Fuel Tips for Gasoline Lawn Mowers and Snow Blowers

Man holding gas can next to lawnmower

Wondering what type of gasoline to put in your lawn mower or snow blower? Or are you having trouble starting your mower? A Toro lawn mower maintenance expert explains what kind of gasoline to use and provides other lawn mower fuel tips, highlighted below, in Toro’s Mower Minute: Fuel Facts.

For more information about common lawn mower engine problems and preventative maintenance tips to reduce the chance of fuel system issues please visit our Fuel Facts page.

Video Transcript:

So it’s a glorious spring day, the grass is growing and you’re ready to get out there and mow – and nothing. The mower just won’t start. What went wrong? Well, it might have been the fuel.

Ethanol gasoline blends are becoming more prevalent at the pump. In fact, recently the EPA raised the allowable ethanol limit to 15% for some motor vehicles. But right now, millions of legacy lawn mowers, snow blowers and other lawn and garden products are in use throughout the U.S., which were not designed to run on fuel blends containing more than 10% ethanol. If you use gas with a higher percentage, like E15, E20 or E84, you might end up damaging your engine or voiding your engine warranty. Now here’s why.

Ethanol absorbs water from the air and can cause corrosion in the fuel system that can’t really be prevented since most carburetors and gas tanks are vented and air is always going to get in. Plus fuel deteriorates over time. Basically the most volatile compounds start evaporating first and once those are gone it can be hard to start the engine. Once enough of the fuel evaporates it gets all gummy and then hardens and that plugs up the system. So what can you do? 

Tip #1: Minimize the Ethanol

Well number one, the less ethanol the better. Try to find gas without any ethanol if possible. But again, make sure you never exceed 10% to cut down on the amount of moisture that gets absorbed. 

Tip #2: Keep the Fuel Fresh

Keep the fuel fresh. Only buy enough for 30 days or less and add a fuel stabilizer the first day you get it. Toro offers a premium fuel treatment that can be purchased through a dealer or online.

Tip #3 Get the Right Gas

Get the right gas. Buy only unleaded gas with a minimum 87 octane rating. 

Tip #4 Read the Manual

Read the engine operator’s manual and equipment operator’s manual for information on what fuel can be used in your machine and to understand applicable warranty coverage and exclusions.

There are lots of other handy fuel tips on Toro’s website so go check them out at Toro.com/FuelFacts.

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