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Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom

Stihl power equipment and ethanol "enhanced" gas

Took my Stihl blower and weed eater to my local Stihl dealer since both seemed to die at the same time.

Got a call from him just a few minutes ago. He finished up repairing the weed eater and is starting on the blower.

Bottom line is the carburator was destroyed by ethanol and had to be replaced. He cleaned the muffler screen and installed a new spark plug and says it runs like a swiss watch. He indicated that probably was the problem with the blower.

He said he see's this all the time. Now I put this same gas in my vehicles. What's it doing to them? I might put it in my vehicles if it's not too costly. A benefit will by more power and better gas mileage.

In the past couple of years many vehicles have been damaged in Hampton Roads from excessive (>10%) Ethanol in the gas. Poor quality control I guess but the damage is done.

Now for the good news. My local quick stop is in the process of replacing their tanks. Talking to the owner today who was wiring up the new pumps A new addition will be non-highway diesel and "ETHANOL FREE GASOLINE" for boats, tractors and other power equipment. This is great news as the closest source for non-ethanol is marinas and a station 25 miles away.



shdesigns
Powered By Infinite Improbabilty Drive
Premium
join:2000-12-01
Stone Mountain, GA
Reviews:
·Atlantic Nexus

Ethanol will absorb water out of the air. In teh carb the gas evaporates away leaving the water that then corrodes the internals.

The carb repair kits now come with a different set of gaskets and diaphragms that don't get stiff with ethanol.

Once I saw pumps with "up to 15% ethanol" appear in my area, the next few months every neighbor stopped by with riding mowers, blowers and push mowers with crapped out carbs. That is when I started actually seeing algae growing in carbs. Also saw gas tanks with grey slime suspended in the gas.

There is also the issue of ethanol is a different solvent. Once it get introduced in an old system, it dissolves lots of crap in the tanks and lines.

I'd say less than 10% seems to not cause much problems. I seem to recall the main small engine manufactures filed a petition gov agencies to ban more than 10% ethanol as higher concentrations cause so many problems.

The other issue, is engines need to run richer on ethanol fuel. (Ethanol at 19% vs gas at 14%.) Cars will adjust for it. Small engines are already run lean to meat EPA restrictions (too lean IMO). Too much ethanol and they start backfiring, breaking rings and burning valves as they are too lean.

With the shortage of corn, looks like they will not be adding much ethanol for a while
--
Scott Henion

Embedded Systems Consultant,
SHDesigns home - DIY Welder


laserfan

join:2005-01-14
Texas
reply to Jack_in_VA

said by Jack_in_VA:

Bottom line is the carburator was destroyed by ethanol and had to be replaced....He said he see's this all the time.

Will you press him please on how to minimize the impact of this--there must be an additive we can use if there's no ethanol-free available?

I bought a new Stihl FS90 trimmer this year and a stash of Stihl oil to use with it. A really good dealer I think, but they didn't mention anything to me about fuel problems...

How old are yours? I bought the warranty extension for mine taking it to 3 years I think.

Mr Matt

join:2008-01-29
Eustis, FL
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
·Embarq Now Centu..
·Comcast
·CenturyLink
reply to Jack_in_VA

I was considering purchasing a gasoline powered generator. I was advised by a customer service representative at Lowes that I should use ethanol free gasoline to fuel the generator and where to get it. We have a lot of antique car collectors in this area. Ethanol is corrosive to the fuel systems of vehicles that are not designed to use ethanol. A local petroleum distributor sells ethanol free gasoline for use by antique car collectors.

I recommend that those that need to store gasoline for extended periods to check with local petroleum distributors to find one that sells gasoline without ethanol. I was assured by the petroleum distributor that by adding fuel stabilizer to ethanol free gasoline I could store it for up to a year without deterioration. Unleaded ethanol free gasoline is more expensive than regular unleaded with ethanol. This same distributor also sells off road ethanol free gasoline which is less expensive because it does not include highway use tax.



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
reply to laserfan

The bloweer is about 5 years old and the trimmer around 3. Never had any problems until now.



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
reply to shdesigns

said by shdesigns:

Ethanol will absorb water out of the air. In teh carb the gas evaporates away leaving the water that then corrodes the internals.

That water will also freeze in winter

The carb repair kits now come with a different set of gaskets and diaphragms that don't get stiff with ethanol.

My Stihls aren't that old and should have ethanol resistant parts. Evidently not.

Once I saw pumps with "up to 15% ethanol" appear in my area, the next few months every neighbor stopped by with riding mowers, blowers and push mowers with crapped out carbs. That is when I started actually seeing algae growing in carbs. Also saw gas tanks with grey slime suspended in the gas.

They saved the crap/gunk for me to see

There is also the issue of ethanol is a different solvent. Once it get introduced in an old system, it dissolves lots of crap in the tanks and lines.

I'd say less than 10% seems to not cause much problems. I seem to recall the main small engine manufactures filed a petition gov agencies to ban more than 10% ethanol as higher concentrations cause so many problems.

In my area apparently they can't keep the percentage at 10% or less.

The other issue, is engines need to run richer on ethanol fuel. (Ethanol at 19% vs gas at 14%.) Cars will adjust for it. Small engines are already run lean to meat EPA restrictions (too lean IMO). Too much ethanol and they start backfiring, breaking rings and burning valves as they are too lean.

I'm hoping for better performance with the ethanol free gas

With the shortage of corn, looks like they will not be adding much ethanol for a while

The farmers petitioned the government to drop the ethanol percentage in gas to ease the price of feed. The Obama administration flatly refused. (so far)


SparkChaser
Premium
join:2000-06-06
Downingtown, PA
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to Jack_in_VA

I was just thinking about this the other day when a JD walk behind quit. If you look at the pump, it gives the impression it's only the lower octane that has ethanol. I was thinking of starting to buy the good stuff.



UHF
All static, all day, Forever
Premium,MVM
join:2002-05-24
Reviews:
·Mediacom
·Callcentric
·Dish Network

Here in Iowa we have 87 octane gas, and 89 octane gas with 10% ethanol in it. I generally pay a few cents more for the 87, and my cars and small engines seem to like it better. I was getting about 10% better mpg in a 2000 Blazer using the non-ethanol.



tp0d
yabbazooie
Premium
join:2001-02-13
Carnegie, PA
kudos:5

I run Sta-Bil in all my small engines, particularly my chainsaw. Was told by a few dealers to run a higher percentage of sta-bil than they recommend, and this guards against water absorption. Has worked for me for 3yrs now.. Also keeps fuel 'good' longer.

»www.goldeagle.com/brands/stabil/···cts.aspx

-j
--
if it aint broke, tweak it!!
currently on FiOS (kick aZZ!)



sclement
SClement
Premium
join:2002-06-23
Spanish Fort, AL

Is there a reason to add stabilizer to non-ethanol gas used in a golf cart?
--
Loc:Spanish Fort, AL


moes

join:2009-11-15
Cedar City, UT
reply to Jack_in_VA

Kinda curious we're he is getting this ethanol free gas at, far as I was aware it was a federal requirement to have it in the fuel from the shipper.

Unless somethings changed in the last 7 years, I've been out of the industry that long.



SparkChaser
Premium
join:2000-06-06
Downingtown, PA
kudos:3

1 recommendation

reply to Jack_in_VA

here's a site that shows ethanol free fuel
»pure-gas.org/index.jsp



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
reply to UHF

said by UHF:

Here in Iowa we have 87 octane gas, and 89 octane gas with 10% ethanol in it. I generally pay a few cents more for the 87, and my cars and small engines seem to like it better. I was getting about 10% better mpg in a 2000 Blazer using the non-ethanol.

Are you saying the 89 is ethanol free? Not here. My local is Shell and even the V-Power premium is 10 percent. That's why he's putting in a special tank and pump for the ethanol free.

I can buy ethanol free at a station about 25 miles from me. Can't wait till my station finishes up and on line.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
reply to moes

said by moes:

Kinda curious we're he is getting this ethanol free gas at, far as I was aware it was a federal requirement to have it in the fuel from the shipper.

Unless somethings changed in the last 7 years, I've been out of the industry that long.

Check the link Spark Chaser posted on stations carrying ethanol free gas

Critsmcgee

join:2011-12-02
reply to Jack_in_VA

There is no ethanol free gas in the entire state here. Ethanol is mandated to be in the gas by state law.



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom

said by Critsmcgee:

There is no ethanol free gas in the entire state here. Ethanol is mandated to be in the gas by state law.

What state are you in?

Critsmcgee

join:2011-12-02
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

said by Jack_in_VA:

said by Critsmcgee:

There is no ethanol free gas in the entire state here. Ethanol is mandated to be in the gas by state law.

What state are you in?

Connecticut but it's also Massachusetts. Might be a few others states here as well not sure.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom

said by Critsmcgee:

said by Jack_in_VA:

said by Critsmcgee:

There is no ethanol free gas in the entire state here. Ethanol is mandated to be in the gas by state law.

What state are you in?

Connecticut but it's also Massachusetts. Might be a few others states here as well not sure.

NY and PA have a few places.

It's required here also for motor vehicle fuel but it can be sold for off road, boats, power equipment, tractors, combines etc. Nothing says you can't buy it in gas cans and put it in your vehicle. Same with diesel. Off road can be sold.

If it's not too expensive that's what I'll use in my 2003 Trailblazer. I'm not sure about my 1999 S-10.


Juggernaut
Irreverent or irrelevant?
Premium
join:2006-09-05
Kelowna, BC
kudos:2
reply to shdesigns

said by shdesigns:

With the shortage of corn, looks like they will not be adding much ethanol for a while

Dream on. Either way, they'll raise the price. Count on it.

That said, Ethanol fuel is crap. I use pure gas from Esso here, and my vehicles, and tools run far better, and cooler as well. More power, and fuel economy as well. With ethanol blend (10%), my vehicle has an unsteady idle, and with pure gas, smooth as silk.
--
Better to have it and not need it, then need it and not have it.

Critsmcgee

join:2011-12-02
reply to Jack_in_VA

They use to sell pure gas at the airport stations but they stopped that a while ago. I wish I could find pure gas just for the yard machines.



Juggernaut
Irreverent or irrelevant?
Premium
join:2006-09-05
Kelowna, BC
kudos:2

Go to a marina, or farm gas station for marked gas.



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
reply to Critsmcgee

said by Critsmcgee:

They use to sell pure gas at the airport stations but they stopped that a while ago. I wish I could find pure gas just for the yard machines.

How about marinas? I have one about 2 miles from me but I'm not paying over $5/gal for it.


Juggernaut
Irreverent or irrelevant?
Premium
join:2006-09-05
Kelowna, BC
kudos:2

Might be worth it Jack, after you see the repair bills on those tools.
--
Better to have it and not need it, then need it and not have it.



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom

said by Juggernaut:

Might be worth it Jack, after you see the repair bills on those tools.

I know it's going to be expensive. Too bad I'm not a Stihl competent mechanic.

robbin
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
Leander, TX
kudos:1
reply to Jack_in_VA

said by Jack_in_VA:

It's required here also for motor vehicle fuel but it can be sold for off road, boats, power equipment, tractors, combines etc. Nothing says you can't buy it in gas cans and put it in your vehicle. Same with diesel. Off road can be sold.

Other than the fact that it is totally illegal -- there are no highway taxes on it because it cannot be used on public roads.


Juggernaut
Irreverent or irrelevant?
Premium
join:2006-09-05
Kelowna, BC
kudos:2
reply to Jack_in_VA

Precisely my point. How many gallons will it take to pay for the bill? I'll bet a few years worth, and no downtime either.

I also run full synthetic oil in all my tools, 2 and 4 stroke. Worth every penny, IMO.
--
Better to have it and not need it, then need it and not have it.



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
reply to robbin

Duplicate post



Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
reply to robbin

said by robbin:

said by Jack_in_VA:

It's required here also for motor vehicle fuel but it can be sold for off road, boats, power equipment, tractors, combines etc. Nothing says you can't buy it in gas cans and put it in your vehicle. Same with diesel. Off road can be sold.

Other than the fact that it is totally illegal -- there are no highway taxes on it because it cannot be used on public roads.

I hope you really don't think I care about that? Not hardly. I had no say about the forcing of putting ethanol in gasoline by the government to buy the votes of corn farmers. The hundreds of vehicles I see here with "Farm Use" tags, "Watermen" tags, "Antique Vehicle" tags are being used illegally. I say if they can get away with it have at it.


Jack_in_VA
Premium
join:2007-11-26
North, VA
kudos:1
Reviews:
·Millenicom
reply to Juggernaut

said by Juggernaut:

Precisely my point. How many gallons will it take to pay for the bill? I'll bet a few years worth, and no downtime either.

I also run full synthetic oil in all my tools, 2 and 4 stroke. Worth every penny, IMO.

I think you are being very proactive and should see good results IMO.


Juggernaut
Irreverent or irrelevant?
Premium
join:2006-09-05
Kelowna, BC
kudos:2

I hate spending money because of my stupidity.