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Ethanol Fuel in Small Engines: A Sustainable Solution? [Myths Busted]

Understanding and Mitigating Ethanol Damage in Small Engines

Since the 2005 introduction of renewable-fuel standards, ethanol fuel in small engines has become more common. Ethanol is blended with gasoline to help reduce emissions and support agriculture but it also brings challenges, particularly for small engines in tools like lawnmowers and chainsaws. Here’s what you need to know about ethanol and small engines, and how you can protect your equipment.

AMSOIL 5W-30 100% Synthetic Small-Engine Oil.
AMSOIL 5W-30 100% Synthetic Small-Engine Oil

1. Recognize the Risks of Ethanol as a Solvent

Ethanol can dissolve residues that are lurking in your fuel system, which sounds beneficial. However, it can also attack plastics and rubber components, leading to deposits that clog filters and disrupt essential parts like fuel injectors and carburetor jets. These issues can prevent your engine from starting or cause poor performance.

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  • Mitigation Strategy: Regularly clean your fuel system and use fuel additives designed to prevent gumming and varnish. These steps can help you maintain engine efficiency and longevity.

2. Address Ethanol’s Affinity for Water

Ethanol’s tendency to absorb water can lead to phase separation. This condition occurs when water-saturated ethanol settles below the gasoline, diminishing fuel efficiency and potentially leading to rust and corrosion.

  • Mitigation Strategy: Where possible, opt for non-oxygenated, ethanol-free gasoline. This type of fuel is typically more expensive but can spare you from many ethanol-related issues. If using ethanol blends, consider adding fuel stabilizers like AMSOIL Quickshot® to disperse water and maintain fuel consistency.

3. Fuel Additives: A Proactive Solution

AMSOIL Quickshot®

Investing in the right fuel additives can be a game changer. Products such as AMSOIL Quickshot® are formulated not just to prevent phase separation but also to cleanse your engine of varnishes and gums. This maintains engine performance and can extend the life of your equipment.

The Key to Engine Longevity: Proactive Care

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By understanding the impact of ethanol on small engines and taking preventive actions, you can ensure your equipment remains reliable and efficient. Whether it’s choosing the best ethanol fuel treatment for small engines or performing regular maintenance, your proactive efforts are crucial.

Take steps today to shield your small engines from ethanol-related damage. Stay informed and equipped to handle the challenges of ethanol gas and small engines, ensuring your tools are ready when you need them.

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