Does your Gas Leaf Blower Start right Off?

I went out the other day to get rid of all the leaves in my yard. I should have just waited as all the county’s leaves are now in my yard – again. Anyway, I go to use my leaf blower … it spits and sputters. I try several times and then pick up the old reliable – my rake and leaf sack. But I started thinking about why my leaf blower is acting like it’s on its last leg and then I read this article – who knew?

According to HouseLogic, Ethanol-blended gasoline, which is made for automobiles and other vehicles isn’t made for the small gas powered engines. According to the article, “Ethanolis a solvent that contributes to the deterioration of rubber gaskets, plastic nozzles, and aluminum — parts and materials common to small engines. Although heavy use and age contribute to wear and tear on internal components, ethanol speeds up the process.”

It blocks and clogs up the fuel line which is why my leaf blower didn’t start! The article went on to say, “In low concentrations, ethanol isn’t especially harmful to small engines. E10 ethanol blend, which is made up of 10% ethanol, is considered acceptable. However, the EPA recently approved higher concentrations that are readily available at many gas station pumps: E15, a 15% blend, and E85 made for flex-fuel vehicles.” In fact Briggs and Stratton has even went as far as to void their warranty if this type of gas is used in their engines.

So, if you don’t want to resort to your rake and sack and use your leaf blower, here are somethings Houselogic says you may want to keep in mind:

  • Use clean, fresh unleaded gasoline with a minimum of 87 octane.
  • At the gas pump, check ethanol ratings carefully. Don’t use gas with a blend ratio higher than 10% (E10).
  • Change fuel frequently. Gas that’s been sitting around for more than 60 days should be replaced with fresh gas.
  • Gently slosh fuel containers to remix gas before adding fuel to small engines.
  • Add a fuel stabilizer to your gas mixture. Ask your equipment dealer to recommend a product that’s formulated to reduce water absorption caused by ethanol gas.
  • When storing equipment, such as your lawn mower over the winter, run the engine dry. Buy fresh gas next year.