A lawn mower helps to keep the garden in good shape. When using a lawn mower, it is essential to use the right kind of gas for its adequate functioning. A common discussion is whether you can use premium gas for a lawn mower.
You can use premium gas for your lawn mower, but the machine will not show any extra progress. Just because you can use it, it is unnecessary because it is costly. So, if you do not observe anything extra in the mower’s functioning, you should not use it and spend extra money.
Instead of a costly premium gas, you should use cheap and good quality gas for your lawn mower. Let’s take a closer look at the possibility of using premium gas, its pros and cons, and ideal gas types for lawnmowers.
Can I use premium gas for my lawn mower?
When we hear the word ‘premium,’ we assume it is better quality.
A normal assumption about premium gas is that it has high-quality gas and leads to increased lifetimes, reduced emissions, and improved performance.
But in reality, your lawn mower won’t show any such performance after using premium gas.
There is no problem in using premium gas for a lawn mower, but it is not needed.
The lawnmowers have small engines that work fine with regular gas.
Unless you have changed your lawn mower’s engine, you do not have to use any premium gas or high-octane fuels.
Even if you use premium gas, you will not notice any extra benefits in the lawn mower’s performance.
It will work the same as it works with any regular gas.
But since premium gas is more costly than regular gas, experts do not recommend premium gas.
You must check your lawn mower’s manual before choosing a gas.
Most lawnmowers are designed to use less octane-rated gasoline. So anything at a high level can damage the mower’s fuel system.
It completely depends on the engine type of the lawn mower.
If your lawn mower runs with a high-performance engine, you should use premium gas for the engine’s best performance.
But fortunately, most lawnmowers’ engines are not high-performance and can run on regular fuel properly. Using premium gas won’t give any extra benefits.
Why do some house owners not recommend using premium gas?
There are quite a few reasons why experts do not recommend using premium gas.
Here are some of the obvious reasons:
You do not find any change in your engine’s functionality.
Using premium gas in your lawn mower won’t change the engine’s functionality.
It will work the same way as it works with regular gas.
So, there is no need to transfer from regular gas to premium ones.
Premium gas is very costly.
Premium gas is costly, around 5 to 20 percent per gallon higher than regular gas.
Since your engine will not show up with any extra progress with the premium gas, there is no point in wasting money on such an expensive gas.
Generally, a lawn mower needs gasoline with an octane rating of at least 87 and ethanol content of 10% or less.
Once the octane level crosses 88-91, it becomes high-quality premium gas. So, the price will increase for such high-quality products.
So, if your engine works fine with regular gas, there is no need to hurt your pocket with premium gas.
Premium gas contains some chemical additives.
Premium gas comes with various additives and high octane levels. That is why premium gas is mostly used for cars to improve the engine’s operation.
These additives will be bad for lawnmowers, and there is a high chance that they can damage the lawnmower’s internal components.
In most cases, the chemical additives are unknown. So, you cannot confirm whether the product will be good or damage your engine in the long run.
However, there will be some additives that can be good for lawnmowers. They can help clean the engine and remove debris.
But since the additives will be unknown, you cannot guarantee their usage.
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Why do people still prefer premium gas for their lawnmowers?
Despite having such disadvantages, premium gas has some merits which motivate people to use it for lawnmowers.
Using premium gas for lawnmowers can be advantageous based on your engine type.
Premium gas is considered purer than regular gas.
So, your lawn mower may use less fuel on a long-term basis, and you don’t have to refuel the lawn mower too often.
High octane level reduces pre-ignition
Since premium gas has a 93% octane level, it can prevent detonation when the engine is under high compression.
If you are in a condition where your lawn mower needs to get rid of the pre-ignition, you may require the premium gas as an octane booster.
If the octane level is higher, the chances of the lawn mower’s internal combustion system firing at the wrong time will be lesser.
Another good advantage of using premium gas is its additives.
Though premium gas contains harmful chemicals, it also has some good additives.
These additives can help the lawn mower clean your engine and remove debris.
Since the additives are unknown, people do not risk using them.
Except these, you will receive a few more advantages by using premium gasoline for the lawnmowers due to the high octane level:
- High-octane gas improves gas mileage. So you can fill your tank sparingly.
- It reduces carbon dioxide emissions when your lawn mower works harder or gets hotter due to the outside weather.
- It can improve the performance of your lawn mower.
What kind of gas should you use for a lawn mower?
While multiple fuel types are available for lawn mowers, it is better to follow the manufacturers’ recommendations for the engine’s best performance.
You must also consider other factors determining the lawn mower’s best performance.
Also read: Will Mixed Gas Hurt A Lawn Mower? (5 Mistakes People Make)
Here are some of the important suggestions and factors to consider while buying fuel for lawn mowers:
Use fuel with 87-octane and 10% or less ethanol.
The octane level is one of the major areas where the regular gas differs from the premium one.
The octane number in the fuel is the measurement of the fuel’s knock resistance.
High octane levels will allow the fuel to use higher compression ratios.
The octane numbers in the fuel should allow your engine to perform at its best and compress the mixture more than the normal engines.
The next thing is the ethanol level. High ethanol will increase the moisture level and corrode your lawn mower.
It would be best to use a fuel with an octane level of 87 and 10% or less ethanol.
While buying the gas, you must ensure the purity of the gas. Otherwise, the fuel will degrade faster.
Avoid using the leftover fuel from the last season before winter.
Gas stations sometimes will sell gasoline with 15% to 85% ethanol. Make sure to check before pumping the gas for your lawn mower.
2-cycle or 4-cycle engine and fuel selection
The lawnmowers will have either a 2-cycle engine or a 4-cycle engine.
There is no need to know their internal functionality, only the type of gas required.
The 2-cycle engines will need fuel mixed with oil, and the 4-cycles need mixture-free fuel.
Adding oil depends on the engine type. So, you can use the same fuel for both engines.
You only need to add the oil to the fuel according to the engine’s needs.
Avoid using any alternative fuels for modifying 4-stroke small engines. That can damage the fuel combustion of the lawn mower.
A minimum of 85-octane gasoline is preferred the most at high altitudes above 5,000 feet to stay emissions-complaint.
You require high-altitude adjustment for your lawn mower if you live in high-altitude areas.
It will allow you to maintain the lawn mower’s optimum performance on the recommended gas type.
Without the adjustment, you will experience low performance, increased emissions, and high fuel consumption in your lawn mower.
If you live in colder zones, allow your lawn mower to consume the stored gasoline within the season. It will allow you to maintain the performance of the engine.
Use additives to reduce fuel degradation.
Gasoline in the pump has ethanol. Excessive ethanol increases the moisture level and damages your engine’s internal components.
So, you want to keep your lawn mower from degrading over time and prevent the engine’s internal components from damaging.
So, you can use the official fuel additive suggested by manufacturers of lawnmowers. It will prevent corrosion from moisture in the fuels mixed with ethanol.
Gas types ideal for the lawn mowers
For beginners, finding the right type of gasoline for lawnmowers can take time and effort. Here are some options for the gasses which most lawnmowers take:
- Regular unleaded gas
lawn mowers, especially with 4-cycle engines, use regular unleaded gas. It is not perfect, but it contains the right octane level, i.e., 87.
The gasoline will work fine as any other mid-range or premium gas.
- Mid-range unleaded gas
Mid-range unleaded gas stands in the middle of regular gas and premium unleaded gas.
It has an octane level between 88 and 90. So, it is not as good as premium, but better than regular gas.
Despite having such a high octane level, it is less pricey than the premium one.
- Premium unleaded gas
This type of gas is needed for some engines to improve mileage and performance.
Most premium gas has 91-octane, and very few companies offer premium gas with an octane level of 92 or 93.
- Ethanol-free gas
A gas with ethanol means it has high moisture content. Using such fuel will corrode the internal parts of the lawn mower.
So, choose an ethanol-free gas for your lawn mower. Even if there is ethanol, ensure it is not more than 10%.
- Non-oxygenated gas
Oxygen is added to some gasses to increase the octane level and fuel combustion and reduce the emissions.
Oxygenated gas will contain ethanol as an oxygenate.
Adding extra oxygen will add moisture to the gas and contaminate your gas.
According to some experts, oxygenated fuel can stay inside the lawn mower and block the gas lines and filters.
That is why you should go for non-oxygenated gas.
Fuels to avoid in the lawn mower
The gasses which you should not use for lawnmowers are:
- High ethanol gas – High moisture can corrode the engine’s internals.
- Ethanol blended gas – These gasses contain ethanol of more than 10%.
- Diesel – It causes irreparable damage to your lawn mower.
You can use premium gas for your lawn mower. But there is no need because you will not see any performance improvements.
The lawn mower will work in the same way as it works with any regular gas.
Since the performance will remain the same, you should not use it because it is very costly, around 5 to 20% higher than regular gas.
However, you can still use it if you want. Its high octane level prevents pre-ignition and improves mileage.
While using a gas type for your lawn mower, ensure it has at least 87-octane and 10% or less ethanol.
Ideal fuel types are regular, mid-range, premium, and non-oxygenated gasses.
Avoid high-ethanol, ethanol-blended, and diesel gasses.
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Can I use a fuel stabilizer to protect the lawn mower?
Storing the lawn mower for a long time can lead to its breakdown. You can use a stabilizer to protect your lawn mower. It acts as an antioxidant and slows down the degradation process of the fuel by absorbing the water particles.
Can I use premium gas in my Honda lawn mower?
Honda lawnmowers are designed to work on regular unleaded gas. So, using premium gas won’t change anything. Instead, it may damage the internal parts of the engine.
Reference: Lawn Mower Technology, Lawn Mower Safety, Lawn Mowing, Lawn Care, Mowing your lawn.