Back to Consumer

Rev Up Your Other (Small) Engines! More Reasons To Fuel


Spring has arrived! For those of you that live in a seasonal climate, you’re shaking off winter and cleaning up your yards, cracking open windows and getting ready to spend more time outside.

You’re used to filling up your car regularly but lawnmowers, chainsaws, power washers, garden tillers and more seasonal items will give you another reason to buy fuel this season. These items have been hibernating all season so here are some tips and advice to get you started on the right path.

Dust Off Those Cobwebs
Your lawnmower or chainsaw they may need some attention if they haven’t seen the light of day in a few months. Be sure to assess your equipment before you put it into active use. You want this equipment to last, right?

Is It Time for a Tune Up?
If your equipment is in need of a tune up and some TLC, take a look at the owner’s manual or look online to figure out what is involved in doing that yourself. There are some helpful videos to give you an idea of what’s involved. If you don’t have the time or the equipment or the desire to DIY, you can find a local small engine repair shop that can provide a seasonal tune up.

What Kind of Fuel To Use?
Check the owner’s manual or the manufacturer’s website to learn which type of fuel you should use for that piece of equipment. Better safe than sorry!

Be Safe When Transporting Fuel
Now we are ready for gas! (Our favorite topic!) When transporting small amounts of fuel, it’s important to be sure that you have an air-tight container. Fuels are flammable and combustible so safety is paramount when you traveling with gasoline. The big things to keep in mind are:

  • Secure the cap and vent on the container
  • Place the container in the trunk or bed of your truck, never in the passenger area
  • Secure the fuel tightly in the vehicle so it doesn’t move around while you are driving
  • Head straight home and remove it from your vehicle

    Here’s a comprehensive list of safety precautions you should consider when transporting fuel.

    How Long Will Gas Last?
    Much of that depends on the container. If you have an air-tight container, the gas could last most of the season. But moisture and condensation are not good from gas and lead to separation, oxidation and gum foundation. Yuck! And gum is nobody’s friend when it comes to small engines. If you’re not sure how air-tight your container is, consider buying gas in small amounts. Buying what you need will save you headaches in repairs later on.

    Ethanol – Not Good For Small Engines
    Cars and large engines can tolerate ethanol in gas better than small engines because they burn through fuel more often and fill up more frequently. For lawnmowers, garden tillers or other lawn care equipment, purchase a fuel stabilizer. They are designed to prevent all that gross stuff that happens when gas is exposed to moisture. Or if you have a resource nearby that sells ethanol-free fuel, that is an option as well. Click here for a more thorough review of this topic.

    I Have Old Gas – Now What Do I Do?
    Your best bet is to find the closest hazardous waste center and dispose of it properly. Some people say can add it to the tank in your car or truck if you have “this much” left over and if your tank is “that much” full but I’m a goody-goody. I would take it the people who know what they’re doing! You don’t want to mess around with old gasoline.

    Now be safe, enjoy the outside and Happy MOWING!

    The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified.

  • My goal is to make the lives of our GasBuddies easier with tips, information and advice related to traveling and saving money. I spend many hours driving around in my Toyota 4Runner with my two young kids and big yellow dog. I write for GasBuddy but I carry these other titles as well: wife, mom, marketing maniac, dog owner, commuter, carpool driver, soccer and basketball coach, family CFO, chef, runner, yogi, skier, lover of books, sports fan, semi-retired golfer, knitting beginner, want-to-be painter and vacation planner. Thanks for letting me help you perfect your pit stop!

    Uncanny Car Costumes