What's Trending? Old gas is the #1 cause for a hard-to-start engine this spring!


Trending every spring is conversation regarding old gasoline in our mowers. Each May, we receive countless mowers in for service and many other questions regarding why a mower that started without issue last fall can be so hard-to-start 4 months later! The answer typically starts and ends with old gasoline, here is why...

Gasoline purchased from gas stations may contain up to 10% ethanol. It is this ethanol component that slowly absorbs water by pulling it from the humidity in the air. As this water collects in gasoline, it settles to the bottom because it is more dense. Because it settles, it is the first thing that your mower tries to ignite come spring and we all know how that goes! Take a look at the image to the right, showing you how much water was in a mower that we drained from not being used for about 10 months (it's about 50% water and 50% gas!). >

Not only is water impossible to ignite, it also can cause corrosion to the carburetor. If enough corrosion happens, the carburetor will not work properly, causing the engine to run poorly or possibly even leak! Take a look at the image to the right, showing you a corroded carburetor that was in need of replacement. >

Gasoline that is stored in a gas can for several months can even go bad as well. Old gas cans degrade over time and the seals worsen. The result is gasoline that breaks down and absorbs water. It is a good idea to replace gas can every 10 years or so.

It is very important to start with completely fresh gas each year and to drain gasoline from mowers at the end of each season. Here are some other tips for avoiding problems caused by ethanol in gas:

1) Use fuel stabilizer (or fuel treatment) to solve the issues with ethanol in gasoline. These fuel stabilizers encapsulate ethanol and prevent the break down of the gasoline for up to 12 or 24 months, greatly improving the life of gasoline stored in your mower or in a portable gas can.

2) Use ethanol-free gasoline instead! This premium gas can be purchased on our store shelves actually under the TRUfuel label. This product is more expensive than typical gasoline, but it eliminates the worries with using typical gasoline. It is premium gasoline, so you might even find that your gasoline power tools run smoother as a result.

3) Avoid using gasoline that is more than a couple months old. This typical means purchasing only a gallon of gasoline from the station. For typical lawns, a gallon of gas should last you a couple of months. For larger lawns, it makes sense to purchase a few gallons at a time. The goal here is to be mindful of how long gasoline is sitting around at your home before being consumed by your lawn mower. Gasoline should never be over a couple of months old.

Thanks for reading everyone. We hope that you found these tips helpful!

Derek Satterfield

Rollier's Hardware

Phone: 412-561-0922

Email: info@rolliers.com 

Address: 600 Washington Road
Mt. Lebanon, PA 15228

Store Hours: Mon-Sat 9am-8pm and Sun 10am-5pm 


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