How to deal with Ethanol? Ontario changed law even premium has up to 10% ethanol.

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ShaneMac

Member
Sep 28, 2021
130
Ontario
I use to only use premium due to its 0 ethanol content. Ontario has since changed the rules and now all tiers of gas are 10% ethanol. Now that it makes no sense to get premium what is the best way to deal with ethanol gas? Use ethanol gas when using saw daily and ensure to run it dry end of season? Use ethanol gas for bulk of season and switch to pre-mix fuel to ensure ethanol free and storage?
 
I bought some "ethanol stabilizer" or whatever the heck it's called and mixed it double dosed into fresh mixed premium and am currently running it through everything. I couldn't bring myself to buy 10.00/ litre fuel. I saw this lucas product at the local bulk fuel outfit on Friday, read the label, and am using it. Idk.

What a pita.
 
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There's no E0 available locally or for a reasonable price. I have been dealing with E10 for 26 years since I moved here.

I use Stabil Marine stabilizer in all my gas (we also have generator, lawn tractor, log splitter, and UTV that all use gas). I mix up a gallon of premix at a time. If it gets more than a few months old I run it through the lawn mower or log splitter. If the straight gas gets more than a few months old I run it through the truck and go buy more.

I empty the tanks and run the saws and other two stroke equipment dry when I'm not going to be using them for a while. For example the brush cutter doesn't get used in winter so I empty it in the fall. For the equipment with no fuel tap and no easy way to empty the fuel system, like the lawn tractor, I just let them sit for the winter with gas in them. It's not been a problem.

I have had fuel system problems once in the last 26 years- a saw that I accidentally left with gas in it for a couple years, before I was using fuel stabilizer. I disassembled and cleaned the carb and it's fine.

Note it does not get all that cold where I am. It's rarely below freezing for long. One of the problems with ethanol is phase separation. That requires water in the fuel but the colder it is the more likely it is to happen. The ethanol grabs the water and when it separates there's a layer of water and ethanol. That can damage the fuel system. One fix is to not get water in your fuel! Storage cans should be sealed, not vented. Vented cans "breathe" with temperature changes and each breath in brings in more water vapor.
 
My saw dealer recommended a small local airport where you could get ethanol free gas. That was an option before it was available at pumps at some gas stations.
 
Guessing you've probably checked this site out...
It's user updated so may not be completely current, but there's a few in ON that have appear to have been updated recently.

Adding: Around me here in CO, all normal grades including premium have included ethanol for quite some time. The ethanol free is a separate dispenser nozzle all to its own, usually around 87 octane.
 
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My experience is ethanol wreaks havoc on small seasonal equipment with carbs the worse, especially older equipment. Carb fuel bowls are always vented to atmosphere and fuel is left in them when the engine is stopped unless the engine is run out of gas (even then some gas may remain depending on the design). The gas slowly evaporates, leaving a high blend of ethanol that breaks down and turns into sludge. It also can attack older gaskets. That sludge eventually clogs the carb. Folks with older outboard boat motors have really taken the hit and most outdoor power equipment dealers love ethanol gas as it means more sales. If someone knows how to clean carbs and fuel systems there is plenty of dead equipment getting junked. Most folks just junk the old one and buy a new one. Various gas stabilizers do seem to work for intermittently used engines and may help over a winter but IMHO it just slows things down. Far better to learn how to drain carb bowls. My Honda snowblower has a fuel shut off valve and easy to get at drain on the bottom of the carb so I shut off the fuel and drain it in the spring.

A lot of folks swear by Seafoam to clear out engines with ethanol sludge issues. Other folks use Startron to keep ethanol in suspension. A BTW, is the days of putting in gas line antifreeze is over as gas line antifreeze was just alcohol that attracts any moisture in the gas and keeps it in suspension so that it makes it to the engine without freezing. Older fuel injected auto and truck engines also seem to have an issue with ethanol (Ford 5.0 and GM 3800s both had issues), Techron fuel additives sometimes will do wonders to get them running right. Dealers have a system that injects it in the fuel rail to give it deep cleaning if the system is clogged up but giving the fuel tank a dose to keep the system clean helps. If it has not been used and the engine is running rough a double dose is sometimes needed.

I can buy ethanol free locally at about 25% more expensive than ethanol gas. There is large ATV trail network nearby (biggest one in the NE) with hundreds if not thousands in the area on weekends and the majority of them fuel up at ethanol free pumps as many have learned the hard way. FYI, a hint that there is problem with small engines is if they need to run with the choke slightly closed, it usually means the jets or seats in the carb are getting gunked up. Eventually the gunk turns into a brown varnish but the engine has long since stopped running.

There are various methods out on the internet on how to "wash" out the ethanol from gas but I will let you do the research. Ethanol is an octane booster so there will be some drop in octane if you DIY ethanol free. Be aware that Avgas contains Tetraethyl lead and like old leaded gasoline, it is toxic and bioaccumulative, if someone was alive especially a child in an urban area when leaded gas was around, they have lost a few IQ points due to leaded gas.
 
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Well, I don't worry about it. Two cycle oil has stabilizers in it. I've left two cycle gas in trimmers and such for several months the with no problem starting and running 4 months later.
 
Well, I don't worry about it. Two cycle oil has stabilizers in it. I've left two cycle gas in trimmers and such for several months the with no problem starting and running 4 months later.
I have to agree. Taking some efforts if the engine is going to sit for long periods isn't a bad idea but I don't seem to have the problems that others have with ethanol gas. I put Stabil in my gas cans starting in the fall and I shut the gas off and run the carburetors dry on some of my engines like rototiller and generator. I've got weedeaters, lawnmowers and chainsaws that are well over 30 years old and have run on gas with ethanol since it's been around.
 
Another problem with ethanol laced fuel is it attacks the older rubber or composite/plastic fuel lines turning them into mush on the inside or making them hard and brittle . Then they develop cracks .
 
Another problem with ethanol laced fuel is it attacks the older rubber or composite/plastic fuel lines turning them into mush on the inside or making them hard and brittle . Then they develop cracks .
Does any of these additives help with that?
 
I store all my gas equipment in a 45 degree basement. And use sea foam
 
I store all my gas equipment in a 45 degree basement. And use sea foam
No gas in the home. I had a house with a drive-in basement once. Just pulling a hot car or motorcycle in stunk up the whole house.
 
i have yet to run into issues with ethanol based fuel. For the non mix tools i run the carb dry at the end of the season and the things that run mixed i do not worry about. Everything started the next season no issues years of running that fuel and never a issue unless i ran a stabilizer.
 
It’s expensive but how about some of the canned fuel sold in stores? I believe it’s pure gas and I think you can get it premixed or just gas.
 
there have been complaints on those offerings as well.