For consumers and businesses seeking to prepare for unexpected disasters or events, access to portable equipment is critical. From portable generators and water pumps to chainsaws and powersports vehicles, you simply need it to work. What many people don’t realize is that pump gas destroys the fuel systems components inside most outdoor power equipment. What’s worse is that when pump gas has been sitting inside stored power equipment, the chances of that equipment working when needed is low.
The culprit is the ethanol found inside pump gas. Fuels blended with ethanol are intended for your car – not your outdoor power equipment. Ethanol absorbs water over time, leading to poor engine performance. As an example, E10 gas absorbs up to 50 times more water than standard gasoline. Even worse, one of the properties of ethanol is that it is an excellent solvent – meaning, it will dissolve plastic and rubber – which happen to be what the fuel lines, fittings and carburetor parts are made of in most 2-cycle and 4-cycle engines.
Back in 2013, Consumer Reports warned that The Environmental Protection Agency has approved gasoline with 15 percent ethanol for use in cars year 2001 or newer, yet it prohibits its use in mowers and other power equipment, stating it may cause damage. A Department of Energy study found that E15 caused hotter operating temperatures, erratic running, and engine-part failure. But even gas with the usual 10 percent ethanol (E10) could help destroy small engines.
“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,” says Marv Klowak, global vice president of research and development for Briggs & Stratton, the largest manufacturer of small engines. “The higher the ethanol content, the more acute the effects.” Servicing dealers are reporting similar problems, even with E10, according to the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, the industry’s trade group.
The OPEI also claims that proposed warnings at pumps are insufficient and that customers will blame equipment makers should mowers and other outdoor gear fail from being accidentally fueled with E15 gasoline. Using gasoline with more than the usual 10-percent ethanol has long voided most small-engine warranties.
Fortunately, the fuel formulation experts at VP Racing Fuels have developed a line of ethanol-free, high-octane small engine fuels designed especially for 2-cycle and 4-cycle equipment. Not only do these fuels deliver industry leading performance and meet OEM requirements (the oil used in the 2-cycle fuels is JASO FD certified) – they are stable up to 5 years in the unopened can! This is key for anyone wanting to store fuels for emergency preparedness. When relying on your equipment in critical situations, you simply need it to work.
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