Label small engine fuel tanks

Engines have special fuel requirements especially small engines. Ignore the fuel requirements and you will likely spend more time trying to start your engine than actually using it.

I have several engines that run on conventional 4 cycle fuel (the same stuff you usually put in your car).

A few items that work on conventional gas…

Pressure washer, lawn mower, generator.

Now we come to the two cycle engines that need oil mixed with the gas. These are much simpler engine designs. If you use regular gas with no oil, you will quickly throw whatever 2 stroke engine you have away. The oil lubricates the engine as is burns with the fuel. It is essential to making these engines work.

A few 2 cycle engines – chainsaw, leaf blower, string trimmer…

I used to mix my own oil and gas. It worked but not great. I was always struggling to get these engines started or keep them running. Turns out pump gas is terrible. It doesn’t stay stable for long at all maybe a few weeks or so. I started buying pre-mix fuel from big box stores. They are precisely formulated for small engines. The most common formulations are 40:1 and 50:1. There are also some formulations that can supposedly be used in either engine. Nice. But. What I have found after trial and error is that the manuals for these engines are actually right!

Put the right fuel in the engine and it will work much better than with a fuel designed for another engine. The optimal ratio will give maximum power and minimal frustration while starting and running.

So if you have a few different fuels in your garage, label your fuel tanks with a sharpie (and maybe a stencil if you are really obsessive) to keep it all straight. Your engines will thank you.

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