The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Ethanol problems

using the right fuel in a weed trimmer

I used some fuel in the weed eater that had ethanol for the first time this year.

The fuel I used was fresh, and I chose the higher octane, but I think I'll go back to hunting down the ethanol free fuel in the future.

It might not be connected, but it now takes a harder pull on the rope to get it started and it does not always start on the first try like it did last year and the year before.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Higher octane fuels are harder to ignite and require higher compression to do so (c.f. So, it makes sense that the higher octane fuel would make the weed eater harder to crank. Try putting some 87 back in it and see if that makes a difference.

That being said, ethanol free is better if you can find it. It has more BTUs that fuel with ethanol added.



Comment by Bobby Nations Wed Jul 9 17:27:55 2014
i have used regular, gas pump gas on my old second hand weedeater with no problems. had it for 5 years now and it starts within 3 pulls every time. I had issues last year with my chainsaw which i attributed to the gas. This year's mixture was made with fresh oil at the correct ratio, and lo and behold, after almost 2 years without using it, it also now starts within 3 pulls. All i am saying is that maybe its the gas/oil mixture what needs adjusting.
Comment by pedro Wed Jul 9 20:20:55 2014
I've been told the ethanol can be a problem with drawing moisture. I also recall something about motocross guys avoiding it due to some oil/gas mixture issues. With that said I have ran it in saws, weed eaters, and a polaris 400 2stroke with no problems that I'm aware of. I just sarted avoiding it recently on the moisture issue I believe to be true. If it's not in an air tight container I can see where it would be a problem over time.
Comment by Heath Thu Jul 10 07:48:45 2014
Lowes Now sells ethanol Free, pre-mix. it comes in 40:1 and 50:1 ratios. I believe they also have straight ethanol free gas for 4 cycle engines as well. I found a weed eater in the trash last year that would not start. Poured a little of this stuff in it and it has been running like a champ all season.
Comment by TJ Thu Jul 10 09:00:59 2014

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