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Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 637
Likes: 3
Senior Contributor
Since the days of unleaded becoming the standard, I have read accounts of people trialing various additives to help preserve engine components. Most of these are designed for larger engines such as cars, but some report successful results in smaller 4 stroke engines as well. Others say to add a drop or two of 2-stroke oil to their fuel can each fill up.

I have personally noticed that plugs and valves get blackened in no time with unleaded fuel and I am forever cleaning plugs.

But what are we all going to do when they introduce Ethanol blended fuel as the standard? We can expect new additives will instantly appear on store shelves, but whether any of these products live up to our expectations is the question. I wonder if there is anything the every day mower enthusiast can do to ward off the bad effects of ethanol fuel? Would adding some more 2-stroke oil to the fuel help to reduce the negative effects by providing more lubrication and maybe cooling things down a fraction (in theory)?

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Joined: Oct 2020
Posts: 125
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Apprentice level 2
Hi vint_mow

I have been using this for a while now and I don't seem to have the usual problem after winter storage that I did before using.
I use it in all lawn equipment 2 and 4 stroke, diesel generator and our cars. I just put in my jerry cans before filling job done easily.



mich


Only hurts till the pain's gone.
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 2,082
Likes: 80
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
I wouldn’t even consider using ethanol fuel in 90% of my equipment.

If ethanol became wide spread, I would use it in generator during a prolonged black out, before running non ethanol on the last tank before storage. Would never run it in anything made before 2000 or anything that’s a PITA to get parts for.

Ethanol binds to water – if you make up a jug with a tap at the bottom, tip in petrol and a couple cups of water, the ethanol will separate and settle at the bottom. Drain that off and you have non ethanol. Start at 98 octane fuel as they will use ethanol as a booster - probably end up at 93 ron.

The price of canned fuel gives me a coronary now, but I would seriously consider it.

Regarding additives, I have occasionally put valvesaver in unleaded. It is a good idea – Briggs did a TSB in the early 80s regarding lead – they stated commercial use will benefit from no lead due to its build up on valves in engines run without thermal shock (gensets, etc).

The average homeowner won’t note a problem with lead on a rotary mower as thermal shock of throttle open/shut as governor operates through varying grass with break up deposits.

They also said a regular homeowner would not note a reduction in life due to no lead. Hence I add ‘lead’ haha


There will be supplies of non ethanol at marinas as its difficult to run boats on 10% ethanol. Same thing in the USA – marinas have non eth.

Except in EPA ‘non attainment areas’; which is a fancy way of saying ‘your area isn’t meeting clean air targets, so we are going to force you to use ethanol’; the fact it will stuff more equipment and mean you have to buy new ones is out of the equation. Sure they pollute less given they must be EU5, but their manufacture and shipping half way around the world has a greater impact.

But, as Clarke and Dawe said, we towed it out of the environment haha

Joined: Feb 2006
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My Laser with EFI has stopped pinging under hard throttle with E10 and has a bit more pep and less laggy feel than before.
Plus a servo around here often charges a bigger difference for E10 that it cancels out the extra consumption that a 2¢ difference won't.

It's not like the good old days of before covid when they sometimes changed 16¢ a litre less but I got it the other night for 6¢ less than their 91 unleaded which was on the cheapest level in my area.


Ahh, if only victa had kept producing the thumblatch catcher series, they would be in better shape today!
Joined: Apr 2014
Posts: 219
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Apprentice level 3
I think the issue really comes down to whether the components are proofed with ethanol.

Fuel tanks, tank linings, fuel lines, o-rings, fuel taps etc were often not designed to take ethanol and they deteriorate much more rapidly when in contact with an ethanol mix. Some older equipment might be ok but it’s not a chance I’d be taking given the risks.

The combustion process will deliver outcomes that vary significantly. I was involved with a race car some years ago that we changed over to use a high ratio of ethanol (e85) and, although it had more power than on 100 octane race fuel, it went through a lot more fuel. We also had to change the timing and carburettor to deliver those gains. In the end we went back to the standard race fuel and the car was more competitive in its series.

Multiple things were changed with the car but the massive increase in fuel consumption and the need for a completely different timing curve stand out.

Joined: Jan 2015
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Just think they are here thinking going to E15 fuel in the States. Well I be seeing a lot more engine repairs in the future as most carburetor kits are spec'd at no more E10 use.

And yes things have to changed to use the fuel otherwise too as mention.

Most of our fuel cost here is pure profiteering by the oil companies. Plus doesn't help all the fuel taxes that are added that supposed be for keeping the roads repaired.

Joined: Jan 2016
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SENIOR TECHNICIAN
What about this one then?
https://getecodriver.com/article/au?

Joined: Sep 2015
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SENIOR TECHNICIAN & HISTORIAN
The fuel saving devices are scams ,I like to read about the old fuel saving devices in old newspapers Norm, always someone making up unproven claims their device will save you money.

Cheers
Max.

Joined: Jul 2018
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SENIOR TECHNICIAN
That one probably works Norm (though not at 15%) - but at what expense.

Advancing the timing further causing spark knock - 90% of the population wouldn't recognise pinging anymore.

Lean out the mixture - greater heat, wear and generally more crap running

Last edited by Tyler; 14/04/22 12:01 PM.
Joined: Jan 2017
Posts: 637
Likes: 3
Senior Contributor
Thanks for all the comments on this topic. I remember an old Proton ute, if we put Standard Unleaded or E10 in it by mistake it would ping like crazy. Always had to fill it with Premium.

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 4,670
Likes: 163
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
My Toyota Lexcen (VS Commodore) 3.8 litre V6 would also ping less under hard acceleration using E10.
This was before I installed an LPG system.
That brought it's own problems with backfiring, which I only learned later, was a well known problem with the Holden V6 on LPG. I was later advised to lower the gap of the spark plugs to 0.8mm and that eliminated the backfiring and made the engine way more peppy!


Ahh, if only victa had kept producing the thumblatch catcher series, they would be in better shape today!

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