Most lawnmowers have four-stroke engines that use regular gas with an octane rating of 87 or higher. If you bought your push or riding mower at your local hardware or DIY store, it is unlikely to need premium fuel or to mix oil. However, if you can find gas with an ethanol rating of less than 10%, that will help to extend the life of your fuel lines and engine.
You just need a standard red gas can and visit anywhere that is selling fresh gasoline to fill it up. There is no need to look for special gas for lawn mowers or use any unique fuel mixture.
The only lawn mowers needing a different type of gas are those with two-stroke engines. These tend to be very small or very old. Your chainsaw, gas weedwhacker, or backpack blower are likelier to have a two-stroke engine. These engines require a pre-mixed blend of mixing gas and oil that is not sold at gas station pumps. Check your owner’s manual for the recommended two-cycle fuel mix.
Fuel System Maintenance for Your Lawn Mower
During the summer months, weekly use of your lawn mower will keep its fuel system clean. However, as it sits over the winter, the gasoline will degrade and can damage the fuel lines and gum up the combustion chambers.
To avoid damage to your lawn mower’s engine, run it down to empty before storing it for the winter. If too much gas is left at the end of the season to use up in an hour, adding a fuel stabilizer will slow the fuel degradation and protect the mower. For best results, use an ethanol-free gas for the last fill-up of the season. Then add a fuel stabilizer.
What is the Difference Between Ethanol-Blended and Ethanol-Free Fuels?
Gasoline sold at the corner station contains up to 15% ethanol and is ethanol-blended fuels. Ethanol is a chemical derived from grain and is added to gasoline as an eco-friendly option to petroleum products. However, when left to sit, ethanol does react with metal and plastics used inside your lawnmower engine.
Ethanol-free fuels do not include the grain-based additive and better protect your lawnmower during times of limited use. These products are only available at your small engine service center or hardware store. It is not sold at the pumps.
Use a Fuel Stabilizer to Protect Your Lawn Mower
Any lawnmower gas stored for more than 30 days will start to break down. Ethanol-blended gas has a shorter lifespan than ethanol-free fuel. Fuel stabilizers like Stabil and Seafoam serve as antioxidants. They absorb water particles in the gas and stop the chemical degradation that can result in varnish build-up in your lines and tank.
Add the recommended amount of stabilizer to your gas tank and run the lawn mower’s engine for a few minutes before storing it for the winter. When you pull the cord in the Spring, you will encounter less engine sputtering and stalling. Without a fuel stabilizer, use fresh unleaded gasoline for peak performance.
Are there Good Alternate Fuels for Lawn Mowers Instead of Gas from the Station?
A great option for an alternate fuel is TruFuel, an ethanol-free gasoline that’s sold at big box stores. It’s the best fuel type with zero ethanol content. However, it does come with a hefty price tag, up to ten times more expensive than standard gas. It will not clog up your fuel lines and is less likely to degrade over winter storage. Use a quart of this premium fuel as the last tank of gas in all of your yard equipment as part of your winterizing steps. Used with a fuel stabilizer, you will need fewer trips to the small engine repair shop in the spring.
Lawn Mower Gasoline FAQs
Do lawn mowers take regular gas?
Yes. The vast majority of lawn mowers have four-stroke engines that take regular gas with 10% ethanol or less and an octane rating of 87 or higher.
How should I transport gas for lawn mowers?
Use a certified red gas can sold online or at your local hardware store. The plastic used to make the can will not react with the gas. Yellow cans are for diesel.
Where should I store gas for lawn mowers?
Gasoline should never be stored inside your house. Leave the can in the shed with the mower. To better protect your kids, invest in a locking fire-resistant cabinet placed outside the shed or your garage.
How long will gas stay good for a lawn mower?
Gasoline sold at gas stations starts to break down after just 90 days. Adding a gas stabilizer can increase its useful life up to a year, and will be better for your engine.
Can you use car gas for lawnmower?
Yes, the majority of lawnmowers have four-stroke engines and require Regular Unleaded gasoline. Always check your owner’s manual for specific fuel requirements.
Do lawn mowers need premium gas?
Should you buy regular or premium gas? Most lawn mowers, and most four-stroke engines, do not need premium gas, or high octane rating like premium 93 octane fuel. Most mowers will run fine with a regular 87-90 octane rating. However, you should always check your manufacturer’s manual for your model’s exact engine specifications as it may require higher octane numbers. Using a higher octane rating fuel in your regular lawnmower will not make it run smoother or give it more power. It can get costly especially if you run a lawn mower with increased fuel consumption and power – like a ride-on tractor.
How do I get gas for my lawn mower?
Use a one-gallon red gas can and visit the local gas station or other places like BJ’s selling gasoline. Keep a careful eye on the can so that it doesn’t overflow. If you have multiple mowers and gas outdoor power equipment, using a 2.5 or give gallon can reduce the number of trips to the pumps.
What is e10 gas for lawn mowers?
If you see e10 at the gas pump, it refers to the amount of ethanol blended with regular gasoline. Ethanol-blended gas works just fine in lawn mowers and small engines. However, you may want to look for an ethanol-free gas before storing it for the winter to avoid gunk in the engine lines and carburetor.
What is the best gas for lawn mowers?
We really like TruFuel – it has zero ethanol content and also options for engines that need to mix oil and gas (50:1 and 40:1).