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How to Protect Power Equipment Engines from Ethanol Corrosion

September 15, 2014

Gasoline containing more than 10 percent ethanol and small engines are a lot like oil and water—they just don’t mix.

Outdoor power equipment commonly found on a construction site, such as portable generators and concrete saws, are designed and certified to operate using fuels containing 10 percent ethanol or less. This blended fuel is commonly referred to as E10. But as biofuels containing an ethanol ratio higher than 10 percent become more widely available for passenger vehicles on the roadways, gas stations are making these fuel options available at more pumps across the nation. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has stated that fuel containing 15 percent ethanol is safe to use only in automobiles that are model year 2001 and newer.

“With this new emphasis on biofuels containing 15 percent ethanol spread across the country, the chance for misfueling outdoor power equipment is extraordinarily high,” says Laura Timm, vice president of public affairs and corporate communications for Briggs & Stratton. “Briggs & Stratton fully supports lessening our dependence on foreign oil, but introducing a fuel that is only compatible for a subset of the marketplace will cause great confusion for consumers and our customers. The fact remains that small engines are not designed for or even legally certified to operate on fuels with ethanol levels higher than 10 percent, and they are being damaged as a result of misfueling.”  Read more from the article here.