E-10 or E15 Ethanol might be bad for your truck mount engine. | TruckMount Forums #1 Carpet Cleaning Forums

E-10 or E15 Ethanol might be bad for your truck mount engine.

wandwizard

Randy Dockins
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As some of you might remember I just had a new Briggs & Stratton installed on my Boxxer 421 last September and it's been starting and running fine. Well, until last Wednesday and Thursday. Wednesday it was a little more difficult than usual to start. Normally cranks right up, but it was a little slow. Then on Thursday it was VERY, VERY slow to start so much so I nearly ran the battery dead. I was about to give up but tried one last time and thankfully she started and ran just fine all through the job.

So, I call Jondon up and ask for advice since this was a COLD START ISSUE. VERY unusual in my experience. I've had problems starting when the engine was HOT, but almost never from cold. I describe the issue to the service manager and I also mention that I was forced to fill up with 10% ethanol gas a couple times recently and I ask if it can cause any problems. According to Jondon service as well as Briggs & Stratton that is a great big ole YES IT CAN! Now if some of you have been using ethanol and it's never caused you a problem with your small engine then fine. I'll never use it again as long as I'm breathing and sane.

Ethanol, according to B & S, can definitely damage your small engine. This will likely apply to other brands so use it at your own risk. I did not truly believe Jondon on this, but did a quick search while I still had them on the phone and this is what I found. https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2013/03/gas-with-ethanol-can-make-small-engines-fail/index.htm#:~:text=The Environmental Protection Agency has,stating it may cause damage.&text=But even gas with the,could help destroy small engines.

I was told btw to simply use some carb cleaner through the engine at idle which I did. I went ahead and changed the spark plugs even though they actually looked pretty good and changed the engine oil. The air filter is very clean still so I left it alone. After new plugs and a few squirts of carburetor cleaner, it starts from cold almost instantly every time so I think Jondon's service dept. knew that they were talking about. They also told me this kind of thing tends to happen more in hot summer months because the engines are running much hotter. I thought this might help someone either to solve a problem or better yet, avoid one. This is all free advice so take it for what it's worth. It could be very valuable advice though! Ethanol is bad for small engines. I will never knowingly use it again. Btw, it may also VOID YOUR WARRANTY! Ask me how I know that!!!?
 
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LeeRoy

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I thought most gasoline contains some amount of ethanol. Does anyone use a specific brand they'd like to share?
 

ACP

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"Ethanol has inherent properties that can cause corrosion of metal parts, including carburetors, degradation of plastic and rubber components, harder starting, and reduced engine life," says Marv Klowak, global vice president of research and development for Briggs & Stratton, the largest manufacturer of small engines. "The higher the ethanol content, the more acute the effects." Servicing dealers are reporting similar problems, even with E10, according to the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, the industry's trade group.
 

wandwizard

Randy Dockins
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I thought most gasoline contains some amount of ethanol. Does anyone use a specific brand they'd like to share?
I actually called the station I get over 90% of my gas from and they said their gas does not contain ethanol. I asked Jondon the question because twice recently I was about to run out of gas and stopped in places that posted they have 10% ethanol. I do believe it caused a problem with my carburetor. I think if I had some carb cleaner on hand it would have fixed it on the spot. I'm going to be carrying some now just in case.

I did read there are 7 states that mandate some ethanol in all gas and Missouri is one of the 7. I do not believe every station in Missouri has it and my main one I use claims not to have it. At any rate, it seems suspicious that I have this problem on an engine that's less than a year old right after using 2 tanks of 10% recently. Then I find out ethanol is definitely not for use in any small engine.

I did find this about stations that do not use ethanol in the U.S. and Canada. Didn't really help me much. I did find another station in town that doesn't use it besides the one I normally go to though.

 
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PistolPete

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Wierd, I've run regular pump gas with 10% ethanol in my Kohler TM and my Briggs lawnmower with zero issues for years.

Two tanks of gas seems like a load of baloney to me.

Sure ethanol can cause issues, but usually its when an engine is left unused with gas in the carb, like a mower over winter.

I wonder why its only small engines that get affected?
 

wandwizard

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Wierd, I've run regular pump gas with 10% ethanol in my Kohler TM and my Briggs lawnmower with zero issues for years.

Two tanks of gas seems like a load of baloney to me.

Sure ethanol can cause issues, but usually its when an engine is left unused with gas in the carb, like a mower over winter.

I wonder why its only small engines that get affected?
It might be baloney, but it happened none the less. I've always avoided the gas stations that sell it. I never one time had this particular issue with my last engine. After seeing what B & S put out about this I'm going to err on the side of caution. It sucks to set up at a customer who's ready for you to clean and your engine doesn't start. Not a good feeling. Jondon did say they see this issue more in the summer, but I've never had it as far as I can remember until now. I'm certain something happened in the carburetor to clog it up somehow. I don't know of any other way to explain it. If the 10% works for you w/o problems by all means use it. I'll be avoiding it as much as I possibly can from now on. If I am forced to buy it I'll be sure to keep some carburetor cleaner handy!
 

AffordableCarpetCare

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I use non-ethanol in all my small engines and tractor for years. My mother had a mower that was less than year old and had to have carb replaced due to E-10. and warranty wouldn't cover it and it hadn't sat it was still in first summer of use
 
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SRD

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My understanding atleast here in Missouri is that your lower grade gas has ethanol in it while the premium gas does not...ive always been told ethanol gums up a carb if allowed to sit very long. Having said that all my machines are larger water cooled motors but ive never had an issue running the regular grade fuel thru them. I always run premium fuel thru my small gas motors though chainsaws, prssure washers, mowers etc as they sit for periods of time
 

wandwizard

Randy Dockins
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My understanding atleast here in Missouri is that your lower grade gas has ethanol in it while the premium gas does not...ive always been told ethanol gums up a carb if allowed to sit very long. Having said that all my machines are larger water cooled motors but ive never had an issue running the regular grade fuel thru them. I always run premium fuel thru my small gas motors though chainsaws, prssure washers, mowers etc as they sit for periods of time
I put Stabil in my gas if it's going to sit over the winter, but I don't use anything in my van other than regular fuel. I was under the impression too that there was some ethanol in the fuel in Missouri, but that seems not to be so. Either that or I've been lied to. I'm still not 100% certain ethanol is the culprit for the problem I had, but evidently some fuel issue caused some kind of issue with my carburetor. Carburetor cleaner seems to have cleaned it right out, but that notice from B & S about not using ethanol definitely makes me want to avoid it as much as possible. I plan on talking more to Jondon about this. I'm not really worried about the warranty since it's about to end anyway I think.
 

keep it clean

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My understanding atleast here in Missouri is that your lower grade gas has ethanol in it while the premium gas does not...ive always been told ethanol gums up a carb if allowed to sit very long. Having said that all my machines are larger water cooled motors but ive never had an issue running the regular grade fuel thru them. I always run premium fuel thru my small gas motors though chainsaws, prssure washers, mowers etc as they sit for periods of time
I thought the same. But the premium pumps here also contain ethanol. Up here anyway. For saws and trimmers i just buy premix overpriced stuff in a can. So far no problems. Not even while leaving it sit for a season. Generators and mowers i use regular pump gas. I put them away with fuel still in tanks after each use. I know some run them dry. But thats another can of worms. The mowers and generator i put away for extended periods with some fuel in the tank. But not full nor treated with stabil. This way i can top it off next use or season with fresh fuel. At most it might sputter or crop dust on that first tank but it runs. Any cans of pump gas i have left come winter i just pour into the van.

I learned my lesson with a snow blower. I filled it used stabil and parked it just as instructions said. When i needed it i could not get that fkr started. Ended up pulling the hose and draining it. Fresh tank of gas and it ran like a champ. Leaving me with a shit load of gas to get rid of.
 

PistolPete

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I put stabil in the mower gas.
All pump gas here in Florida has ethanol in it unless you buy the premium priced ethanol free which is more per gallon than premium gas.

My TM runs off a fuel tap so I would have to run the van on ethanol free gas in order to have the machine use that gas.

Like I said, no problems so far