JACKSON, Miss.- Springtime is officially upon us, and that means it’s time to break the mowers back out. The problem with that is, most of you have probably had yours sitting in the same spot for at least the past three months. This could prove to be problematic when firing it back up this spring.
One problem could be with the type of fuel you use. Mike Pellicano, owner of Mike’s Small Engine Repair in Jackson, says that “Ethanol fuel is a lot different from standard fuel. With your shelf life, standard fuel will give you about 3 months, and Ethanol, if you’re lucky, will give you about 6 weeks. And what happens is the ethanol evaporates so much quicker than standard fuel. And even if you buy a 93 Octane fuel, after about 3-4 weeks, its at 83 octane, then after a couple more weeks it’s at 73. And it just drops so dramatically that, not only do you have the usual problems that you have with regular fuel, which is that it would gum up or gel up inside the carborator, and it’s doing it so much quicker with Ethanol, but now you’re having overheating issues. The Ethanol fuel, when it starts to degrade, is causing these engines to run so much hotter than what they’re used to.”
Pellicano says the best way to preserve your engine is to run it all the way dry before putting it up for an extended period of time.