Snowblower Forum banner

1 - 20 of 27 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
376 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I'm not sure if I read this somewhere and it may be completely wrong but does Stabil{for instance}, work by creating a lighter density barrier layer on top of the gas column thereby acting as a barrier between moisture laden air and ethanolized gas? And if that's how it works, is that all it is meant to do?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,692 Posts
Not sure about the breaking down of the scientific aspect, but I have been using Stabil, as well as SeaFoam in all my small engine gas, 2 and 4 cycle, for ever since I can remember ... never once did I ever have an issue with gas in any of my machines, from season to season ... and I leave the gas in, never drain it. I do periodically start them just to keep things moving.


I'm sure Googling the scientific breakdown would reveal something.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
340 Posts
I use ethanol free gas and never use stabilizer, zero problems. Ethanol is the problem.
Ethanol is only a problem if you've got non-compatible rubber parts in the fuel system and/or get too much water in the fuel (it'll harmlessly handle small amounts better than pure gas). With proper stabilization I've had both ethanol and non-ethanol gas in equipment for 6+ months with no issues.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
848 Posts
Ethanol is only a problem if you've got non-compatible rubber parts in the fuel system and/or get too much water in the fuel (it'll harmlessly handle small amounts better than pure gas). With proper stabilization I've had both ethanol and non-ethanol gas in equipment for 6+ months with no issues.
Ethanol is also very corrosive to aluminum and other metals.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
340 Posts
Ethanol is also very corrosive to aluminum and other metals.
I've never personally seen it be a problem. Ethanol is mildly corrosive to some metals, but not majorly. Methanol is the alcohol that would destroy most fuel system metals.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
So do you use E10 to save money over non ethanol gas? If so are you adding the cost of the stabilizer you use? The problem with ethanol is it attracts water and also that it separates from the gasoline over time. I'd rather run ethanol free in everything, no stabilizers needed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
340 Posts
So do you use E10 to save money over non ethanol gas? If so are you adding the cost of the stabilizer you use? The problem with ethanol is it attracts water and also that it separates from the gasoline over time. I'd rather run ethanol free in everything, no stabilizers needed.
I use them mostly interchangeably depending on availability. But I stabilize any fuel that I'm not 100% sure will be burned off within a month or 2, so any E0 bought for small equipment around the house gets stabilized. Considering I only go through 10 - 15 gallons / year for the mower and snowblower, it's cheap insurance to make sure I've always got good fuel.

The ethanol moisture thing is both good and bad. The good is that it acts just like the dry-gas stuff that used to be somewhat common and absorbs any little bits of condensation in the tank so they get passed through instead of puddling up and causing issues. The bad is that if you get too much water in the fuel, it separates and becomes junk.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,480 Posts
I've never personally seen it be a problem. Ethanol is mildly corrosive to some metals, but not majorly. Methanol is the alcohol that would destroy most fuel system metals.
Ethanol is hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs water vapor directly from the atmosphere. so if left in the carb it could cause all sorts of issues if left long enough. i know i deal with more than my share of ethanol poisoning of machines every year. clogs main jets. don't even get me started on how the ethanol messes with small engines like weed wacker, chainsaws or leafblowers. they really don't like ethanol and i usually won't even try to repair them for other people unless the equipment is worth enough to justify trying.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
848 Posts
You guys are correct about ethanol absorbing water. It also only has about 60% the efficiency of gasoline, producing less heat, therefore not pushing the piston down in the cylinder as hard, and a slower burn, thats why its used as an octane boost. It causes less power and lower fuel mileage. It has to be run a lot richer to be more effective. It is more of an "Inert" ingredient that adds a little bit of oxygen to the fuel mixture and causes a "Lean" condition.
Your actual "Stabilizer" surrounds the fuel molecules to slow the atomic/molecular breakdown of the molecules of the fuel.
Once the molecules breakdown by certain atoms jumping out of the molecule, they become scattered and the fuel wont burn properly and the breakdown leftover byproducts become sludge basically.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
340 Posts
Some of the really small carbs are built from pretty much garbage materials with no regard to alcohol compatibility, etc. So yes, they have issues if fed anything less than the most perfect fuel in the world.

Absorbing water right from the air is only an issue with excessive ventilation. Personally, I've never had an issue with E10 fuel and properly fogged carb sitting for 6+ months without having been run dry. I'm betting the fogging oil is enough to keep things from getting cruddy in there. Mind you, that's only on stuff down to lawnmower size (and up to multiple 750 cfm quadrajets). Never tried that treatment on something like a chainsaw.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
848 Posts
Some of the really small carbs are built from pretty much garbage materials with no regard to alcohol compatibility, etc. So yes, they have issues if fed anything less than the most perfect fuel in the world.

Absorbing water right from the air is only an issue with excessive ventilation. Personally, I've never had an issue with E10 fuel and properly fogged carb sitting for 6+ months without having been run dry. I'm betting the fogging oil is enough to keep things from getting cruddy in there. Mind you, that's only on stuff down to lawnmower size (and up to multiple 750 cfm quadrajets). Never tried that treatment on something like a chainsaw.
Your fogging oil coats the metal to help prevent corrosion/oxidation when the metal come into contact with the air, and protects the metal.
The fogging oil rinses off easily with gasoline when the fuel is turned on.
Same here, have not had any problems with the E10 yet causing issues, but I do maintain my equipment.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
340 Posts
Your fogging oil coats the metal to help prevent corrosion/oxidation when the metal come into contact with the air, and protects the metal.
The fogging oil rinses off easily with gasoline when the fuel is turned on.
Same here, have not had any problems with the E10 yet causing issues, but I do maintain my equipment.
That's pretty much how I figured it was working. And your experience also confirms my thought that fuel differences aren't as big a problem as a lot of people make them out to be if the equipment and fuel is used, stored, maintained, etc. properly.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
102 Posts
I use them mostly interchangeably depending on availability. But I stabilize any fuel that I'm not 100% sure will be burned off within a month or 2, so any E0 bought for small equipment around the house gets stabilized. Considering I only go through 10 - 15 gallons / year for the mower and snowblower, it's cheap insurance to make sure I've always got good fuel.

The ethanol moisture thing is both good and bad. The good is that it acts just like the dry-gas stuff that used to be somewhat common and absorbs any little bits of condensation in the tank so they get passed through instead of puddling up and causing issues. The bad is that if you get too much water in the fuel, it separates and becomes junk.
Simple solution, if your fuel is sitting that long dump it into your vehicle gas tank and buy fresh fuel. I don't let my gas sit for more that 2-3 weeks.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
52 Posts
Ethanol is hygroscopic, meaning it absorbs water vapor directly from the atmosphere. so if left in the carb it could cause all sorts of issues if left long enough. i know i deal with more than my share of ethanol poisoning of machines every year. clogs main jets. don't even get me started on how the ethanol messes with small engines like weed wacker, chainsaws or leafblowers. they really don't like ethanol and i usually won't even try to repair them for other people unless the equipment is worth enough to justify trying.
Don't tell my weed wacker, chainsaw or leaf blower that, they may start giving me problems.
I use plain old E10, never put anything in it and never have any problems with any of them.
I bought my house in August 1997, there was a push lawnmower that went with the house that was made in 1994. I gave it to one of my son in laws back in 2012 and he was over Sunday and said it still runs fine at 25 years old.
I bought a Poulan weed wacker in 2001, gave it to one of my daughters two years ago and its still running fine at 18 years old.
I left untreated E10 in my generator for 22 months one time without starting it once, when I went to start it one pull was all it took and it ran fine for 15 minuets before I shut it down and still runs for days when needed.

If you feel better with pure gas and or any gas treatment, fogging carbs or anything else go for it. I'll keep on using E10 and nothing else and sleep good at night.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,507 Posts
Bearman - It is tough to argue with success, but most on this forum will suggest that you are operating on borrowed time.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,480 Posts
Don't tell my weed wacker, chainsaw or leaf blower that, they may start giving me problems.
I use plain old E10, never put anything in it and never have any problems with any of them.
I bought my house in August 1997, there was a push lawnmower that went with the house that was made in 1994. I gave it to one of my son in laws back in 2012 and he was over Sunday and said it still runs fine at 25 years old.
I bought a Poulan weed wacker in 2001, gave it to one of my daughters two years ago and its still running fine at 18 years old.
I left untreated E10 in my generator for 22 months one time without starting it once, when I went to start it one pull was all it took and it ran fine for 15 minuets before I shut it down and still runs for days when needed.

If you feel better with pure gas and or any gas treatment, fogging carbs or anything else go for it. I'll keep on using E10 and nothing else and sleep good at night.
maybe you have been lucky. some of the older equipment have larger tolerances and larger jets because they didn't care about emissions like they do today but i have fixed more than my fair share of small engines and i would say at least 75% of the issues are caused by ethanol being in the gas. personally i spend the extra $10-20/year to put ethanol free fuel in my machines and tell anyone i fix a machine for the same thing. the extra money spent on fuel is worth it if i don't have to come clean out the carb or go over the fuel system on someones machine every year because i usually charge $20 to do just that. i know some of the newer briggs engines with the plastic carbs are starting to be know for either needing the carb replaced or having the main jet drilled out when they start having fuel related issues.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
238 Posts
"Stored" OPE fuel here gets stabilizer, thanks to a long history of doing the same with marine engines. Those had more water to absorb, longer residence time in the tanks, and they never get run out completely at least not on purpose. For the snowblower I use E10 with stabilizer until winter blend fuel shows up at the local stations, then use that with stabilizer. The LCT engine manual recommends shutting the fuel off and running out the carburetor before any storage if the fuel isn't stabilized. That's easy to do regardless of stabilizer, and there's no good way to know when it will snow next anyway. Spring pre-storage prep includes actually draining the tank and the carburetor bowl, because it's easy and makes sense. Fuel that isn't in there won't corrode anything, won't varnish up anything, won't make any white or green slime to plug a jet stack, etc.

Local winter-blend premium is E0, although that's not widely known. The combination of cold and altitude makes that option a good idea. The macine sits in the climate-stable workbay for storage between uses. I usually slide it outside long enough for the bucket-impeller-chute to freeze before starting, but the engine and fuel are still relatively warm so no issues even with the E10.

Even if the stabilizer doesn't actually do anything, there's some peace of mind there for me. I haven't had any carburetor issues on small equipment when I use stabilizers, and at this point I'm good with that success. The cost-per-gallon vs the aggravation factor of doing unplanned carb cleaning is pretty simple for me. As much as I love fiddling with small-engine carburetors while it's snowing outside, I'll go with the Cheap Insurance.

My too sense....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
326 Posts
I use stabil but I don't trust the product 100%.

That real gas is too expensive something like $20 a gallon. No way will I purchase that for all my year round yard work.

I have 40 gallons of gas in 8 5 gallon jugs in the garage year round because of an emergency generator that I use from time to time. This fuel is what I use in all my power equipment.

I've had a carburetor that was treated with red stabil become rusty while it sat for 1 or more years in one snowblower bowl so the ethanol is a real problem. I now treat my 91 octane fuel with blue "marine" stabil and add dry gas to each 5 gallon can. For the 2 cycle engines I also add sea foam. In addition to this I rotate the fuel every 6 months and pour the unused fuel into my truck. I drain the gas in the snowblowers after the season is over. I have way too much surface area to hand shovel my driveway and sidewalks!

The blowers start on one pull every year. I don't have any issues now. I may be over reacting to the gas procedures I follow but my replacing carbs are a thing of the past.

The reason I keep the fuel for the generator is because if the gas station has no power I will have a cold house which my wife would not appreciate.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
809 Posts
I'm starting to think the carb issues have more to do with old gas than the ethanol. I too have not had problems using E10 for years, though with stabilizer. I am reading more and more about how many compounds are in modern gasoline (for good reasons including start-ability, emissions, etc), and how volatile these compounds are (evaporate more easily than the base gasoline). Nearly every carb issue I have worked on is from sitting around for years, so it is impossible to know if it is just old age or because of the ethanol.
 
1 - 20 of 27 Posts
Top