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.
DO NOT BUY GASOLINE FOR YOU SMALL ENGINE AT A REGULAR GAS STATION!
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 –
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 50:1
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.
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 4 STROKE FUEL
HUSQVARNA 4 STROKE FUEL
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.
That’s a bunch of bull, I’ve had several echo backpack blowers that start on the second pull year after year using the same fuel that goes into my MM55 tiller that won’t start on a thousand pulls…..yes it will start after replacing the carb but only for about 6 months……Stihl, what a piece of junk!!
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This is not a bunch of bull and is corroborated by many other sources. Now, as to whether your MM55 is a piece of junk; I have no information about that.
I’m a true believer but i dont tell my brother because it’s to much fun watching him pull pull pull throw cuss pull cuss throw
I recently made the switch from Stihl and Husqvarna oils to Echo’s Red Armour 2 cycle oiled it with Aspen 4 fuel. Amazing difference for ruining performance, clean burning, no more nasty headaches, when running tools for long hours. My opinion Red Armour is the best! Cleans engines of carbon that eventually destroys your engines. I had a John Deere BC1600 grass trimmer it just died- 2 coil went out, but that unit has 100’s hrs. on it and original fuel lines, but its all cartooned up from John Deere’s oil, then switched to Stihl’s oil. Bought a John Deere BC1400 for replacement, all lines are rotted off, carb needs to be replaced. Gas was nasty in it. Asked owner and he said he runs “Ethanol” or regular gas? Problem right there ! Ethanol is alcohol based and dries out those sensitive diaphragms in your carb. collects moisture from the air. Gas breaks down immediately. Don’t waste your time On gas pump fuels, unless you want to be taking it to shop regularly. Buy the best- Red Armour or Amzoil and mix your own or buy premixed. I run Aspen 2 premixed or TruFuel 2 or buy Truefuel 4 or Aspen 4 and mix my oil/gas. Research these products and educate and you won’t ever be wasting your time in the small engine repair shops ! I love Stihl products- but gave away all their oils! And the buy a 6pk. and we extend your warranty by an extra year is all BS. Bought a new forestry MS261 CM and warranty card still says 1 year NO 2YRS? Great tools though> Just a sales pitch.
Thanks for the reply. Im presently running the Echo fuel in all my 2 cycle power equipment.