When it comes to taking care of your lawn, one essential tool you rely on is your lawn mower. Whether you have a small suburban yard or a sprawling estate, a well-maintained lawn mower is crucial to keeping your grass looking neat and healthy.
While you might be diligent about changing the oil, cleaning the blades, and sharpening them regularly, there’s one aspect of lawn mower maintenance that is often overlooked – the type of gas you use.
Many people assume that all gasoline is the same, and they pour whatever gas they have on hand into their lawn mower without giving it much thought.
However, using the right type of gas is essential for the optimal performance and longevity of your lawn mower. In this guide, we’ll explore what gas to put in your lawn mower, why it matters, and some tips for keeping your mower running smoothly.
The Importance of Using the Right Gas
First and foremost, let’s address why using the correct type of gas in your lawn mower is crucial. Your lawn mower’s engine, just like the engine in your car, is designed to run on a specific type of fuel.
Using the wrong type of gas can lead to various issues, including decreased performance, increased maintenance costs, and even permanent damage to the engine.
Here are some key reasons why using the right gas matters:
Lawn mower engines are typically small and designed for efficiency. Using the recommended gas ensures that the engine runs smoothly, providing the power needed to cut your grass evenly and efficiently.
The right gas helps maintain fuel efficiency, which means you’ll get more mowing done on a single tank of gas. This can save you money on fuel costs in the long run.
Using the wrong type of gas, such as ethanol-blended gasoline, can lead to engine damage over time. It may corrode engine components and result in costly repairs or the need to replace the entire engine.
Now that we understand why using the right gas is essential, let’s dive into the specific types of gas suitable for lawn mowers:
Understanding Gasoline Types for Lawn Mowers
Regular Unleaded Gasoline (87 Octane):
This is the most common type of gasoline and is suitable for most lawn mowers. It typically contains no ethanol or a minimal ethanol content (up to 10%). However, it’s crucial to check your lawn mower’s owner’s manual to confirm the recommended gasoline type.
While some gas stations offer gasoline with ethanol content higher than 10%, it’s generally not recommended for small engines like those in lawn mowers. Ethanol can absorb water, which may lead to engine problems, especially if the mower sits unused for extended periods. Stick to E10 (10% ethanol) or ethanol-free gasoline.
This is considered the best option for lawn mowers. Ethanol-free gasoline eliminates the risks associated with ethanol-blended fuels. It provides clean, stable fuel that won’t harm your engine or fuel system. Many gas stations offer ethanol-free gasoline, so look for one in your area.
High-octane gasoline (often 89 or 91 octane) is unnecessary for most lawn mowers. Small engines are designed for regular unleaded gasoline, and using higher-octane fuel won’t yield any significant benefits in terms of performance or fuel efficiency. Stick with the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Tips for Proper Gasoline Storage
Now that you know what type of gas to put in your lawn mower, let’s discuss some tips for storing gasoline correctly to ensure it remains suitable for your mower:
Use Fresh Gasoline:
Avoid using gasoline that has been sitting in your gas can for an extended period. Gasoline can become stale and less effective over time. Instead, purchase fresh gasoline for your lawn mower.
Add Fuel Stabilizer:
If you anticipate storing your lawn mower for an extended period, consider adding a fuel stabilizer to the gasoline. Fuel stabilizers help prevent fuel degradation and protect your engine.
Store Gasoline Properly:
Store your gasoline in a clean, sealed container designed for fuel storage. Keep it in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures.
Don’t Overfill the Tank:
When filling your lawn mower’s gas tank, avoid overfilling. Leave some space to allow for fuel expansion. Overfilling can lead to fuel spillage and potential engine damage.
Use a Fuel Filter:
Consider using a fuel filter in your lawn mower’s fuel line to help prevent debris and contaminants from entering the engine. This can improve engine performance and longevity.
In conclusion, choosing the right gas for your lawn mower is essential for maintaining its performance and ensuring its longevity. Regular unleaded gasoline with no or minimal ethanol content is typically suitable for most lawn mowers.
However, always refer to your mower’s owner’s manual for specific recommendations. Proper gasoline storage and maintenance practices will help keep your lawn mower running smoothly, allowing you to maintain a beautiful and well-kept lawn for years to come.