Hey, isn't it great we're using ethanol in our tanks to lessen our dependence on foreign oil? Well to find out the benefits of having ethanol in the fuel in your tank and also what the drawbacks are, keep on reading:
Ethanol Drawbacks -
|Dried, hardened varnish deposits on intake valves from old gasoline with ethanol|
|Damaged lifters and bent pushrod caused by old gasoline with ethanol turning to varnish and hardening on the intake valves|
Aircraft engine manufacturers Continental and Lycoming no longer allow automotive gas to be used in light aircraft due to the damage today's auto fuels with ethanol have caused to aircraft engine components when left sitting for months at a time as light aircraft often do.
I personally had an auto engine damaged where I left the fuel in for over a year. It started fine, I got it tuned and running well and shut it down. The varnished fuel hardened on the intake valves and when I started it again the next day the valves stuck and all hell broke loose. 4 pushrods were bent and two lifters were broken. All valve guides were worn to a long bell shape on the inside from the wear of the hardened varnish and had to be sleeved.
A neighbor could not get his lawnmower started that he had left the gas in over the winter. I found it to have good spark but no compression. It was an overhead valve engine so there was a valve cover that could be removed. The intake valve was stuck in the open position. Using a mallet to tap it in and a couple of screwdrivers to lever it out as I sprayed it with carburetor cleaner the valve was freed up. The engine started but ran badly. The carburetor jets and float bowl were clogged with hardened varnish and the fuel tank needed to be drained and cleaned. The float bowl had to be removed and emptied and the jets cleaned several times before it ran reliably. The fuel tank contained clumps of hardened varnish and had to be removed and cleaned out. Pouring a small amount of mineral spirits (paint thinner) into the gas/petrol helps cut the varnish. The main ingredient of mineral spirits and bottled carburetor cleaner is petroleum distillates.
Ethanol/gas mix use in lawnmower/snowblower engines - At the end of the season drain as much of the fuel from the tank as you can. Start the engine and run it dry. If there is a drain button in the float bowl press it and drain the float bowl. Spray WD40 into the intake or spark plug hole and turn the engine over a few times to keep rust at bay. Empty the contents of your gas can into your car filtering it through a paper towel in the funnel you've stuck in the gas tank spout. Start with fresh gas each season, and only buy enough to get you through the next couple of months. If you really do need to have gas on hand, be sure to empty the contents of the gas can into your car every 3 months and refill if you are not replenishing it that often.
So in summary, Ethanol use in gasoline Sucks.
Back to the Tecumseh Snowblower/Lawnmower page