Your small engine needs fuel to function and while this may be something everyone is aware of, many people don’t know that your fuel can actually go stale. In fact, your fuel can become bad in as little as 30 days. Fresh fuel is needed to operate your small engine properly and if you find that you try to start your small engine such as your lawn mower and it starts to sputter or refuses to catch and not start properly then it is likely that bad fuel is the reason. As you can see fresh fuel is important and even if you filled up yesterday it doesn’t mean the 30 day clock starts as the fuel may not have been fresh when you pumped it. This is not to say that your fuel cannot last longer of course but it is definitely something to be aware of – especially if your small engine is having difficulty starting or functioning properly.
Of course if your small engine is having trouble starting, there are other possible culprits such as a damaged or expired spark plug. Older gasoline is darker than fresh gasoline and so the best way to determine if your fuel has gone bad is to pour some into a clear container and compare it with some freshly pumped gasoline in another clear container. The reason that older gas is darker is due to degradation and oxidation. Unfortunately there is no “quick fix” for bad gasoline. It is like spoiled milk in the sense that once it has spoiled then it is just no good anymore. Also, if you notice any sediments at the bottom of the container when you do your comparison then that is also a sign that your fuel has gone bad and should be replaced to get your small engine to start properly again.
The good news is that there are ways you can help prevent your fuel from going stale. Pick up some fuel stabilizer at your local hardware store and add it to your small engine prior to storing away for the off-season. So this year before you store your snowblower and prepare your lawn mower for the new season, the best thing you can do is add some fuel stabilizer to your snowblower to keep your fuel fresh and protect your engine. You can add fuel stabilizer all year round too so that your will be properly caring for your small engine equipment.
Hopefully you don’t find yourself in a situation with bad fuel and a small engine that just won’t start but if you do then this post will help you solve the problem and be prepared for future care of your small engine. If you have a damaged small engine or it just isn’t working well then we can help with our mobile small engine repair team in Ottawa. We can be there quickly to save the day and get your snowblower or lawn mower repaired and tuned-up to make sure that your small engines are ready to tackle your lawn maintenance and snow removal when you need them.