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    Senior Member scotti158's Avatar
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    Ethanol Fuel Tips

    This was sent to me by the Stihl company and I thought it would be helpful to those wondering about ethanol fuel in small engines. Been discussed lots of times already but there are always newbies that haven't been a part of our discussions.

    Ethanol
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    Senior Member JustPassinThru's Avatar
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    Fortunately I'm in a part of the country where "recreational gasoline" is plentifully available. And it's actually becoming more so - made another trip to Wisconsin from Montana, and for the first time, I was able (with some looking) to find booze-free gas everywhere except in North Dakota. And since US 12 only cut a corner on that state...it was no real problem.

    It's not hard to see why it's becoming common. All over the country, lawn mowers, chain saws, outboards and snowmobiles - and motorcycles - are having MAJOR problems, because it's a poor fuel. Poor in terms of how it absorbs water and how it promotes corrosion. Bad enough in a car; but much harder on a small engine.

    I suppose in another ten years it may finally go away. How long did we have to fight the 55-mph speed limit? 1974 to 1987...thirteen years. We're eight years on booze-enhanced gasoline...five more or so, at least I devoutly hope it's only that.

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    Senior Member Fred's Avatar
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    E10 is the norm in my region. TW and my other small engines endure but I try to feed everything a steady diet of Sea Foam and/or Sta bil fuel additives. There is a newish Sta bil Ethanol Treatment which has a few more corrosion inhibitors for dealing with the water associated with ethanol fuel blends but the old stuff works well ( as long as it is still bright red, stuff has limited shelf life,looses some effectiveness as it ages and discolores after 2 years or so).
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    Senior Member GaryL's Avatar
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    There was a good write up about Ethanol fuel in this months edition of the NY OutDoor News. Simply stated, small engines should not use E fuel at all if at all possible. Here in my local area we have been hammering the major fuel stations and a few have finally listened. Stewart's Shops have finally begun to provide 91 octane Non Ethanol in the three stations in my area and the local fuel delivery service CES, (Combined Energy Services) has both Off Road Disel for tractors and heavy equipment as well as 91 Non Ethanol for boats, motorcycles and lawn equipment. I applaud both of these sellers and the addition of Off Road Diesel where no road taxes are paid is a great savings for my little Kubota tractor at a dollar a gallon less. Here in NY just last year it was impossible to get non e fuel unless I drove a couple hundred miles for it. We spoke up, got loud and now finally some are listening!

    GaryL
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    Senior Member Gulfrider's Avatar
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    We got pumps with non ethanol rec gas here, usually $1 more per gallon. I only run E10 in my truck, everything else get non ethanol. Of course the marina's carry non ethanol also but usually are even more $$

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    Senior Member methamphetasaur's Avatar
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    Ethanol top tip: don't use ethanol.

    Unfortunately that's not even really an option most places.

    Ethanol-free gas stations in the U.S. and Canada has lists of ethanol free gas stations if you want to find some closest to you.

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    Senior Member Tuber's Avatar
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    I can get good gas at a local station...but even using that alone or as a mix I still had problems with my generator...had to take the carb and the local equipment shop ran it thru the ultrasonic cleaner. If an engine isn't run on a regular basis it can still gum up or have dirt get in. Most small engines don't have fuel filters.
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    Senior Member GaryL's Avatar
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    A fuel filter has little bearing on the real problems with ethanol. When the ethanol/alcohol becomes saturated by the moisture in the environment it becomes heavier than the gasoline and falls to the bottom of the tank where the fuel pick up tube is located. This is known as Phase Separation. The moisture laden ethanol then becomes extremely corrosive causing rusting in a metal tank. Any engine that is subject to long periods of no use should absolutely avoid E-10 fuel if at all possible. Every small engine manufacturer makes this info readily available and recommends against the use of ethanol. Corn subsidies are a very powerful political force and the early primary states such as Iowa are major benefactors of these subsidies. Think about it this way. If E 10 fuel is OK for use in our motor vehicles then why is it that E 15 will void the warranties on any vehicles not specifically rated to use it? You are only talking a few more ounces of ethanol/alcohol in a gallon of gas so why should 10% be OK while 15% is not? The truth is that 10% generates a lot of votes and 15% will generate more.

    I prefer my corn with butter on my dinner table or feeding the animals I eat but keep it out of my tank.

    GaryL
    Be Decisive! Right or Wrong just make a decision. ​ The road of life is paved with flat squirrels that couldn't make a decision.

    Since light travels faster than sound, some people appear bright until you hear them speak.
    If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

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    Senior Member scotti158's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GaryL View Post

    I prefer my corn with butter on my dinner table or feeding the animals I eat but keep it out of my tank.

    GaryL
    Same here!!
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    Senior Member JustPassinThru's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GaryL View Post
    A fuel filter has little bearing on the real problems with ethanol. When the ethanol/alcohol becomes saturated by the moisture in the environment it becomes heavier than the gasoline and falls to the bottom of the tank where the fuel pick up tube is located. This is known as Phase Separation. The moisture laden ethanol then becomes extremely corrosive causing rusting in a metal tank. Any engine that is subject to long periods of no use should absolutely avoid E-10 fuel if at all possible. Every small engine manufacturer makes this info readily available and recommends against the use of ethanol. Corn subsidies are a very powerful political force and the early primary states such as Iowa are major benefactors of these subsidies. Think about it this way. If E 10 fuel is OK for use in our motor vehicles then why is it that E 15 will void the warranties on any vehicles not specifically rated to use it? You are only talking a few more ounces of ethanol/alcohol in a gallon of gas so why should 10% be OK while 15% is not? The truth is that 10% generates a lot of votes and 15% will generate more.

    I prefer my corn with butter on my dinner table or feeding the animals I eat but keep it out of my tank.

    GaryL
    This is good information.

    For those who cannot avoid booze-corrupted gasoline...what's the best plan? I thought about emptying the gas tank. Of course, condensation will hit it; but I'm wondering if leaving it open with some sort of breathable cover to keep out dust - like a plastic disc on spacers, leaving a gap at the fuel neck...if that would let it breathe enough to avoid inside condensation during winter weather temperature fluctuations.

    Right NOW it's not a problem - I can get straight gas. But in the future...enquiring minds want to know.

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