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VP 4-cycle small engine fuel

Don’t Use Pump Gasoline as Emergency Fuel in Your Small Engine Power Equipment

You must have access to high-quality emergency fuel when dealing with unexpected disasters or events. You need to know that your portable equipment will start and run at peak performance in these situations. Whether it’s a portable generator, water pump, chainsaw, or Powersports vehicle, you need it to work; there’s no time to waste.


As a matter of fact, many people don’t realize that pump gasoline destroys fuel system components inside most outdoor power equipment. Power equipment is more likely not to work right when stored with pump gas in the tank.


Why is pump gas harmful to small engine power equipment? In a word, ethanol. Ethanol is an oxygenate additive blended with pump gas. Here are four key reasons ethanol is bad for small engines:

  1. Firstly, they design ethanol-blended fuels for cars, not small 2-cycle or 4-cycle engines.
  2. Secondly, ethanol absorbs water as it sits in the gas tank of a generator, chainsaw, or other similar equipment.
  3. Thirdly, water promotes corrosion, which is terrible for a hard-working small engine.
  4. Fourthly, ethanol is a solvent that dissolves plastic and rubber over time. Manufacturers of small engine power equipment make fuel lines, fittings, and carburetor parts out of rubber and plastic.

For instance, E10 gas (10% ethanol) absorbs up to 50 times more water than standard gasoline.

VP 4 cycle fuel for small engines

The Dangers of E10 and E15 Gasoline

Why You Should Avoid It as An Emergency Fuel or Everyday Fuel

Consumer Reports warned in 2013 that while the Environmental Protection Agency approved gasoline with 15 percent ethanol for cars built in 2001 and later, it prohibited its use in lawnmowers and other small engine power equipment, stating that it may cause damage.


Moreover, a Department of Energy study found that E15 caused hotter operating temperatures, erratic running, and engine-part failure in small engines. In fact, even E10 gas can lead to the destruction of small engines.


Given these points, it’s easy to see why E10 and E15 gas are less than ideal to use as either emergency fuel or everyday fuel for outdoor power equipment.


Marv Klowak served as global vice president of research and development for Briggs & Stratton until his retirement in 2018. Briggs & Stratton is the largest manufacturer of small engines. Klowak said, “Ethanol has inherent properties that can cause corrosion of metal parts, including carburetors, degradation of plastic and rubber components, harder starting, and reduced engine life.” Furthermore, “The higher the ethanol content, the more acute the effects,” he added.


According to the industry trade group Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, servicing dealers report similar problems, even with E10.

VP 40:1 mix small engine fuel

The Right Emergency Fuel for Small Engines

The OPEI claims that proposed warnings at pumps are insufficient. They say that many customers who use E15 pump gas in their outdoor power equipment will blame the manufacturers when their equipment breaks down. Most consumers don’t realize that pump gas caused the failure. Furthermore, pump gas with over 10 percent ethanol has long voided most small-engine warranties.


Fortunately, the fuel formulation experts at VP Racing Fuels have developed a line of superior ethanol-free, high-octane small engine fuels (SEF) designed especially for 2-cycle and 4-cycle equipment. VP SEF is the ideal emergency fuel and also works great for non-emergency use.


These fuels deliver industry-leading performance and meet OEM requirements. The oil in our 2-cycle fuels is JASO FD certified. Additionally, VP SEF remains stable for up to 5 years in an unopened can and two years in the tank!


These are vital points for anyone wanting to store emergency fuel for unexpected events. It’s also important to note that we blend our small engine fuels with only the best components and no unnecessary filler additives. As a result, it ensures reliable starts and maximum performance every time.


When relying on your equipment in critical situations, you need it to work. When shopping for emergency fuel, remember that VP is not an outdoor power equipment manufacturer that makes fuel. We’re a fuel company that has nearly 50 years of experience blending world-leading specialty fuels.

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