I had a mower develop issues not long ago and I didn’t know at the time what it was. I’m fairly sure I know now – ethanol blended gasoline.
Almost all gas stations sell ethanol blended fuels today. Most offer E10 but can blend in E15. Although E10 gasolines are approved for small engines, like lawnmowers, anything more than that is harmful. Gasoline blended with E15 burns hotter and can cause engines to overheat. It is also corrosive – to the extent that it can seriously damage fuel systems. In fact, the use of gasoline blended with E15 can actually void your equipment warranty.
How will you know if you’re getting an E10 or higher? You won’t. Gas stations are not required to state exactly what the blend is. So, the blend can be E10 or higher – you won’t know.
Fortunately, I happened to find a station in Cumming that sells ethanol free gas. Maybe there are more like it, I just haven’t found them. In any case, from now on, I’m filling up my gas canisters at the RaceTrac at state road 141 at Ronald Reagan Blvd., adjacent to the Collection at Forsyth.
It’s more expensive. But it won’t kill my lawn mower.
And more advice: don’t let your lawnmower sit all winter with ordinary ethanol blended gasoline in it. Better to add ethanol free or burn out the fuel and leave it empty.