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Friday, August 7, 2015

OPEI Advisory on Ethanol and Small Engines

Reminder: Look Before You Pump!

It’s more important than ever to pay attention when fueling your lawn mower, chain saw, string trimmer, and any other small engine product or outdoor power equipment (OPE).

More fuel choices at the pump can be confusing. Most fuel sold today at gas stations for automobiles and outdoor power equipment contains up to 10 percent ethanol (E10). However, in the past year, more gas stations are selling ethanol fuel blends greater than 10 percent – such as E15 and E85.

Gas for your car or truck isn’t necessarily good for outdoor power equipment. You cannot go to a gas station and assume that the gas from the pump that works for your car or truck, is safe and legal to use in your lawn mower, string trimmer, chainsaw, snow thrower, or any other small engine product.

Fuels with ethanol blends higher than 10% ethanol (E10) can be harmful to OPE. As a matter of fact, it is illegal to use fuel with more than 10% ethanol in outdoor power equipment. Also, boats, motorcycles and utility type vehicles should use E10 or less.

Damage and destruction can be caused by higher ethanol levels in OPE. Ethanol contains corrosive alcohol. It can cause fuel to separate and de-stabilize. If your equipment is damaged by fuel with more than 10% ethanol, manufacturers typically will not honor a warranty claim. You may be forced to make expensive repairs or replace your equipment.

Pay attention at the pump when buying fuel. In the past, consumers were physically kept from selecting the wrong fuel. For instance, with diesel you often used a different pump. But blender pumps, which dispense various ethanol fuel blends, are becoming more widely available. Customers should be vigilant and look before they pump. Make sure you use E10 or less fuel in your outdoor power and small engine equipment.

For more information, visit www.LookBeforeYouPump.com.

Information provided by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute.