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Can somebody please bottom line this for me? I took delivery of my very first snow blow yesterday...a 2015 Ariens 24" Deluxe. I've never use any type of snow blower or even a gas powered lawn mower before so I have to admit to being a compelte newbie on all things related.

I know this information is in the manual, sort of. It says "Unleaded gasoline with a pump octane rating of 86 or higher, maximum recommended ethanol content of 10%. This would seem to imply I have to scrutinize the gas pumps at EACH gasoline station everytime I go to refill to get the "right kind" or I might damage the machine. i can't believe it's that complex, is it?

I asked the local dealer I bought it from and they said "regular". I then asked "can I damage it if I put "ultra" (the medium stuff) or "supreme" (the best stuff)? He said "hold on", asked someone....came back and said "go ahead and you can put anything you want in it!" While an easy answer, that didn't quite sound right either.

So, I'm not concerned about only getting the "cheapest" gas for it. I'm more concerned about getting the "right" gas for it. For instance, I always put "Surpreme" (the highest grade) in my car because I figure it will minimize the probability of issues. I want to follow the same mentality with the snow blower.

So again, can somebody bottom line this for me? Thanks in advance for your assistance.
 

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Most regular gas is 87 octane. That same octane level in mountain states is lower due to the altitude. People debate the benefits of higher octane but the biggest concern is ethanol. In your owners manual, the 10% ethanol means that is the MAXIMUM you want to use. If you can find gas WITHOUT ethanol for your Ariens, USE IT.

I would suggest adding your location (at least the state) to your profile to help answer questions like this. Here is a link for gas stations with non-ethanol containing gas (often referred to as E0 rather than E10).
Ethanol-free gas stations in the U.S. and Canada

It will be a little more expensive but worth it in the long run. If not available conveniently, be sure to use Sta-Bil (fuel preservative/stabilizer) and or Seafoam (combination fuel preservative/stabilizer and carb cleaner).

This has been discussed a lot here on the forum. You might also want to do a search.
 

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Thanks for the reply. I'm on Long island. I've updated my profile to include that for future posts. I did try a "gas" search in the search field but must have done it wrong as I didn't come back with any results.

No ethanol-free gas stations anywhere on Long Island apparently. I'll look into the stabilizers...I guess I just have to figure out the ratio of that to the gas. Apparently I can buy ethanol-free gas in cans from Home Depot at a much higher price. Maybe I'll keep a few of those around as well.

Thanks again. I appreciate the response.
 

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87 octane or better unless you should have access to an ethanol free gasoline.

I add a splash of "marine" Stabil to every batch of gasoline I purchase.
 

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Just to add a bit on the gas discussion, it is mentioned here and many sites that snow blowers engines have 8 to 1 compression which means there is no use for higher octane gasoline as the higher octane gas are meant for the higher compression engines. But sometimes there are stations that keep higher octane gas with no ethanol so it might be good to ask the gas station operator and furthermore aviation gas also does not contain any ethanol. Just saying as it could be cheaper than the high priced version at HD.
 

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I've been doing research on this myself and here's the best options in order, factoring in convenience/money


1) Ethanol free at the pump and add stabilizer if wanted. I recently just found a source (pictured) and I was ecstatic.

2) 87 w/ no more than 10% ethanol. No need for premium gas if ethanol is in it - smaller engines can't benefit from it. Definitely add stabilizer with this option.

3) Buy canned non-ethanol gas from store, but I personally would not do this because the enormous cost. Maybe use this option the last few tanks of the of the season before storage.

I'm not an expert, so feel free to correct me :)

I had to attach a picture of my new machine that I haven't got to use yet. Wishing for a blizzard!
 

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I've been doing research on this myself and here's the best options in order, factoring in convenience/money


1) Ethanol free at the pump and add stabilizer if wanted. I recently just found a source (pictured) and I was ecstatic.
Well you have the best of both worlds, a good Ariens and a good source for gas. Looking at your snow blower's pic you may want to source Armor skids because many members here have found they complement the machine very good avoiding the squirreling nature the unit tends to exhibit.
With the Armor skids they claim they operate the unit with just one hand for direction use. Good Luck
 

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i heard that ethanol is bad for small engines (the carb mostly), so i use super in my snowblower and mower. yes it is more expensive. but i figure that i use about 5 litres per month at about 15 cents more. so under 1$, so why risk it.

Also super has better quality lubricants and additives since they were made for high performance engines (su as porsche...) so also better for carbon buildup and all that.
 

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So, I'm not concerned about only getting the "cheapest" gas for it. I'm more concerned about getting the "right" gas for it. For instance, I always put "Surpreme" (the highest grade) in my car because I figure it will minimize the probability of issues. I want to follow the same mentality with the snow blower.
If the owners manual does not specifically say you need to use supreme gas (and it probably doesn't) then you are actually using the wrong gas..

I always put "Surpreme" (the highest grade) in my car because I figure it will minimize the probability of issues. I want to follow the same mentality with the snow blower.
absolute myth, completely not true..all you are doing is wasting a ton of money for zero benefit..always use the gas the owners manual says, the people who made the car (or other machine) know what they are talking about.

Premium vs. Regular | Car Talk

Premium vs. Regular | Car Talk

As for the snowblower, there are two kinds of gas you can use for it:

1. Good old 87 octane "regular"..found at every gas station in the USA.
almost all of it now contains 10% ethanol. it works fine.

2. if you can find it, most agree its better to use non-ethanol gas, but you have to go and seek it out:

Ethanol-free gas stations in the U.S. and Canada

if you can't find it, the 10% ethanol will still work, but you need to be extra cautious about draining it out completely each spring.
the non-ethanol is definitely better, but its harder to find.

Scot
 

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If you can't find an Ethanol free (E0) gas station you can go to a small airport and see if you can buy Avgas. It is ethanol free and is 91 octane. You can't legally pump it into your car or truck (just in case anyone is thinking this) because it does not have a road tax on it. There are no issues with using it on boats and machinery.

It is well said above the higher octane is of no benefit. It is just an option to get E0 gas. I would still ad some Stabil per its instruction as any stored gas can absorb water from the environment.
 

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Take your Jerry Jug over to the airfield and get the 93 or 94 octane even though that much octane is not needed it will be just fine the purpose of getting the gas there is to get no ethanol zero ethanol and save yourself from some headaches down the road and put a little stabilizer in it according to direction on bottle. And if you're not going to use it for a long period of time drain the carburetor after you shut off the fuel and let it run dry.

If you do end up buying regular pump gas with ethanol drain your carb every time the machine sits more than two weeks religiously and don't let the gas set a long period of time ..dump it in your vehicle and burn it and refresh the small gas can every few months.

Go on YouTube and look at Donieboy73 recommendation for fuel he is a small engine mechanic by trade and he recommends non-ethanol strictly and he seen so many carburetors get gummed up by ethanol that's why. And he's not alone in that recommendation.
 
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