Gas Treatment

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by Bigfish8, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. Bigfish8

    Bigfish8 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 56

    We homeowners face an issue that the commercial operators are unlikely to have problems with and that is ethanol related fuel issues. We run our mowers and then they sit a week before they get used again. Ethanol containing gas quickly breaks down and plays heck with carbs. What ethanol gas treatment have you found to be most effective? I have been using Star Brite and I have been told that SeaFoam is an excellent product.
  2. ZeroSignal

    ZeroSignal LawnSite Member
    Posts: 38

    I use the blue Sta-bil and higher octane fuel. no issues
  3. dwost

    dwost LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,666

    sea foam :)
  4. Valk

    Valk LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,711

    This site shows 3 stations in Raleigh that offer ethanol-free of which is 87 octane and the other two are both 93 octane.

    I only run premium in my mixed fuel for all my 2 strokes...and 87 does just fine in my KAWI mower engines.

    MS_SURVEYOR LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,002

    I've been using Star Tron with good luck. I do like Sea Foam too. Both do a good job.
  6. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Posts: 14,208

    Ditto. I use both regularly. You could also give Ethanol Shield a try too.

    BTW- us commercial guys probably have even more issues with ethanol than homeowners do since we use so much more gas that contains it. While that may seem backwards to you, it isn't. We run so much more ethanol through our equipment, that fuel lines, diaphragms, carbs etc., are always under attack from the affect of ethanol. It isn't just sitting around that ruins equipment that has ethanol in it.

    Also, you should get in the habit of shaking your equipment (even tractors as much as you can) to re-mix the water that pools in gasoline that the ethanol absorbs from the air. By shaking even four stroke equipment as much as possible, you can try to mix any water that has gathered in the gas up enough so that no one large pool of it is sitting there waiting to be sucked through the fuel line and into the carb all at once.
  7. Nutsedge

    Nutsedge LawnSite Member
    from STL, MO
    Posts: 183

    I use Lucas upper cylinder lubricant with injector cleaners (wish I had those on my mower!) and fuel conditioners. I add the recommended amount (2oz/g of fuel) every other fill up and about three times the amount to winterize. Over the past 5y my Honda has always started up on first pull even after sitting 4.5m in the off season.
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  8. cashishift

    cashishift LawnSite Member
    Posts: 57

    Ditto + some stabil and zero ethanol premium fuel.

    Never had a carb related issue.
  9. Capemay Eagle

    Capemay Eagle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,750

    I use Star Tron also.
  10. rlitman

    rlitman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,552

    I'd say that once phase separation has taken place, you've already lost the war.
    Shaking your equipment won't hurt, but fuel treatment before you have issues is the way to go. If phase separation really takes place, not only will you have a water/ethanol mix in the bottom of your tank, but the top of the tank will be a dangerously low octane (after removing the ethanol, the base gasoline is something like 70 ocatane), and even that can cause harm.

    Previously, I'd been using a double dose of red Stabil in my equipment, and as a homeowner, I've fared pretty well. I've since switched to Stabil blue when that came out.

    In my 2-cycle equipment (actually, it's all Stihl 4-mix now, so really I'm referring to machines that need gas/oil mix), I use Stihl Ultra oil, which is supposed to contain it's own stabilizer, PLUS a "standard" dose of Stabil blue, mixed into 93 octane gas. I mix ONE gallon at a time, and if it sits for more than a few months, it goes in the car.

    In my machines that use straight gas, I add a "long term" dose of Stabil blue, to 93 octane gas, PLUS 1 ounce of MMO per 5 gallons of gas (no MMO in the gas/oil mix above; it's already got the right oil proportions, why go messing around with that). I do this, because aside from the issue of ethanol rotting fuel lines, clogging carburetors, and causing corrosion (which the Stabil is supposed to help with), it is also known to cause valve sticking in Honda engines (probably in others, but my mower is a Honda, so that's my primary concern). The MMO offers a little top end lubrication to the valve stems, to prevent this.

    Some of my equipment only gets used once a month, and many things may sit for longer than that. My backpack blower still has gas in it from last year (I'm working on using up what's in the tank), and even so, I have had zero carb or starting issues, since I've started doing all this.

    Oh, one important note about ethanol. You must not use old gas cans with a vent. It is VERY important that you use CARB type cans that have a good seal. I know, I know, they suck. True, but old gas cans would vent fumes as the temperature rose, then breathe in air as the temperature cooled. This introduced moist air to the fuel. This isn't a problem for ethanol free fuel, which will not mix with water.
    When ethanol is introduced to the fuel, it will suck the moisture out of the air, until eventually it reaches the level where the water separates (the phase separation I mentioned above). Then it's game over for your carb (or worse). If the tank is well sealed, there's no reason for it to go stale.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012

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