ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Across the United States this fall and winter, lawn mowers and other seasonal outdoor power equipment should have their remaining fuel removed before a long winter nap. The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) offers fuel use and storage tips to help those who are winterizing their equipment investments.
“Proper fuel use of outdoor power equipment is easy to accomplish and important to be mindful of as we change seasons,” said Kris Kiser, president and CEO of the OPEI. “Whether we’re filling our jerry cans at the pump, or putting equipment away for the season, there are some important things to remember in order to protect equipment and avoid costly misuse.”
Tip #1: Look before you pump.
Most gasoline contains 10 percent ethanol (E10) which is safe for your equipment. But many gas pumps now offer higher ethanol blended gas—such as 15, 30, 50 or 85 percent ethanol gas. These higher blends are not designed for use in outdoor power equipment and may cause damage or failure. And remember, fuels containing ethanol can potentially stale over time. To be safe, try to avoid purchasing more than what you’ll need for thirty days.
Tip #2: Properly dispose of leftover fuel.
Whether left in the tank of your equipment or in a gas can on the shelf, it’s easy to forget how old your fuel is. Take note of when you purchased the fuel and properly dispose of it after a month.
Tip #3: Run the tank dry or drain unused fuel out of the equipment you are storing.
A safe and easy way to dispose of fuel is to run the engine until the tank is empty. You can also add fuel stabilizer to the gas, run the engine so it circulates throughout the system, and then safely drain the tank. This step ensures that any residual fuel remaining in the equipment after the tank has drained is treated.