Do Lawnmowers Take Regular Gas?

Just like engine-powered vehicles, lawnmowers also need gas to run well. However, the lawn mower engines and the other engines work a bit differently. So, the type of gas needed will differ. The common question is, do lawnmowers take regular gas?

Most lawnmowers can run on regular unleaded gas containing 10% or less ethanol and 87-octane, also known as unleaded gasoline. However, checking the owner’s manual is important to ensure the lawnmower is compatible with regular gas. Else go with what’s recommended in the owner’s manual.

However, whether all lawn mowers can take regular gas depends on various factors like the lawn mower type, engine type, lawn mower age, climate, and maintenance level. Keep reading the article till the end to know the fuel requirements of lawnmowers. 

Lawn mower gas refill

Introduction to the lawn mower and types of gas

Lawnmowers are essential to keep the lawn clean, attractive, and free of pests and diseases. 

There are various types of lawnmowers, but they all run with two main types of engine – 2-cycle engine and 4-cycle engine.

The main difference between these two engines is how they use gasoline:

  • The 2-cycle lawn mower will burn the gasoline and the oil as a mixture. The 4-cycle lawn mower uses only gasoline and keeps the oil separate. That is why mowers with 4-cycle engines are quiet, clean, and durable.
  • Various types of lawnmowers need various types of gasoline. But most of them can run on regular gas. 

When we speak of the mower, there are various options:

  • A rotary lawn mower uses blades to cut grass. 
  • The reel lawn mower uses a cylindrical blade for cutting grass. 
  • Batteries power robotic mowers and do not need gasoline to run.
  • Unleaded gasoline is considered the best type of gas for most mowers. Other types of gas are a blend of gasoline and ethanol, diesel-based gasoline, and premium gas. 

While choosing the right gasoline for your lawnmower, check the owner’s manual to ensure which suits your mower. 

Ethanol-based gasoline is not considered an ideal choice for lawnmowers. 

They can attract moisture and corrode the metal parts of the mower’s internal parts over time.

Most lawnmowers can work fine with regular unleaded gasoline. 

Still, some will need specific types of gasoline, for example, premium or ethanol-free gas. 

If you use the wrong gasoline for your mower, it will not function at its best. 

Using the right gasoline will make your lawn mower perform efficiently and smoothly and have an increased shelf life. 

What is regular gasoline? 

Usually, regular gasoline is used for motor vehicles. 

It is a mixture of hydrocarbon elements like pentane and hexane blended with additives to prevent corrosion and improve engine performance. 

You can get regular gasoline from most gas stations or bulk from larger retailers.

You need to identify the correct type of regular gasoline for lawn mower use. 

The regular gasoline will be labeled as REGULAR or UNLEADED. 

Some stations also use the term LOW OCTANE or 87/88-OCTANE. 

When you are in doubt, ask the station’s attendant to select the right one for your lawnmower. 

Whether your lawn mower will take regular gas or not depends on what type of lawn mower or lawn mower engine you have. 

Maximum push lawnmowers have 2-cycle engines. So, they will need a special fuel blended oil called 2-stroke oil. 

The powerful mowers with 4-cycle engines will run on regular gas efficiently. 

Consult the owner’s manual to find out the right one. Also, inform the attendant to receive the best one. 

Do lawnmowers take regular gas?

Lawn mower gas

It has been one of the most common questions many mower owners ask. 

Maximum lawnmowers can take regular gas. 

Most gas-powered lawnmowers are designed to run smoothly with regular unleaded gas used in cars and trucks. 

However, there are a few exceptions. For example, the old lawn mower models have old components which may need particular gas to run like the newer models.

Also, the old lawn mower components wear out over time. So, they need octane gasoline for better performance. 

So, they won’t work well with regular gas. 

Also, some high-performance lawnmowers, like those used in commercial landscaping, will need special fuel, not regular gas. 

Another critical factor is the ethanol content. Ethanol helps reduce emissions when blended with gasoline. Regular gas contains ethanol.

So, it can be beneficial for your surrounding environment. 

But, it will be a drawback for smaller engines due to its moisture-attraction feature. 

So, it can damage the engine’s carburetor, fuel lines, and other metal parts. 

To the issues associated with ethanol, use regular unleaded gasoline. 

It contains only 10% or less ethanol and an adequate amount of octane to improve the performance of your mower. 

Benefits of using regular gas in the lawnmower

Maximum lawnmowers prefer regular gasoline because it is affordable and widely available. 

Besides, it is formulated to keep the lawnmower’s components clean and improves the engine’s performance and shelf life.

Furthermore, the regular gasoline’s octane rating is 87, which is more than enough for the lawnmowers to perform well. 

The main advantage of using regular gas is that it is reliable and can maintain the lawnmower’s engine even during its peak performance. 

Regular gas helps the engine run smoothly with the correct torque and power. 

Regular gas contains additives that allow the engine to run smoothly using less fuel. So, you do not have to spend lots of money to buy it. 

It will also reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from the mower and keep the surroundings safe and clean. 

Fuel type requirements of different lawnmowers

Different mowers have different fuel requirements. 

Maximum lawnmowers can work fine with regular gas. 

But, high-performance mowers and old lawnmowers have specific fuel requirements. 

For example, old lawnmowers will perform poorly with regular gas because, due to frequent usage, the internal parts wear out over time.

So, these lawnmowers will need fuel with high octane so that they can perform well. 

The same is with the high-end lawnmowers used in commercial landscaping. 

These lawnmowers perform to the fullest and, thus, will need high octane levels to function efficiently for better performance.

Premium gas will be a good choice for these lawnmowers. They have a high octane level, above 90, and more additives than regular gas.

These fuels protect the engine more than regular gas, reduce the engine’s wear and tear, and improve fuel efficiency. 

Some lawnmowers will only run on ethanol-free gasoline. 

Some mowers, for example, the 2-stroke engine mowers, use mixed gas. It is because of how they function. 

The 2-cycle mowers run by mixing the oil and fuel. That is why you must mix the gas and the oil at a specific ratio and then run the mower.

But the 4-cycle engines can run on regular or premium unleaded gasoline.

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Lawnmower taking regular gas: Does engine size affect the fuel types?

Regardless of the engine size, most lawnmowers can take regular gas and function properly. 

But if the engine is large, it will need more fuel and high-octane fuel to run smoothly. 

Since premium gasoline contains high octane levels, you can use them for larger engines for adequate performance.

Besides, the additive content in the premium gas is higher than the regular gas. 

It will allow the lawn mower to run smoothly by using less gasoline. 

As for the smaller engines, you can go for the regular gas.

Will lawnmowers accept regular gas based on age?

As I have said, the lawnmower’s parts will wear and tear with time, and their performance and efficiency will reduce over time. 

So, they might not take regular gas. Even if you use it, the mower will not work better with regular gas. 

You must use gasoline with higher octane levels to improve the engine’s performance, such as premium or ethanol-free gasoline.

But if your lawn mower is not old enough, use regular gas.

Does climate determine the fuel types for lawnmowers?

Lawn mower in snow

Usually, the type of gasoline used is determined by the lawnmower’s requirements and the engine type. 

The climate of your region may also affect the fuel type. 

For example, your engine won’t work with ethanol-blended gas if the weather is highly humid and rainy. 

It is better to prefer an ethanol-free gas because ethanol can attract moisture and corrode the metal parts of the mower.

Suppose you live in high altitudes where the temperature is hotter. 

In that case, you have to use gasoline that contains high octane to provide enough power to the engine. 

So, here the regular may or may not work. Since the regular gas contains 87-octane, it can be fine for the mower. 

But, if the mower is old or high-end, regular gas won’t work. You need special gas, for example, premium gasoline, for your lawnmower. 

How can maintenance affect the fuel types for lawnmowers?

How you maintain your lawnmower also affects the type of gas used by the lawnmower. 

When you regularly maintain the internal parts of the lawnmower, for example, changing the air and fuel filters and the spark plugs and cleaning the other parts, your lawnmower works fine with regular gas. 

But, if you do not maintain your lawn mower correctly, the parts will wear and tear faster. 

As a result, regular gas won’t be enough for your lawnmower. 

It will then need particular gas that contains more additives than the regular gas and helps these parts to work more efficiently.

Disadvantages of using regular gasoline in lawnmowers

Despite having benefits, regular gas will have some drawbacks.

One common drawback is that with regular gas, your lawnmower’s engines will have some gas deposits. 

These gasoline deposits can affect the engine’s internal parts and stop them from working efficiently. 

Over time, these deposits can damage your engine. 

Another problem is the sulfur content. Regular gas contains a high amount of sulfur. It should not be more than 10 ppm (parts per million).

More than this will cause air pollution whenever the gas is released into the environment. 

To avoid these problems, use a fuel that is designed to be used for lawnmowers. 

The fuel will be labeled as a 4-cycle and designed to reduce the deposits and sulfur amount. 

The fuel must also be designed for your specific lawn mower model. 

It will increase the mower’s performance and efficiency.

What is the difference between premium gas and regular gas?

When choosing a perfect lawn mower gas, it is crucial to understand the difference between regular and premium gas. 

The gas type will determine the engine’s performance, efficiency, and shelf life. 

Regular gas is used for the maximum of lawnmowers. 

It contains an octane level of 87 which is enough for most lawnmowers. 

Additionally, it contains only 10% or less ethanol. Ethanol can no doubt remove emissions, but higher amounts of it can attract moisture and corrosion. So, 10% or less is a good percentage. 

Regular gas contains additives that can help increase the efficiency of the lawn mower and reduce fuel usage. 

Regular gas contains detergent molecules that clean the engine’s components and walls.

Furthermore, regular gas is readily available and affordable in most gas stations. 

Coming to the premium gas, the octane level in it is higher than the premium gas, between 90 and 95. 

The amount of additives and detergent molecules, too, is higher than the regular gas. It is costly too.

So, premium gas can increase the engine’s performance much better than regular gas. 

That is why most high-end and old lawnmowers prefer it.

However, many people prefer regular gas because there is no difference in the mower’s performance after adding premium gas in some lawnmowers, except for the older and high-end engines.

It would be better to use regular gas for your mower. But if your mower is old or has a high-end engine, use premium gas. 

The best decision is to consult the owner’s manual. 

If it suggests that the lawn mower needs premium gas, use premium gas only. 

Otherwise, do not opt for the premium and waste money if it suggests using regular gas. 

Ideal types of gas for lawnmowers

Gas can

There are multiple types of gas available in the market. But for the lawnmower, you need four types of gas:

Regular unleaded gasoline

Unleaded gasoline is generally the best type of gasoline for mowers. 

The fuel contains enough octane level, 87, that is needed for most lawnmowers. 

The fuel is great for smaller engines and makes a good value for money. 

The octane rating measures the fuel’s ability to resist compression and improve the engine’s efficiency. 

Higher octane level means the fuel can handle compression better before the combustion. 

Premium unleaded gasoline

The octane rating is higher than the regular unleaded gasoline in premium unleaded gasoline, between 91 and 93. 

It contains more additives than regular ones. 

The high octane level and more additives improve the engine’s performance and efficiency and increase its shelf life. 

Though you can use it for mowers that can efficiently run with regular gasoline, you won’t see any changes in the mower’s performance. 

It will perform the same as it used to with regular gas. 

Premium gas is ideal for older models with old components and high-end mowers that need high octane levels and additives for better performance. 

Mid-range unleaded gasoline

This type of gasoline maintains a balance between regular and premium unleaded gasoline. 

It contains octane ratings ranging between 88 and 90. So, it is cheaper than premium gas but costlier than regular gas. 

Non-oxygenated gasoline 

Maximum fuels are oxygenated. They have additives that improve the octane rating and combustion.

Ethanol is the common oxygenate used in these fuels to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. 

But unfortunately, more ethanol content means the fuel will attract moisture and corrode the engine’s metal parts faster. 

That is why you should choose non-oxygenated gasoline to prevent the problem from happening. 

These fuels do not contain any ethanol and reduce the risk of decomposition, mustiness, and sticky deposits. 

Due to such a great advantage, the fuel type is rare and costly.

Even if you choose fuels with additives like ethanol, ensure the ethanol level is not more than 10%. 

Fuel system maintenance for the lawnmowers

Lawn mower 1
  • Keep the mower’s fuel system clean regularly, primarily through weekly use in the summer season.
  • Empty the lawnmower’s tank before you keep it up for storage in the winter. 
  • Use stabilizers to keep the fuel in good condition. It will slow down the degradation process and allow you to use the fuel in the next session.
  • Fill your lawn mower gas tank with ethanol-free fuel containing 10% or less ethanol. 

Final thoughts 

Lawnmowers are essential tools to keep the garden tidy and eye-catching. If you have a mower, you must use the correct gas type.

Most mowers can take regular unleaded gas because it contains 87-octane and 10% or less ethanol. It will stabilize your mower, improve its performance and efficiency, and increase lifespan. 

However, some mowers may not work well with regular gas; for example, the old mowers wear out over time. So, they will need a higher octane level for ideal performance, like premium gas. The same is with the high-end engine because they work rougher and need better octane for ideal performance. 

The best option will be to consult the owner’s manual for your lawnmower. If it suggests using regular gas, it will take regular gas. Otherwise, you need to use the fuel specially designed for your lawnmower.

Do lawnmowers take mixed gas?

All the lawnmowers do not take mixed gas, except for the 2-cycle engines. It burns by mixing the fuel and oil. You need 2-cycle engine oils mixed with fuel in a specific ratio for such engines.

What is the best gas for lawnmowers?

The best type of lawn mower gas should be clean, fresh, unleaded, 87-octane level, 10% or less ethanol, and 15% of methyl tertiary butyl ether.

Reference: Lawnmower Wikipedia


Hello everyone, My name is Richa and I am here to make you a better gardener by creating an in-depth and helpful resource for all the fellow gardeners out there. If I could help even a few people understand their plants better then I call it a success for my efforts.

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