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How to Use Fuel Stabilizer in a Lawnmower

One rarely known fact is that gasoline can get stale in around 30 days. By getting stale, the fuel oxidizes, which can cause gumming in the engine. This could result in difficulty starting the engine, usual misfires, and, in some cases, complete engine failure. 

No matter the season, one needs to keep himself and his surroundings spick and span. This includes taking care of his yard for the upcoming spring, and the most important thing required to make your yard and lawn look adorable is proper trimming. For this purpose, owning a piece of machinery in optimum condition is essential. Unfortunately, fuel degeneration remains an important issue whether you are storing your lawnmower for an entire season or taking breaks between sessions. This problem not only makes your fuel go to waste but also seriously hampers the performance of your equipment.

How to use Fuel Stabilizer in a lawnmower:

  • Step 1: Drain all fuel from the tank
  • Step 2: Add measured stabilizer to the tank
  • Step 3: Fill the tank with fuel
  • Step 4: Run the engine  

This is where a fuel stabilizer kicks in. Using a fuel stabilizer is important because the fuel’s alcohol component is harmful to the parts of the machine that are made of plastic and rubber. Furthermore, the carbonator can also get jammed up and could undergo corrosion. Finally, if unstable fuel is left in the tank over a long period, it becomes degraded, hampers the machine’s efficiency.

Stabilizing your fuel is crucial to get the most out of your machine so you can store it away and have a presentable lawn or yard the next spring.  

Stabilize your fuel in 4 easy steps

● Step 1: Drain all fuel from the tank

The first step is to remove all the fuel from the tank. This step is to know exactly how much fuel is present. The amount of stabilizer added should never be random. Adding more than prescribed could cause the engine to deteriorate and eventually seize and stop working.  

● Step 2: Add Measured stabilizer to the tank

Once you have emptied your tank and measured the amount of fuel removed, the next step is to find the recommended stabilizer for your machine. Normally, in the owner’s manual, the specifications and amount needed per gallon of the stabilizer are mentioned. 

After choosing the stabilizer, measure the exact amount of stabilizer needed and add it to the tank.

Referring specifically to STA-BIL fuel stabilizer, 1 ounce per 2.5 gallons is the recommended amount. The bottle of STA-BIL fuel stabilizer comprises two spouts, out of which the longer one is meant for measuring, making your job easier when poring it to the fuel tank.  

● Step 3: Fill the tank with fuel

Once you have added the stabilizer to the tank, add the required amount of fuel. If you’re adding the stabilizer to store the machine for a season, it is recommended to add new fuel as there is a possibility that the old gasoline might have broken down even before adding the stabilizer.

Adding fuel from above disperses the stabilizer. Moreover, it is recommended to use ethanol-free gas for optimum results. Furthermore, filling 95% of the tank is another precaution followed so that the fuel may not spill out in the summer. 

● Step 4: Run the engine:

Finally, after you have filled the tank with the fuel with a stabilizer, the next step is to run the engine for 10 minutes. The reason for following this step is to ensure that the entire fuel (with stabilizer) passes through the engine and the carburetor, tuning and optimizing their performance. 

Benefits of Fuel Stabilizer:

  • Save the fuel: One can save fuel by using them. When we store our lawnmower for a season (winter), instead of removing all the fuel from the tank, we can use a stabilizer to retain the fuel’s strength and keep it fresh for storage.
  • Avoid cold starts: Starting the lawnmower after it has been lying around for a season can be a cumbersome task. To avoid this headache, using a fuel stabilizer is the most recommended option, eliminating any cold starts and making the first start quite prompt. 
  • Remove impurities: Normal fuel comprises a lot of impurities, which causes the deterioration of the engine’s performance. Using a fuel stabilizer removes these impurities and keeps the engine healthy. 
  • Enhances fuel economy: Usage of fuel stabilizer also enhances the engine’s performance by removing the build-up, making it harder to run. Cleaning it boosts the fuel performance economy and ensures smooth engine flow.

Types of Fuel Stabilize:

There are two basic types by which we can categorize fuel stabilizers.

  • For storage: Each fuel stabilizer is manufactured and formulated according to specific areas of concern. One of their core reasons is maintaining its longevity by keeping it fresh for storage. Thus, while manufacturing such fuel stabilizers, such formulas are kept in mind that they are more focused on keeping the fuel fresh as long as possible. In most cases, 24 months is the period that a manufacturer claims to be the protection span.
  • For performance: The fuel stabilizers made to boost the performance also could play a vital role in keeping the fuel fresh, but their span is not as long as 24 months but way less. The reason is that the formulas employed focus more on efficiency and performance enhancement than longevity.  

Salient Features:

  • Easy to use: The main reason for using a fuel stabilizer is to put your mind at ease considering your lawnmower’s life and performance, hence being easy to use is a key feature every fuel stabilizer must-have. We mean that the container design and stabilizer measuring should be compatible.
  • Compatibility: The additive stabilizer must be compatible with the fuel you are using in your machine. Otherwise, adding whatsoever amount would remain futile. Each fuel has a specified stabilizer whose amount, and the user must know the type.  

Top Brands:

A few renowned brands in this field are mentioned below.

  • STA-BIL: It is a brand by Gold Eagle Co, which was founded in 1932. This business is based in Chicago and has a wide variety of brands ranging from more than 100 products. STA-BIL is tailored to enhance performance for diesel-based machines.
  • Marvel Mystery: This also relates to a Chicago-based company founded in 1923. This product was introduced when issues like clogged systems in carburetor-based vehicles were introduced.
  • Starbrite: The company started in 1973 as an auto polish company. The company makes various treatments and additives for aviation, lawnmowers, vehicles, domestic use, and aircraft. 
  • Seafoam: Fred Fandrei, in the 1930s, made a formula to help his boat run smoothly. This, later on, became an official product in 1942 and is highly recommended by mechanics and car enthusiasts.

Safety Measures:

  • Addition of stabilizer: The fuel stabilizer should be added to the tank before the fuel, as you can add the desired amount. The added fuel from the top will ensure the even mixing of the stabilizer throughout.
  • Dry place: Ensure the fuel stabilizer containers are kept in a safe, dry place without direct contact with sunlight.
  • Instruction Manual: It is necessary to follow the company’s suggestions for the amount of fuel stabilizer needed and the type of fuel it is compatible with when using the product.

Related Questions:

Should we use a fuel stabilizer?

Using the appropriate fuel stabilizer is a recommended option to maintain the fuel’s freshness and longevity. In addition, a fuel stabilizer also positively affects the machine’s performance by removing the build-up deposits from the engine.

Can a fuel stabilizer fix old gasoline?

No, a fuel stabilizer can not fix old/bad fuel. It is only there to maintain the freshness of a fuel that is already fresh. It does not affect once the fuel has disintegrated.

What is the lifetime of a fuel stabilizer?

This varies for every type of stabilizer. However, a closed bottle kept in a dry place has much more life than an open one.

Final Remarks:

Adding a fuel stabilizer to the fuel of a lawnmower is a straightforward task. It saves fuel and enhances the performance of your machine, saving you from discomfort concerning both time and money. Various fuel stabilizers are available in the market with diverse fuel performance and storage options. You should choose a product that matches your needs and works well with the fuel you use in your lawnmower.