Spring Lawn Mower Maintenance
Now is the time of year to fire up all the equipment that you have waited all winter to use. The seasons are changing, and so do other things—including small engines and the fuel that keeps them running. As the price of this new equipment increases (just check the price on lawn mower engine repair or replacement!), the cost of not caring for can hit your book hard. Performance Fuel Specialists wants to make lawn mower maintenance easy and save you some money doing it.
Unlike a dull mower blade or a missing line on your weed whacker, fuel system needs are not easy to see. The best way to fix a fuel problem is to keep them from ever occurring. Let’s look at some of the problems you may not have had just a few years ago.
Some Potential Lawn Mower Engine Maintenance Issues
Gasoline constantly changes with new regulations and technology. Unfortunately, these changes are not always helpful, and one of the biggest problems is fuel stability. This is the ability of a fuel to maintain the quality that it had when it came from the refinery. Sure, it works well fresh, but letting it sit for a few months can create several issues: the buildup of varnish and sludge, as well as the loss of performance.
Newer equipment is more finely tuned for emissions, and this means it is more easily affected by poor fuel.
While ethanol may be good at reducing our need for oil, it honestly is not a blessing for our engines. Issues with ethanol include corrosion, loss of power, decrease in fuel stability, poor performance and phase separation. This is when the ethanol settles out of the gasoline during storage, and then when your engine starts, it is fed straight ethanol and water. This process also removes most of the octane from the gasoline itself.
The result is a totaled engine with no warranty coverage. The corrosion also can destroy the rubber and metal components in the system, and is especially harmful as it sits in storage.
Water in the fuel tank occurs naturally with the fluctuation in temperatures. When it is warm, then cold, the condensation can build up inside your tank. Now as bad as this can be in the winter, it also can cause engine failure in your small engines. It is the water in the fuel that causes the ethanol to separate from the gasoline as mentioned above, and it takes only 0.5% water to remove 70% of ethanol as shown in figures 1 and 2 (red dye is added to water for visibility). This water/ethanol combination can not only destroy your engine but is extremely corrosive.
How to Prevent Small Engine Damage
Don’t let this list overwhelm you, there are a few simple things you can do to avoid these problems.
- Fill your gas can with fresh gasoline and add PFS Gas Plus to the can; a little extra to start will not hurt a thing. Top off your equipment tank with fresh fuel if possible. If your tank is full, you can add a squirt of our Gas Plus directly to your tank without any chance of overtreating. Before you start any small engine that has been sitting for even a few weeks it is best to manually shake the equipment well. This movement will cause any ethanol and water that may have separated to re-mix with the gasoline. It may save you an engine and a lot of trouble.
- After you have run you first tank of fuel through the engine, now is the best time to change your oil for the summer. Fresh fuel and PFS Gas Plus will clean out all the carbon and deposits in your engine—which is great news. But some of these deposits can find there way into your oil too, so let’s get rid of them. You were going to change your oil anyways, so let’s do it strategically by cleaning the fuel system first, which allows you to get the most out of your oil all summer.
- As the summer season sadly comes to an end, make sure to fill your fuel tanks completely with ethanol free fuel if available, and don’t forget the PFS Gas Plus. This will keep your fuel tank from creating condensation, eliminating the water problem. Also, by using ethanol free fuel for storage, you stop the chance of phase separation and the corrosion issue caused from ethanol. If ethanol free fuel is not available, rest easy, PFS Gas Plus fuel treatment has you covered.
- For those who are mechanically minded, you may choose to totally empty the fuel tank and fuel system including anything in the lines and carbs/injectors. Fill with fresh fuel and PFS in the spring and you’re ready to go!
How Can PFS Fuel Treatments Help You?
At PFS, WE ARE CHANGING THE WAY YOU TREAT YOUR FUEL.
How to Use Fuel Stabilizer in Lawn Mower? Full Guide
A lawn mower is a bliss for those looking towards mowing or cutting grass or debris in their lawn or garden. However, many of us who use lawn mowers may not pay attention to the fact that the gasoline we use in the mowers may get stale or oxidized in about 30 days.
Oxidized gasoline or fuel can create issues, including stuttering engines, misfires, or a complete shutdown. So is there any way to prevent your lawn mower fuel from total ruin?
Yes, there is, and in fact, an easy way to save your fuel when your mower is off use for a long time. It is called fuel stabilization. In this article, we will talk about fuel stabilization and how to use fuel stabilizers in lawn mowers, and their benefits.
So without wasting any time, let us start our journey to preserve your mower engine for a long time.
What is a Fuel Stabilizer?
But before we start with our comprehensive guide to the stabilization process, let us explore what is precisely a fuel stabilizer?
In simple words, a fuel stabilizer is a solution that prevents gasoline from going stale or rancid in vehicles that are not in use for more than 30 days. These stabilizers are usually made with petroleum.
They prevent the oil from varnishing or gumming up the internals of your engine. Fuel stabilizers chemically slow oxidative degradation, break down water into dispersed droplets, or bond with absorbed water to generate a combustible product.
How to Use Fuel Stabilizer in Lawn Mower?
So, by now, you have learned about fuel stabilizers and what do these solutions do. But, if you are a beginner, the next thing that can strike your mind is how to use fuel stabilizers in lawn mowers.
To help you out, we have broken the process of fuel stabilizing into some easy steps to make it better comprehendible.
You can follow the below-mentioned four steps to stabilize your fuel quickly.
Step 1: Drain the Old Gasoline
The foremost step in this process is to drain the old fuel from the lawn mower. It is important because the fuel stabilizers should always be mixed with fresh gasoline. We say so because if you combine the stabilizer with fuel more than one-month-old, you may notice the fuel getting broken down.
Step 2: Use the Properly Measured Stabilizer
Once you have emptied the mower, the next step would be to find the recommended stabilizer. Again, you can find the types, specifications, amount of stabilizer needed, etc., in the owner’s manual. That being said, never use fuel stabilizers randomly in your machine.
How To Remove Ethanol From E10 Unleaded Fuel To Use In Lawnmowers And Small Engines
Mix the stabilizer with the fuel as per the instructions given in the owner’s manual.
Step 3: Fuel the Tank
The next step in the process is filling the tank of the lawn mower with gasoline. In this step, it is essential to note that you should add fresh gasoline to the tank if you plan to garage your mower for a long time.
Pouring the gasoline on the top of the stabilizer would help disperse the latter. Furthermore, you can look for adding ethanol-free gas for better stabilizing impacts. over, filling the tank only 95% with fuel is always recommended to give it some space to expand and prevent any spillage when used.
Step 4: Run the Engine
This spet is essential to ensure that fuel (with stabilizer) passes through the engine and the carburetor. This process also ensures that the entire machine and carburetor get tuned and optimized for better performance.
And yes, do not forget to run your lawn mower for at least 10 minutes after stabilizing its fuel.
So, it is pretty easy to stabilize your lawn mower fuel. You just need to keep in mind a few things you can take a glance at below.
- Use fresh gasoline to stabilize.
- Use a stabilizer suitable for your lawn mower.
- The stabilizer and fuel ratio should be perfect, as per the user manual.
- Choose a good company fuel stabilizer like STA-BIL® Storage, etc.
- Pick a stabilizer as per the need of the situation- “for storage” or “for performance.”
- Run your mower after stabilizing it.
Types of Fuel stabilizers
As we have mentioned above, you can pick a fuel stabilizer according to the need. That being said, fuel stabilizers are generally categorized into two groups:
If you plan to stabilize your mower fuel before garaging it, we recommend choosing a stabilizer meant for storage. The formula used in this case is to enhance the engine’s longevity for as long as 24 months when kept unused.
However, if you are focusing on enhancing the performance of your lawn mower, then you can go with fuel stabilizers meant for performance. The lifetime of such stabilizers is not as long as 24 months, as they ensure efficiency and performance enhancement over engine longevity.
Benefits of Fuel Stabilizer
So, why use a stabilizer? We have mentioned already that a fuel stabilizer is a must to optimize the life span of your machine when not in use for long. Apart from this, let us explore some of its other benefits below.
#1. Remove Impurities From the Engine
Gasoline or fuels are comprised of impurities. Hence, fuel additives are used to prevent fuel from leaving behind gunk or impurities. This, in turn, ensures better engine performance along with increasing its longevity.
#2. Saves You Money
Fuel additives or stabilizers can save you money. But how? Well, by preventing build-up in the mower’s engine and ensuring that the fuel runs through the whale engine and carburetor without any wastage.
#3. Prevents Engine Stuttering
As we mentioned earlier, mixing fuel additives with gasoline ensures that the latter does not get oxidized. So, when using a garaged lawn mower, stabilized with a fuel stabilizer, you will not have to face the problem of sputtering or cold-starts.
Adding Gas Stabilizer
#4. Easy to use
Another benefit to stabilizers to your lawn mower’s fuel is that it is pretty easy to use, irrespective of the level of your expertise. Just follow the steps mentioned above, and you are good to go with your newly fuel stabilized lawn mower.
A. As per the thumb rule, you should use a fuel stabilizer before storing fuel or your machine (with a full tank) for more than a month. But, here, you should keep in mind that most fuel stabilizers start to lose their efficacy after 15-18 months.
A. The lifespan of fuel additives or stabilizers varies with brands. However, it is often taken that these solutions last for a maximum period of 24 months.
A. No. It is not recommended to use a fuel stabilizer with old gasoline. Doing so may reduce the efficacy of the stabilizer, as the old may already start to break down.
A. The ratio of the stabilizer and fuel generally varies from one fuel stabilizer to another. So, it is best to learn about it by going through the user guide that comes with the machine and/ or the fuel stabilizer.
To wrap up, we can state that adding a fuel stabilizer with the fuel of a lawn mower is a pretty straightforward task, which beginners can undertake even.
This process could save you time and money by reducing fuel consumption and improving the performance of your equipment. However, several different types of fuel stabilizers are available in the market, each with varying characteristics. So, it is recommended to choose the best one that goes with the fuel used in the lawn mower.
Growing up in Brooklyn, New York City known for it’s green gardens. Jennifer, a 30 year old gardener and green living fanatic started Igra World to share her gardening journey and increase gardening awareness among masses. Follow Igra World to improve your gardening skills.
Join the discussion Cancel reply
Join Our Igra-World Community! Get instant access to our latest reviews, helpful tips and exclusive deals.
The Facts on Fuel Treatment
What dealers need to know—so they can help their customers make smarter decisions.
For outdoor power equipment owners, there’s nothing more frustrating than a snowthrower that won’t start during that first snow storm, or the lawnmower that refuses to fire up for the first cut of the season. Oftentimes, issues with hard-starting engines stem from bad fuel.
The solution to many of these maintenance woes is actually quite simple: Use an effective fuel treatment at every fill-up. Fuel treatment should be used both for preventative maintenance, as well as storage.
So what is “bad” fuel?
Stale gasoline that has oxidized. Gasoline can begin to degrade, and fuel oxidization can occur 30 days after gasoline is pumped. Over time, fuel molecules will become less stable and oxidize. As fuel oxidizes it can turn to gum and clog jets and other openings in the fuel system, leading to non-starting or poor running conditions. Gummed-up carburetors cause serious problems in power equipment that sees intermittent use or long periods of storage. (See images 1 and 2.)
Ethanol-blended fuel. About 90% of the fuel sold in the United States contains ethanol, usually designated as E10. Ethanol-blended fuel is a corrosive substance and can cause the gradual destruction of the metal used in the fuel systems of outdoor power equipment.
Corrosion in the fuel system can come from two areas: water and the fuel itself. Ethanol-blended fuel is especially corrosive to soft metals found in fuel systems such as brass and aluminum. Ethanol also absorbs water, drawing it into the fuel mixture. Water is highly corrosive to a fuel system and, when ethanol and water combine, it can cause performance problems and fuel system damage. (See image 3.)
Are fuel-related problems top-of-mind?
As the world’s leading manufacturer of gasoline-powered engines for outdoor power equipment, Briggs Stratton understands what it takes to maintain good engine health. In order to ensure its engines continue to start easily and last long, Briggs Stratton constantly focuses on educating dealers and consumers on the importance of outdoor power equipment maintenance, especially in the areas of fuel treatment and ethanol-related problems. What many outdoor power equipment owners don’t know is that, in many cases, engine damage related to bad fuel voids the warranty of the engine.
Fuel-related problems are top-of-mind for Briggs Stratton, and should be for dealers too. In fact, Briggs Stratton points out, the issues with “bad” fuel are so important to it as an engine manufacturer that its engineers worked with experts in the lubricant industry to develop Briggs Stratton Advanced Formula Fuel Treatment Stabilizer, the only 5-in-1 formula that prevents ethanol problems and stabilizes fuel. (See image 4.)
Lack of recognized industry standards
With so many fuel treatments on the market today, it can be confusing for dealers to know which products they should have on their shelves, making it critical for them to truly understand the products they are selling to their customers.
“The problem with fuel treatment today is the lack of industry standards or regulation,” says Dan Gregg, executive vice president of Lube-Tech. “Anyone can bottle any type of chemicals, claim that it treats fuel and sell it to consumers.”
The experts at Lube-Tech have provided some insights into the properties of an effective fuel treatment, along with some of the chemistry that goes into formulating fuel treatment. Additionally, experts at Briggs Stratton have explained how their fuel treatment addresses the problems with ethanol-blended fuels, highlighted by Lube-Tech’s chemists.
Properties of an effective fuel treatment
An effective fuel treatment will combat the two main causes of engine damage that occur when using today’s fuel: oxidation and corrosion. A basic fuel treatment will address both of these problems with effective antioxidants and corrosion inhibitors.
Antioxidant. Antioxidants help promote stability, preventing the “clumping” that causes gummed fuel and can result in clogged jets. Briggs Stratton Advanced Formula Fuel Treatment is formulated with the most powerful blend of triple antioxidants and provides up to three years of fuel stability.
Corrosion Inhibitor. Equipment owners also want to look for fuel treatments that feature a corrosion inhibitor to block corrosion that can occur when moisture comes into contact with the metal parts in an engine. Briggs Stratton Advanced Formula Fuel Treatment contains high-performance corrosion inhibitors to protect the soft metals commonly found in most fuel systems.
Aside from those two critically important properties, there are other things to also consider.
Detergent. One additional component of an effective fuel treatment is a fuel system cleaner, or detergent, to help clean fuel lines, carburetor jets, needles, and even intake valves. Briggs Stratton Advanced Formula Fuel Treatment contains advanced detergents to maintain fuel system health.
Alcohol. One thing equipment owners don’t want in the fuel treatment they use is added alcohol. With many ethanol-blended fuels containing up to 10% ethanol, the last thing an equipment owner would want is to add more alcohol to the fuel. Also, owners need to be particularly cautious when reading fuel treatment labels. Alcohol, or oxygen-containing solvents, can be listed under many names, including ethanol, glycol ether or isopropyl alcohol. Briggs Stratton Advanced Formula Fuel Treatment contains no alcohol.
Always make fuel treatment part of the customer conversation
Undoubtedly, one of your keys to success is ensuring that your customers are satisfied when they leave your shop. If a customer comes to you with an engine that needs repair due to “bad” gas, the best way to keep that customer for life is to make sure they don’t experience the same problem again in the near future.
Fuel treatment should always be part of the customer conversation, whether the sale has been finalized, the customer is getting equipment serviced, or the customer is just window shopping.
Educate customers on preventative care, rather than trying to fix the problem after it has happened. It’s cheaper to maintain good engine health than to repair a damaged engine later.
Let the customer know that all gas is not created equal. The fuel they pump for their automobile is not formulated for their outdoor power equipment, and should be treated with an effective fuel treatment every time they fill their fuel can.
No one likes to be caught off-guard. Make sure all employees at your store/shop are educated on the damaging effects of ethanol and the essentials of an effective fuel treatment so they can answer any questions your customers may have. Turn to engine manufacturers that produce fuel treatment for their particular equipment, as it is in their best interest to keep their products running at optimum levels. These manufacturers are also good sources for content and images to help you make the sale.
There’s no better selling tool than letting the customer see firsthand the benefits of a product (see image 5). If you just finished up a costly repair for the customer, hand them a sample pouch of fuel treatment and give them a short overview of its benefits. Remind them of the importance of using it as preventative maintenance as well as for storage. After experiencing the easy starting associated with an effective fuel treatment, they’ll likely be back to purchase more.
Educating your customers on the benefits of fuel treatment and the damage it can prevent positions you, the dealer, as a trustworthy and credible source. It shows you’re looking out for the customer with preventative care tips rather than trying to capitalize when the equipment malfunctions. And building those long-lasting relationships with your customers is paramount to your success.
Water in Gas Lawn Mower: How It Gets in and How To Fix It
Water in gas lawn mower could not only waste your precious gardening and lawn mowing time, but most of all, it can also damage your ever-reliable lawn mower.
You can prevent this from happening by knowing how water collects in a lawn mower and the ways to fix it – usually by accident. Read on and find out which scenario is applicable to your gas lawn mowers.
Why Is There Water in Your Gas Lawn Mower?
There is water in your gas lawn mower because of three main reasons: carelessness, accidents, and fuel usage. Water has a tendency to accumulate in your mower.
Despite your good intentions and caution in taking care of your machine, this doesn’t keep you safe from having to encounter this problem.
Yes, letting your mower sit outside your garden for too long will expose it to moisture and condensation. This happens when the gas tank is left under hot day and cold night conditions. Moisture and condensation will eventually collect in your tank, settling at the bottom and waiting to be sucked in by your lawn mower machine.
Not checking your gas caddy tank could also lead to water getting into your lawn mower. Checking every part of your lawn mower and its nearby materials is imperative, more so when the lawn mower engine has been left out for too many days.
Also, you have to check if your gas container tank has an ill-fitting or loosely fitted cap or perhaps there are small cracks or small openings where water could enter unnoticed.
Forgetting to winterize your lawn mower will also result in some water condensation gathering at the bottom of your gas tank. Leaving your gas tank full for the whole of winter may give you more trouble than ease, especially when you want to start using your machine once again.
If this has happened to you, you should ensure you take
better care of your gas lawn mower the next time winter comes.
– Fuel Usage
Before buying your mower, first, be familiar with its fuel usage. Although there are alternatives being used today, most lawn mower owners still use gas that has large amounts of ethanol to fuel their lawn mower machines. At 10 percent to 15 percent, ethanol is a water magnet.
It draws in dew, moisture, and condensation from the surrounding air, which will eventually contaminate the gas and lead to the unsuccessful operation of the mowing machine.
Accidents do happen, and your gas mower is no exception. It may be one of the reasons why water goes into your gas lawn mower. Numerous people have been using forum sites like Quora to ask for advice on how to get the water out of their lawn mower tanks, in which they admittedly poured water instead of fuel.
Now, even if you’re not yet an expert, here’s how to tell if there is water in gas lawn mowers. Seasoned gardeners may easily detect if there is water in their lawn mower tanks. However, that may not be the case for newbies in gardening and lawn mowing.
- Before turning on your lawn mower, look at it closely. Peek through its tank, and observe if there are any spots of moisture, globules, or bubbles at the bottom of the tank that could possibly be water. This is especially applicable when your tank has not been used for weeks or months already.
- As you crank up your engine, listen for any stutters and stumbles while your machine is switched on. You may not hear it at first, but these symptoms of bad gas in a lawn mower would eventually emerge as you continue using it. If any of these disturbances are present, then by this time, water must have reached the engine part already.
If left undetected while the mower is used continuously, the water in the gas lawn mower would lead to corrosion of metals and damage the machine.
In other cases, despite the presence of water in the gas lawn mower, the mower engine can start running as if there’s no problem at all. However, if you would observe and look closely, you would notice other signs that would point out the deficiency in the mower engine. These are the symptoms that water is running in the engine.
Splutter and stutter
When you hear that the engine is coughing when you start running it, water in your lawn mower gas tank could be the problem. In some cases, the sputtering and stuttering of the engine may not happen at the onset but rather in the middle of your mowing.
These troubles would eventually hinder you from continuing the work that needs to be done, and they indicate that water (or perhaps other elements) is present in the engine.
Another one of the water in mower gas tank symptoms you could observe is the belching bout of unusual smoke. Smoke coming out of your mower is somewhat thicker compared to that of a lawn mower gas tank where water is not present.
This happens because the fuel does not combust well in the piston of the engine because of the presence of another element, which is water.
Engine won’t start
In severe situations, if the lawn mower won’t start, water in the gas tank might have flooded the engine already. It would be difficult to mend the situation because the spark plug and air filter might have been damaged, too.
Aside from damage done on your gardening and mowing deadlines, water in the mower can also bring damage to several parts of the gas lawn mower. Once your gas fuel tank has water in it, no matter how little, the water starts getting into the engine. Expect that your gas lawn mower will be damaged in no time.
Whatever the reasons why water has gotten into your lawn mower tank, you just need to remedy it to avoid further trouble in the engine and for you as well. So, you don’t have to worry too much, try the following to solve your gas lawn mower predicaments. These three easy steps tell you.
How Do You Get Water Out of a Lawn Mower Gas Tank?
To get the water out of a lawn mower gas tank you have to do a few things: First you have to drain the tank completely, second, you have to check out the carburetor, thirdly, you can try putting in additives.
– Drain the Tank
Removing all the contaminated fuel in your gas tank is the best way to drain the tank. Pour the gas or fuel out on a designated container, and keep it for other non-engine purposes. After draining, clean the gas tank, and dry it.
Draining your gas tank is applicable when there is a lot of contamination. Be careful to include the fuel that has been stored in a.like basin right next to the main tank.
– Check Out the Carburetor
As you are now convinced that water did get into the inner parts of the engine, it is best to check your mower’s carburetor next. First, detach the spark plug. Then, track the water trail along the carburetor and other fuel lines. Dry it with a piece of cloth by wiping all over the surface. There are cleaners for carburetors you could find commercially to make this task easier.
After cleaning and drying are done, add engine oil as a protective coating. Then, you can fill your gas tank up with fresh fuel and then proceed with your tasks for the day.
– Try Additives
When the water present is only a tiny amount, other people no longer drain the tanks or do other tedious tasks. Rather, they add an additive to remove water from gas tanks contaminated with water.
Commonly used and commercially available additives go by the name of ISO-Heet, BG Ethanol. There are also lawn mower owners who confirm that the isopropyl alcohol available at home can be used as an additive. In the past, the most popular additive was dry gas. Dry gas for lawn mowers works like any other additive, with a small amount added to the fuel.
Additive products are added to your gas fuel, such that the moisture is absorbed and suspended until the fuel (with a little water) could be combusted by the engine already. Additives help a great deal for a small engine machine that must have undergone freezing and or has water or moisture in it, which is a problem mostly encountered by people.
Frequently Asked Questions
– How Do You Avoid Getting Water Into the Gas Lawn Mower?
You can avoid getting water into the gas lawn mower by being careful. Accidentally pouring water into it can be avoided. Also, provide proper care when storing your gas lawn mower for a long time. If using the mower for the first time, check that no water has accumulated.
– Is the Water in the Gas Fuel Tank Harmful to the Lawn Mower Engine?
Yes, the water in the gas fuel tank is harmful to the lawn mower engine. The water can corrode the tank and damage all other parts of the engine where it has passed through. This can cause the metal parts of your mower’s engine to rust and eventually degrade over time.
– What Is the Milky Liquid In the Lawn Mower?
The milky gas in lawn mowers indicates that the fuel and gas is contaminated with water. This happens when water reacts with petroleum products, such as gasoline. The ensuing chemical reaction between these two elements will result in an emulsified liquid.
One of the common problems encountered by gas lawn mower owners is the presence of water in their gas tank. Unknowingly, the water gets into the engine and causes heavy damage to the lawn mower. One must take note of the following to have a smooth operation of the gas lawn mower:
- Water gets into your gas lawn mower either by accident, carelessness, or choice of fuel used. Whichever is the case, you must act immediately to save your engine and your time.
- If there is a large amount of water in the engine, it is best to drain it and supply fresh fuel.
- Additives could be added when there is only a small amount of water that got into your engine.
- Proper care is necessary to avoid troubles and damage to the gas lawn mower.
Yes, water inside a gas tank can be a problem, but given the right information here, solving this dilemma would not be impossible for you.