Penny wise, gallon foolish?

By |  March 16, 2017 0 Comments

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) warns superintendents that gasoline containing greater than ten percent ethanol (E10) can be harmful to outdoor power equipment and other small engine products.

As higher ethanol blends enter the fuel marketplace, buyers must remember to select gasoline based on product specifications. Don’t just choose fuel based on price…and E15 typically boasts a cheap per-gallon cost.

In addition to harming mower engines, the E15 being pushed by the US Environmental Protection Agency will eat up engines in aerators, snow throwers, power washers, string trimmers, chain saws and other equipment. Off the golf course, E15 is equally harmful to motorcycles and the engines in boats, snowmobiles and utility vehicles.

“Using fuel with more than 10 percent ethanol in any gasoline-powered outdoor power equipment can void manufacturer’s warranties and damage the engine,” states Kris Kiser, president and CEO of OPEI. The American Motorcycle Association is another leading voice warning people about the risks of using E15 in small engines.

According to 2016 national polls by Nielson/Harris and OPEI, consumers remain confused about the changing fuels marketplace. Less than one third – only 31 percent of poll respondents – knew that gasoline blends in excess of E10 are harmful to outdoor power equipment. Only five percent knew that gasoline blends in excess of E10 are not approved for use in small engines. Even more alarmingly, 60 percent of respondents assumed that any retail fuel is safe for any type of engine.

With 250 million pieces of outdoor power equipment currently in maintenance sheds and facility management stations, managers need to chat with their mechanics and review product manuals for proper fueling instructions. Superintendents can learn more by downloading a free digital copy of OPEI’s ‘Look Before You Pump’ materials.

OPEI represents power equipment, engine and utility vehicle manufacturers and suppliers.

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