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Old 08-03-2013, 10:20 PM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2012
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Protecting Gas Engines from Harmful Ethanol

From the Open Road RV.Net Blog --

Most gasoline nowadays contains ethanol additives. The ethanol is intended to reduce carbon emissions. Unfortunately ethanol has some nasty side effects like increased engine corrosion and clogged fuel systems. We use Sta-bil fuel additive (http://goo.gl/cdER07) to protect our equipment when it is not being used.My wife and I own several pieces of gasoline powered equipment. [...]


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Old 08-04-2013, 12:10 PM   #2
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Location: Lake Mary
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Sounds and reads more like an ad promoting Sta-bil, and is also full of misrepresentations. With vehicles, if 2000 model year and newer, ethanol blend fuels' biggest shortcoming is the decrease in fuel economy over pure gasoline. The reason is simple, ethanol blended fuel contains fewer carbon and hydrogen atoms, therefore less energy, therefore more fuel is required to do the same work (move the vehicle down the road). Ethanol is not "corrosive, but is hygroscopic, meaning it will bind to any moisture in the fuel system and result in corrosion of fuel system parts not made of material that resists corrosion.

There is some truth to the claim of potential fuel system/engine damage to small engines and 2 cycle engines in particular (I had a 2 cycle blower engine seize up on me). Any fuel additive designed for use with ethanol can help, and draining power equipment fuel systems for prolonged storage (such as winter in the North) is a huge help.

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Old 08-04-2013, 08:01 PM   #3
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Location: Le Sueur, MN
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I agree with everything thomasmnile wrote except I personally do not drain my fuel systems except for my outboard motor on my boat. Everything else I try to start a few times during the winter when there is a warm spell. That helps keep things from drying out and leaking later.
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Old 08-05-2013, 02:32 PM   #4
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The fact that ethanol is hygroscopic is the trait that causes corrosion. Ethanol + water + fuel + metal = corrosion. I recently replaced the entire carb on a 2 year old pressure washer because the float bowl was full of white powdery aluminum corrosion. The best solution is to not use fuel containing ethanol. Fortunately for me there is a gas station very close by that sells 90 octane ethanol free gas. I switched all my off-road equipment over to it.
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Old 08-05-2013, 03:16 PM   #5
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It cost me $185 to learn about ethanol when the carb on my ATV gummed up from it several years ago. The tech knew what was wrong soon as I described the symptoms, said he sees it all the time ( a common symptom is the engine will still run when half choked but not when un-choked). They sell the non ethanol gas here too so it should be used in power equipment when possible. I still run the ethanol gas in the boats but they are used daily, no problem there. I take care when storing....

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