From grass clumps stuck in mower blades to a faulty spark plug, there are many variables that could trigger equipment issues and keep you from tending to your yard. However, one of the largest and often overlooked issues that affects the health and performance of equipment is bad or stale fuel. This is caused when fuel is left sitting at the bottom of a gas tank for a long period of time; turning into varnish, which creates clogs in the carburetor and can cause the machine to backfire, overheat or not start. However, adding a fuel stabilizer before storage helps mitigate these issues.
Not only will a fuel stabilizer help your engine stay clean and run smoother, it will elongate the life of your gas-powered equipment, such as a mower, string trimmer, snow blower or leaf blower.
So how does fuel stabilizer exactly work, when should you use it, and how do you use it? Here's a look at how this product can save you time and headaches in the future, plus ensure your equipment is in optimal condition year-round.
How fuel stabilizer works
Fuel stabilizer is intended to help gas-powered equipment start easily and efficiently. Usually made from petroleum products, fuel stabilizer bonds with gasoline to stop evaporation. By doing this, it also averts fuel from creating sticky resins that can ruin a carburetor. When bad fuel is used, it burns much slower, and can become waterlogged, causing issues. To prevent this from occurring, use a fuel stabilizer like STA-BIL® to remove water from the tank and protect the engine from gum, varnish, rust and corrosion to extend the life of the engine.
When to use fuel stabilizer
If your machine is stored for 30 days or more, it's best to add fuel stabilizer. However, for everyday use, or heavy use during a particular season (i.e., mowers in the summer, snow blowers in the winter), fuel stabilizers aren't necessary, as gasoline burns up before it evaporates and degrades. It also doesn't matter the size of your equipment - big or small, outdoor power equipment should receive fuel stabilizer if fuel stays in its tank before storage. However, individuals who live in climates that experience seasons and own seasonal equipment that sits for weeks or months without use should use a fuel stabilizer.
How to use fuel stabilizer
Always reference the instructions on the stabilizer container before adding to fuel. To use, simply pour the fuel stabilizer into the gas tank and then run the engine for 2 minutes to circulate the stabilizer throughout the fuel system. After a couple of minutes, the stabilizer will be distributed through the fuel and the engine will remain fresh for up to 24 months.