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Basic Question: Ethanol and Octane in Lawn care equipment.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by carefullawnservice, Jul 19, 2013.

  1. carefullawnservice

    carefullawnservice LawnSite Member
    Posts: 1

    All my new lawn care equipment says to use octane 90+ from the gas pump.
    I wonder if this octane level is the same as ethanol levels.

    I ask because I have purchased the lowest unleaded fuel mixed with 2 cycle as required in my equipment. My old boss says to use ethanol treatment in my gas since the gas at the pumps now days eat up your engines.

    Is this 2 cycle basic fuel mixture treatment for octane and ethanol or something else? Also if I go to home depot and buy this blue ethanol treatment (the expensive kind), can this be mixed with the 2 cycle?

    Or you can just suggest what I need to do to make it easy for myself. I want to do the best thing for my new equipment.

  2. Marshmallow

    Marshmallow LawnSite Senior Member
    from IL
    Posts: 329

  3. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,984

    Ethanol is not there to change the octane.

    All three grades at the pump all contain 10% ethanol.

    Air cooled engine manufacturers are now recommending 89 octane. Which is the mid grade because the 89 will help the air cooled engines to run cooler then using 87.

    I have never had an ethanol problem. I never put additives into my gas. I only use national name brand 2 stroke oil in my mixed gas.
  4. ncpete

    ncpete LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 282

    I use the highest pump octane available, and if you search, you may find stations that offer alcohol free fuels. The alcohol leads to premature degradation of fuel lines, and carb parts. One solution is to buy the higher quality canned fuels available through your equipment distributor, or local home center. Many of the "fuel treatments" include additional alcohol.

    I don't concern myself with the alcohol too much, extra fuel lines are pretty cheap.
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2013
  5. Curtis

    Curtis LawnSite Member
    Posts: 162

    I use Startron and 89 octane works for me.
  6. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,757

    I use 87 in my mowers. I was using 89 (which has ethanol) in my handhelds, but have had issues with carburetors and things like the priming bulbs, so this year I switched over to no ethanol premium for all my mix gas. Time will tell if it actually makes any difference. I don't normally use an additive like Startron, except for winter storage, but many swear by it, and I certainly don't think it hurts anything.

    I think some issues arise dependent upon how much you use your equipment. If you are burning multiple tanks of fuel each week, you are much less likely to have issues than someone like a homeowner who only buys fresh fuel once or twice a season.
  7. 1070ryan

    1070ryan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    So basically, either use high octance (due to lower levels of crud) to keep your engine running smoother, longer. OR run 100% pure gasoline which I try to do simply based on the lower operating temperatures this will result in. This is based on multiple discussions of auto forums you can find out there, mostly regarding 100% pure gasoline and its benefits.

    Ive ran this in my trimmer and blower, and they have had no mechanical issues. In fact, my blower starts first pull everytime...... They're 11 years old now
  8. weeze

    weeze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,878

    everywhere that sales no ethanol only has it in 87 octane. so that is your only choice going that route. it's only available at cheap corner gas stations here or there but not all of them.

    if you run ethanol gas get good quality gas like chevron, shell, exxon, bp, etc. not cheap corner gas stations and use 89 octane or higher.
  9. ncpete

    ncpete LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 282

    not sure where he is getting that info, I have seen stations offering ethanol-free gas for their mid-grade and super blends, too.
  10. 1070ryan

    1070ryan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    I can get 89, 91, and 93 octane 100% pure gas as well.... Always use it in my motorcycle as well. Seqrch on the Internet and im sure you can find local, pure gasoline

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