Engine Question: Running out the gas - Snowblower Forum : Snow Blower Forums
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post #1 of 36 Old 01-22-2020, 07:10 PM Thread Starter
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Engine Question: Running out the gas

Gentleman,

I am not starting this thread to hash out the merits of whether or not to run the carb out of gas after each use to ensure it stays clear and clean.

Rather, my question for the engine experts is this.. Does running the engine out of gas after each use cause strain on the internal components? For example, the surging that occurs prior to shutting down?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 36 Old 01-22-2020, 08:11 PM
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Some have argued that running lean at the end (as it's running lean and surging) isn't great for the engine, as a mixture that's too-lean burns hotter. I would argue that this is only for seconds, and you're not actually putting a load on the engine, so the throttle is mostly closed. Meaning there's a lot less heat being generated in the cylinder than when you're deep in the snow. I don't consider this to be a significant risk, personally.

However, if I'm standing there, I'll turn the choke on as the engine starts to falter. That keeps the mixture richer, and I figure probably helps better empty the bowl, as the engine may keep running a few seconds longer.

PS- I like your profile pic, and I don't think Al would worry about this. He would make sure the engine learned its lesson, and didn't mess with him again.

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post #3 of 36 Old 01-22-2020, 08:54 PM
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for the life of me have no idea why someone would do this except end of season.

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post #4 of 36 Old 01-22-2020, 09:13 PM
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I never, ever run my tanks dry … in season or end of year, always use Stabil and half the rate of SeaFoam in all my gas … never had a problem with my carbs … I do periodically run my machines.
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post #5 of 36 Old 01-22-2020, 09:38 PM
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I should add, I was talking about 4-stroke machines. For a 2-stroke (like many older single-stage machines), that fuel is also carrying the oil for the engine.

So I'd be hesitant to regularly run my 2-stroke carb dry. It's probably not going to do anything meaningfully bad to the engine, but it's probably not really doing the cylinder bore and piston any favors, either.

I guess you could wait until it starts to falter, then add choke, to smooth it out. As it starts to run rough again, you could shut off the ignition, to kill it more quickly. While still mostly emptying the bowl.

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post #6 of 36 Old 01-22-2020, 11:33 PM
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The reasons they have a Switch on Snow Blowers is to turn them off.

Nothing in any literature from the mfg or real world experience says anything about running them dry.
Do you run clamp the fuel line on your car even back in carb days?

I have seen far more issues with empty carbs and never found one with fuel in it to be a problem.

Fuel shutoff is because the tanks are above the carb and you need to have a means to turn them off so you can work on them when needed.


All evidence I have seen is to leave fuel in machine, do not let the float evaporate or you will have gas residues in it ala varnish.

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Last edited by RC20; 01-22-2020 at 11:40 PM.
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post #7 of 36 Old 01-23-2020, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RC20 View Post
The reasons they have a Switch on Snow Blowers is to turn them off.

Nothing in any literature from the mfg or real world experience says anything about running them dry.
Do you run clamp the fuel line on your car even back in carb days?

It is in the owners manuals also. While they all advise a "stabilizer" some have got on the marketing trail and sell their own now. However, people disregard the ratio of stabilizer to fuel directions and seem to think if one ounce is good, three should be super good.



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post #8 of 36 Old 01-23-2020, 11:26 AM
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Not all of my machines have a fuel shut-off valve. But for the ones that do, I typically will shut the valve off and let the engine run out of gas (i.e. carb bowl empty) when I am done using the machine.


I don't see any huge difference in how the machines run, and running the engine out of gas certainly is not harmful, given the short duration of 'lean' condition, etc.


One thing I do notice is that the engines that had their fuel shut off and run dry tend to start up quicker and better after the off-season layup, even though the fuel is treated with stabilizer.

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post #9 of 36 Old 01-23-2020, 11:33 AM
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no it doesn't hurt the machine at all. people do it all the time with older machines instead of just installing a new needle/seat. it is why you usually find fuel shutoff valves on older machines. easier for the average person to install a valve in the fuel line than to pull the float bowl and replace the needle seat.

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post #10 of 36 Old 01-23-2020, 12:26 PM
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Fuel systems have gaskets and O rings, rubber.
When there is no fuel in the system, they dry out. Eventually they fail.

Short term it does not hurt anything, there is also no gain.

Long term they get unhappy and leak or will not start.

Simply no point.
My Yamaha simply says do not store with a full tank in a heated building. It says nothing about turning the fuel lever off and running dry.

One issue in 21 years and that was (yep) a seal on the sediment bowl.

ps: its stored outside in an unheated shed and the fuel is left on (well not when it was leaking which is what the fuel shutoff is for)_

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Last edited by RC20; 01-23-2020 at 12:29 PM.
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