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The International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association Partners With OPEI on the ‘Look Before You Pump’ Ethanol Education Campaign

October 7, 2014

OPEI’s campaign cautions users of snowmobiles, boats, motorcycles, small engine and outdoor power equipment to use correct fuel

Alexandria, Va., October 7, 2014 – Protecting your investment in small engine products, from boats to snowmobiles, from outdoor power equipment to motorcycles, is smart equipment ownership. Now, the International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association (ISMA) has partnered with the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) in the ‘Look Before You Pump’ campaign, an ethanol education and consumer protection program. The campaign reminds consumers to always use fuels containing no greater than ten percent ethanol when powering their outdoor power equipment or other non-road product, such as boats, snowmobiles and motorcycles, not designed for higher ethanol fuel blends.

The International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association is the leading association representing the manufacturers of snowmobiles, which encourage policies, programs and activities to improve the lifestyle activity of snowmobiling. Under the partnership with OPEI, ISMA will distribute ‘Look Before You Pump’ messaging and materials to its membership and other stakeholders.

Created by the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), an international trade association representing 100 small engine, utility vehicle and outdoor power equipment manufacturers and suppliers, the ‘Look Before You Pump’ campaign is most known by its emblematic prominent, red warning hand symbol indicating ‘OK’ for 10 percent ethanol and ‘No’ for mid-level ethanol blends (such as E15, E30, E85).  The campaign was launched in October 2013, in response to higher ethanol blended fuels containing being made available in the marketplace for ‘flex-fuel’ automobiles, and to warn consumers not to inadvertently mis-fuel their engine products not designed to handle these higher ethanol fuel blends.

“The level of support for ‘Look Before You Pump’ continues to grow,” said Kris Kiser, president and CEO of OPEI. “No one wants to damage or destroy their equipment. But the changing fuel marketplace demands education, as evidenced by retailers, dealers, and manufacturers—and now major industry organizations such as ISMA—being more proactive in telling American consumers and business owners to be more mindful when selecting the right fuel for their products.”


According to Ed Klim, President of ISMA, “it is important our customers know their fuel selection is important.”

The National Marine Manufacturers Association also joined forces with OPEI this summer in spreading the campaign messaging, and major retail outlets including Lowe’s, Walmart and True Value, as well as independent dealers, began using the ‘Look Before You Pump’ message in their stores and in customer circulars and catalogs this past year.

OPEI, ISMA and NMMA urge consumers to read their equipment operating manual before filling engines with gasoline to ensure they use the right fuel. For more information, visit and search for #LookB4UPump on Twitter and Facebook.

A summer 2013 OPEI/Harris Interactive study shows the vast majority of Americans (71 percent) are “not at all sure” if it is illegal or legal to put high level ethanol gas (i.e., anything greater than 10 percent ethanol) into engines such as those in boats, mowers, chain saws, snowmobiles, generators and other engine products.

Subsequent research in April 2014 through Scripps Howard’s Under One Roof panel survey,* shows that just over 72 percent are not aware that new fuels are available for certain automobiles on the market that are illegal for use in outdoor power equipment and all other non-automobile engine equipment. Just over 28 percent of respondents to the survey said they select the same gasoline for their outdoor power equipment as they do for their car or truck. Just over 12 percent said they select fuel by price, while more than 43 percent select fuel as stated in their owner’s manual.

About OPEI

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) is an international trade association representing more than 100 power equipment, engine and utility vehicle manufacturers and suppliers. OPEI is the advocacy voice of the industry, and a recognized Standards Development Organization for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and active internationally through the International Standards Organization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in the development of safety and performance standards. OPEI is managing partner of GIE+EXPO, the industry’s annual international trade show, and the creative force behind the environmental education program, OPEI-Canada represents members on a host of issues, including recycling, emissions and other regulatory developments across the Canadian provinces. For more information, visit

About ISMA

The International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association (ISMA) is an organization representing the four snowmobile manufacturers. We coordinate committees within the industry to handle concerns such as snowmobile safety, the promotion of the life-style activity of snowmobiling, keeping accurate statistics, reporting the growth of the industry and the positive economic impact the life-style activity has throughout the world.

Attention Media: Visuals, video and fact sheets for download or embedding are available at:

 *Under One Roof is an Internet-based consumer panel hosted by Scripps Networks Interactive that includes ~18,000 U.S. residents ages 18-64. Panel members are recruited based on their interest in the home, food, and travel and entertainment categories. Thus, the panel is comprised of “lifestyle enthusiasts,” and is therefore not intended to be nationally representative. The survey was fielded in April 2014 with 541 respondents.