Ethanol Mixed Gas - Bad for lawnmowers? (1 Viewer)

DadsDream

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Wifey is mad. She can't start the lawnmower. She's about pulled her shoulder out of socket and it won't start. It's never done this before.

"I knew I shouldn't have used that ethanol gas!" she said. She got the gas at the Murphy Oil outlet at Wal Mart. They just put tags on all their pumps, bragging that they're using an ethanol mix.

The mower is a 2-year old Murray with a 2.5 hp Tecumseh engine. I'm at my contract job 200 miles away and can't go empty the gas trap and refill the tank with good gas until this weekend.

Is ethanol mixed gas really a problem with 2 and 4 stroke engines? :scratch:
 

Thorin

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DD, that's a relatively low compression engine, I don't think it should be a problem. Does it fire at all?
 

Thorin

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I Googled around, apparently a lot of folks are using ethanol blended fuel in small engines. I don't think that's the problem. Unless, of course, it's bad gas.
 
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DadsDream

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DD, that's a relatively low compression engine, I don't think it should be a problem. Does it fire at all?

Good question, Thorin! But, after the scathing e-mail I got with her describing her frustration and aching shoulder, I'm reluctant to ask for any more details.

Suggesting that she have our son-in-law come over and empty the gas trap caused her to fire off a half-page assessment of his character and work ethic. :covri:

This may also be a ploy have a legitimate excuse for me to spend the gas money for a round trip to home this weekend...at least in her mind. A justification she needs so she doesn't have to admit she misses me and wants me to come home this weekend. :9:
 

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Supposedly a study was done that found at up to 10% ethanol was safe for lawn equipment.

That said, ethanol is more corrosive then regular gasoline, specifically to carburetors. Cars nowdays are built with materials that withstand that, but that may not be true for your mower.

How long have you been using ethanol? And how old is the mower? It maybe a "straw that broke the camels back" issue. In particular you're going to want to check the rubber components. If you've been using ethanol for awhile or if it's an older mower that may have already had some corrosion and wear and then had ethanol put in it, that's likely your problem.
 
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DadsDream

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It's a 2-year-old Techumseh engine and I've never used ethanol mix in it before. I have disassembled a Techumseh carburator before, though. They use a needle valve and spring arrangement and I have seen cases where they needle valve would get corroded, gummed up or stuck.
 

LSSpam

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It's a 2-year-old Techumseh engine and I've never used ethanol mix in it before. I have disassembled a Techumseh carburator before, though. They use a needle valve and spring arrangement and I have seen cases where they needle valve would get corroded, gummed up or stuck.

If it's the ethanol, your problem will be with the rubber seals.

Edit - That said, I'm skeptical that in a 2 year old mower the very first time you put ethanol in it ist suddenly falls to pieces.
 

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Wifey is mad. She can't start the lawnmower. She's about pulled her shoulder out of socket and it won't start. It's never done this before.

"I knew I shouldn't have used that ethanol gas!" she said. She got the gas at the Murphy Oil outlet at Wal Mart. They just put tags on all their pumps, bragging that they're using an ethanol mix.

The mower is a 2-year old Murray with a 2.5 hp Tecumseh engine. I'm at my contract job 200 miles away and can't go empty the gas trap and refill the tank with good gas until this weekend.

Is ethanol mixed gas really a problem with 2 and 4 stroke engines? :scratch:

Personally, I think you should drive back to Alex and fix it for her. I know it's a long drive, but if I ever got my wife to cut the grass or even attempt to cut the grass, I'd drive several thousand miles if that's what it took.:hihi:


It's weird, my wife doesn't think there is anything that is "woman's work", but somehow cutting the grass is "man's work" that can only be done by me. And she's not a Princess, she grew up working in her family's mill works, running cross country and playing soccer with the boys in Alex, but somehow she can not seem to be motivated to cut grass.
 

Maxp

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I know in marine applications ethanol gas has caused massive problems with older engines and certain fuel tanks. Also like Spam wrote, some rubber components start to break down. I have heard many people that have put ethanol in the fuel tanks has caused gunk and other particulates to break loose and clog fuel filters and carburetors. People have also had many problems when leaving ethanol gas in their fuel tanks for extended periods due to water build up in the tank.
 

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