VP 4-cycle small engine fuel

Why Pump Gasoline is Bad for 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 simply 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. Even more, power equipment runs a higher risk of not working properly when it’s stored with pump gas in the tank.

Why is pump gas bad for small engine power equipment? In a word, ethanol. Ethanol is an oxygenate additive that is blended in 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, and that’s a bad thing 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

Consumer Reports warned in 2013 that The Environmental Protection Agency approved gasoline with 15 percent ethanol for cars that were built in 2001 and later. However, 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. 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.” Briggs & Stratton is the largest manufacturer of small engines. “The higher the ethanol content, the more acute the effects,” he added.

Servicing dealers are reporting similar problems, even with E10, according to the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, which is the industry’s trade group.

VP 40:1 mix small engine fuel

The Right 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. In fact, using pump gas with over 10 percent ethanol has long voided most small-engine warranties.

Fortunately, the fuel formulation experts at VP Racing Fuels develop a line of superior ethanol-free, high-octane small engine fuels designed especially for 2-cycle and 4-cycle equipment. 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 key points for anyone wanting to store emergency fuel for unexpected events. It’s also important to realize that we blend our small engine fuels with only the best components and no unnecessary filler additives. As a result, you’re ensured of reliable starts and maximum performance every time.

When relying on your equipment in critical situations, you simply need it to work.

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