If you're tired of trying to start your lawnmower...

If you have any small engines in your garage (mower, rototiller, snow blower, chain saw, trimmer, pressure washer, etc.), whether they're two or four cycle, you will save yourself much aggravation and not a little cash by never pumping any gas into a gas can without adding STA-BIL or some other fuel stabilizer. Let me say it again: never pump any gas into a gas can without adding a fuel stabilizer! (I use Marine Formula STA-BIL.)

Today's gas is about 10% ethanol and ethanol is death to small engines, particularly their carburetors. If you can't start your small engine; if you're tired of pulling the cord seventy-five times before you hear anything encouraging; go ahead and rebuild your carb (or have your small engine pro do it for you). Then, after you pay him $50 or so, stop on the way home and fill your gas can with fresh gas, first pouring an additive into the can. If you always use a fuel stabilizer, you don't need to worry about overwintering your engines with fuel in their tanks. They'll start right up next spring.

Here's an article on a new additive Briggs-Stratton has developed to deal with this problem. The article is OK, but the comments are excellent.

Tim Bayly

Tim serves Clearnote Church, Bloomington, Indiana. He and Mary Lee have five children and fifteen grandchildren.



I like the part where the B&S's detractors are saying it's actually about "housekeeping".  Reality here is that a typical lawn takes half an hour to an hour to mow--too long for an electric--but a typical lawnmower will run for two hours without refueling on half a gallon of gas or less, and the smallest gas cans you can get hold a gallon of gas.

Hence, the gallon of gas most homeowners will buy will last them four to eight weeks in the spring, six to fifteen weeks in the later summer when it's drier. 

Compare that with the average driver filling up at least once every two weeks, and you can see why a good fuel stabilizer might come in handy.  Even in fuel-injected automobiles, they will tell you to put stabilizer in when you're going to be using the same gas for three months.

I'm going to be doing this--and buying premium for that matter--even though my mowers run 2-3 hours per week on my acre and a half.  It just makes sense.

This is one of the main reason to switch to electric mowers. They are not only quiet but also require far less maintenance than standard gas ones. You can typically save about $50 of gas per year. And you do not need to worry about long inactivity periods like winter breaks.

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