EPA emissions requirements and Ethanol fuel. How much of your equipment is ruined?

Discussion in 'Alternative Fuel Forum' started by JDiepstra, Aug 19, 2011.

  1. ngibson6

    ngibson6 LawnSite Member
    from West TN
    Messages: 17

    Hard starting in cold weather has nothing to do with ethanol. I'm originally from up north and experienced temps as low as -35F and never once felt there was a starting issue with a vehicle because of ethanol.

    Also to those of you whining about subsidies, those expired at the end of 2011.

    As for the notion that the entire kernel is used for ethanol production and there is nothing left, this is false. One of the by-products is dried distillers grains (DDGs) and this is fed to livestock.

    I have never had an issue with any piece of equipment because of ethanol. Have a Shindaiwa trimmer that's six years old with the original carb. Shindaiwa blower that's 7 years old with original carb. I have read so many times someone will buy a trimmer or whatever and after a month say that ethanol ate the primer, fuel lines, ect. Then why don't you have to replace all primer bulbs, fuel lines, carbs, fuel pumps on everything monthly? This just doesn't make sense. I know someone who has a stihl trimmer that is almost 25 years old with the original primer, fuel lines and carb.

    As far as ethanol wrecking fuel pumps in cars and trucks, I had a early 90s truck that ran ethanol all it's life. Original fuel pump was replaced at around 250,000 miles.

    We had ethanol come to the pumps up north in the late 80s. I remember all the doom and gloom talk about how it was going to wreck everything and small engines would burn up and all that. Funny thing after a few months nothing happened and it was never talked about again.

    These are all just my observations obviously but just can not understand how one guy has nothing but problems that are supposedly traced back to ethanol, and another guy has no problems. And they are running similar equipment.
  2. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,285

    Then explain to me why after switching to recreational gas (ZERO ethanol) all my problems have gone away? Heck of a coincidence.
  3. Panhead

    Panhead LawnSite Member
    Messages: 181

    2004 Exmark, sat for 3 weeks due to drought. Rained the last week and didn't think anything of it. Went to cut my first lawn of the day and it sputtered, couldn't stay running. Replace fuel filter, I mean you could actually see dirty floating. That didn't work so I drained the bowl, found water...literally water inside the bowl. Also had to play with the mixure adjustment screw to get the passage cleaned. Wasted 2 hours trying to figure it out, all because of this ethanol bullshit. They also need to filter fuel better!
  4. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,285

    No, I'm sure you're mistaken.

    Despite that's what I've seen time and again.

    Despite all the money I've spent on filters, carb cleanouts, throwing gas away because of all the water in it, and despite the fact that I have not had any problems in close to 2 months since switching away from that crap.

    It just couldn't be the ethanol. :rolleyes: ;)
  5. ump107

    ump107 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    I am Firefighter /EMT in my town we have multiple Gas and Gas oil mix tools on average we were sending out tools every 2-3 months for carburetor repairs cleaning and adjustments, one solution we tried was running the tools 15 min every week, still resulted in engine problems. I know in the lawn care business you guys are running the tools a 100 times more than that. There is nothing worse than trying to start a saw to vent a roof or trying to fire up a pump engine to operate a hydraulic tool and not being able to get it to run, or walking into the station and having fuel running out of the compartment because the fuel line rotted away.
    On the recommendation of a Stihl dealer we switched to SEF94 fuel. It is a small engine racing fuel (Not cheap about $8-14 a gallon). Since we made the switch after the initial run in period and minor adjustments the tools start right up and have no issues we are actually back to running the tools 1 time per month as opposed to 5 times. Other agencies have switched to Tool fuel and True fuel, and seem to have had similar results (I have been using True Fuel in my personal equipment found it at Lowes). I’m not sure if any of you have tried these fuels but there is no ethanol in them and you can even buy it in premixed cans for your different tools. The cost may be a preventive factor for some running it in mowers, but for trimmers and chain saws it might save money in the long run. Since I didn't see any posts on these alternates to gas station fuels I thought I would throw it out there for consideration.
  6. CL&T

    CL&T LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 493

    Yeah, I know I talked about SEF 94 around here before. That's another companies version of what you are talking about. Stihl makes a version also that is available from their dealers. Unfortunately for the quantities we use and also considering shipping the cost is way prohibitive.

    If the government is going to continue on this crusade of ever increasing ethanol levels they are going to have make E0 available to those who need it. No power equipment manufactured to date is allowed to run on anything more than E10 and we all know the damage and problems even that causes.

    If they are concerned about E0 being used in over the road vehicles, work something out along the lines of dyed diesel and make the nozzels too large to fit into gasoline fillers like is done for diesel. I would also expect that the cost would be more per gallon also but it shouldn't include highway taxes because it's for off-road use.
  7. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,285

    This is what has been confusing me, because we haven't had any problems with our saws, fans, power units for jaws, etc. I am in amazement, other than they sit in a relatively constant environment except when on calls. We run them once a week for a couple minutes at a time.

    I don't know this for a fact, just what my mechanic has told me, but he is pretty up to date on these things. Supposedly, the EPA has allowed recreational gas for marinas and those using small equipment. I did not sign anything when my rec gas tank was delivered, but I only have 1 gas vehicle in my fleet.

    Maybe someone could talk the Google master Green T into finding an article or chart about this. :cool2:
  8. CL&T

    CL&T LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 493

    As far as I know from everything I have read there is no law that says gas stations have to sell ethanol fuel. They do it for two reasons: First is that they only have two tanks for gasoline, one for 83 octane and another for 97. In between grades are a blend of the two and obviously they are going to be E10. So a station selling E0 has to have another tank and pump like those selling E85 or diesel. The second and probably the biggest reason is that the stations get a kickback to sell ethanol fuels from the government.

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