Problem 1 : Engine Wont Start Problem  2: Engine Wont Stay Running

So your small engine wont start or wont stay running and it’s making you angry. Mowing your lawn, tilling the garden, blowing leaves cutting wood and blowing snow should not be an infuriating experience.

If you poke around this site enough you will undoubtedly notice that I have a dislike for Ethanol in gasoline (Ethanol E15). E15 fuel is the number one reason for a small engine that wont start, wont stay running. This page is devoted cause and prevention. If you arrived here hoping for a magic fix you might be disappointed. I will say if your small engine wont start or wont stay running you need to either rebuild or replace your carburetor. I encourage you to read the page about my Stihl M55 Cultivator. That is the engine that started me on this troubleshooting quest. I also encourage you to read in detail about why Ethanol is bad for your engine and most likely the reason the engine wont start or stay running. The text below is simply the bottom line with a goal on preventing you from ever experiencing this again.


The alcohol separates from the gasoline. The alcohol is also water soluble. Because of this the alcohol draws and absorbs moisture from the air, a lot of moisture. This gas and alcohol separation combined with absorbed water corrode and clog fuel systems in all 2 and 4 cycle engines.


Today’s gasoline with ethanol has a 30 day shelf life. If you purchase gasoline at your local gas station make certain you follow the recommendations of your engines owners manual. Usually this means buy the highest octane gasoline available. Only by enough fuel to use within 30 days. To limit moisture absorption buy a quality gas can that seals out outside air.

No fuel additive can prevent ethanol E15 gas from going bad and separating.

The Fuel Solution

As stated above use the highest octane gas you can buy and only buy enough gas to last less than thirty days. While that sounds easy it’s unrealistic for a lot of folks and homeowners. The fact that you are reading this page is a confession that you purchase more gas than you can use in under 30 days. I feel there are two far superior methods to deal with this to prevent your engine and fuel system from having issues with Ethanol.


Solution 1 – Instead find a gas station or speed shop that services muscle cars. They will have ethanol free gasoline. Around here we used to have Cam 2 Fuel. I believe Cam 2 Racing Fuel is now Sunoco Racing Fuel. Marina’s and boat yards also may have ethanol free fuel. Fuel without ethanol can last years. These fuel are much more expensive than traditional fuels but the benefit out weighs the cost in my opinion.

Solution 2

Wont Start or Wont stay running

TruFuel Pre-Mixed Engineered Fuel for Outdoor Power Equipment

The nation’s first-ever, ready-to-use packaged fuel engineered specifically for small engines.

TruFuel consists of the highest quality fuel, lubricant and stabilizing components, resulting in optimal equipment performance and long-term engine health. It combines 92+ octane, ethanol-free premium fuel, pure synthetic oil that exceeds test requirements for ISO-L-EGD, API TC and JASO FD and a proprietary additive package that includes an advanced stabilizer and innovative friction modifier.

Each TruFuel package is exclusively engineered to accommodate potential product expansion in varying temperature environments, as well as the rigors of transport, storage and display. The engineered steel sidewalls and dome rigorously are tested and refined to prevent distention failure. The container closure is made from proprietary resin to maximize safety & durability. And there is an optimal container-headspace-to-fuel ratio created for transport/storage stability, even in extreme conditions.

Ethanol Free Gasoline

Ethanol-free means TruFuel will not ruin rubber hoses and plastic components in your small engine, nor attract moisture from the atmosphere and risk engine failure like pump gas and oil, thereby reducing or eliminating costly repairs.


STIHL MOTOMIX PREMIXED FUEL- Patented 50:1 fuel mixture combines non-ethanol, high-octane fuel and premium STIHL HP Ultra oil.

STIHL MotoMix® is our patented premixed fuel, specially blended for ultimate performance. Like a sports drink for your engine, this 50:1 mixture is a combination of premium non-ethanol, high-octane motor fuel and our highest-quality STIHL HP Ultra oil.

Clean and convenient, MotoMix® eliminates the hassle of mixing your own 2-stroke engine fuel while providing superior performance and lubrication. Plus, we stand behind this formulation by doubling the limited warranty when you include MotoMix® with your power tool purchase. STIHL MotoMix® contains no ethanol, allowing it to maintain stability for up to two years after the seal is broken – so it stays fresh in your equipment during long storage periods. MotoMix® is also made of non-aromatic fuel and fully synthetic, highly biodegradable engine oil. It’s no surprise that MotoMix® is the official fuel of the STIHL® TIMBERSPORTS® Series.
Husqvarna XP Pre-Mixed 2-Stroke Fuel-Wont Start or Wont Stay Running

Husqvarna XP Pre-Mixed 2-Stroke Fuel

Husqvarna 50:1 pre-mixed 2-stroke fuel & oil is ethanol free, high octane fuel mixed with Husqvarna’s best synthetic blended oil. Specifically formulated to provide Husqvarna hand held owners with optimal equipment performance. The fuel does not degrade or oxidize like pump gas and stays fresh for years, solving longer term storage issues. It is convenient and ready to use with no mixing required and enables easier and more dependable starts. It also protects the fuel system and saves on carburetors avoiding costly rebuilds and downtime.



 Husqvarna ETHANOL FREE, High Octane Fuel contains a premium High Octane Fuel and Stabilizers. • OCTANE RATING: (R+M)/2 METHOD 95. • This product was specifically formulated to provide the Husqvarna equipment owner optimal performance. • Fuel does not degrade or oxidize like pump gas. • Fuel stays fresh for years solving longer term storage needs. • Easier, more dependable starts. • Protects fuel systems. • Avoids costly rebuilds and downtime. • For use in all Air-Cooled 4-Stroke engines.

HUSQVARNA 4 STROKE FUEL-Wont Start or Wont Stay Running

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