelf life of gasoline.

The article did not talk about engine size or type in its fuel recommendations.Thanks weve!!!