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Watch your gas supplier


LawnSite Bronze Member
South Bend, IN
Have been getting gas at same place for 20 yrs. No ethanol all along, but they changed a few months ago and I didn't notice. Not until my trimmer fuel line disintegrated. With the clean air regulations, and the price breaks to the oil companies for using ethanol, more companies are going to ethanol. Keep an eye on your supplier for changes like that.
Anyone in an area that has only ethanol or other type additives, and no plain gasoline? If so, how do you fuel your small engines?

Eric ELM

Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
Chicago, IL USA
We haven't been able to get straight gas in the Chicago area for several years. So far, the 2 cycles are doing OK. I was told the ethanol would eat up the diaphrams in the 2 cycles, but they are holding up just fine so far. The only gas engine mower I have left now has 3,100 hours on it and sounding good. I don't think ethanol is a big concern, but I may be wrong.


LawnSite Member
New Jersey

Jerrys Lawn Service

LawnSite Member
Better keep an eye on your octane ratings, I was at a mower
tech-school this winter and the teacher was telling us to run 93 octane in everything because of the new additives like Ethanol. He said if the gas isn't used right away you'll have an octane problem.(poor engine performance!)Here in Maryland it started getting added about 6 months ago. This caused an instant 5 cents a gallon increase, just what we needed! It seems that the Ethanol in it's efforts to make
our gas cleaner burning also speeds up the ageing process.

Good Luck!

[Edited by Jerrys Lawn Service on 09-19-2000 at 01:51 AM]


LawnSite Member

I have also heard the same thing about gas losing its octane rating very quickly. I was also told to use the higher octane gas because the gas nowadays has trouble maintaing its octane level for periods of time.

He told me to never use gas thats older than two months (Not usually a problem, but for some it is). He said that its pretty much junk. Ideally, don't keep it more than about a week.

This is just what I have heard. I am by no means a Chenical Engineer.

You should use the gas that we have to use in the metro area's of Los Angles, San Diego, San Francisco Sacramento. Our gasoline has been re-formulated so many times the last 3 years, i never know what kind or formulation it is. I always use the same brand, but doesn't mean anything. It all depends which refinery produces the gas.

The thing that gets me boiling: They (the goverment) require the new formulations without any extensive scientific studies to prove what they say the new formula will do,will acuatly do what they say.

California gets my gold medal for:enviromental\nightmares

So far with the new formula's, I haven't had any problems with fouling of spark plugs. When MTBE hit the market, I would have to change my plugs every 3 to 5 weeks. Now if we could get the cost of gas to drop back around $1.60, I promise not to ever complain about gas prices:D



LawnSite Silver Member
among other problems with ethanol is the fact that it will mix with water.

water and gas=no mix.

water and alcohol=mix (and depending on the variety of alcohol, quite nicely, I might add.)

water and ethanol=mix, and you can't tell except that the engine runs like crap, if it runs at all.

the older the fuel in the provider's storage tank, the worse it gets from condensation. and on top of that, the pipeline companies ship bulk lots of gasoline across the country with a water buffer between gas types and grades in the pipeline.

there are lots of problems with ethanol.



LawnSite Senior Member
West Haven, CT
Here in CT, the fuel suppliers add MTBE at different times of the year. We have had problems achieving good 2 cycle mix with the MTBE fuel, and now that it has been mentioned, the spark plugs do foul out sooner too. We were using the same gas cans, same name brand suppliers, same 2-cycle mix, but two winters ago and to a certain extent last year, we experienced problems. For the winter especially we switch to a higher grade 2-cycle mix, and that works. I have found that the off-brand companies or privately owned stations switch formulations more frequently than the name brands.


LawnSite Member
I have been having alot of problems with water in my fuel tanks. The company I bought my mower from has said I have water in my gas??? Now that is one of two things they are gettinga quick buck from me or the oil companie are putting gas in the water. We always store equipment inside and have not found a way for water to get inside.