Guest Post: Is Your Engine Ready for Spring?

March 19, 2018

Kris Kiser here, from the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute.

The first day of spring is finally here. After a long, cold winter, at least a few of us are starting to see warmer temperatures, which means it’s time to head to the garage or backyard shed to break out our lawn mowers and hedge trimmers. But before we get to work in the yard and start tackling our landscaping to-do lists, it’s important to ensure that all of our equipment is safe and ready to use. Fuel is a big part of this.

A recent poll from The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute found that the majority of Americans believe that higher ethanol blends are safe for any engine—including outdoor power equipment, but that is NOT the case.

Gasoline containing any more than 10 percent ethanol (E10) is strictly prohibited for use in lawnmowers, snowmobiles, chainsaws and other small engines because it can damage them and result in costly repairs. Because the Renewable Fuel Standard requires increasing amounts of ethanol to be blended into America’s fuel supply, it’s more important than ever to be aware of the kind of fuel you put into your tank. As more stations begin to offer E15 and flex fuels from the same pumps where we fill up with E10, the risk of accidental misfueling and expensive engine damage could go up. As we always say at OPEI, look before you pump!

Don’t let RFS-related misfueling or fuel separation take the “spring” out of your step. Here are a few safety tips to help each of us get ready for the springtime yardwork ahead of us:

And since fuel is critical to keeping our power equipment running well, it’s important to remember how the RFS ties in. As fuel mandates grow without a renewed focus placed on improving consumer education and pump labeling, instances of accidental misfueling could increase and other consumers who want to purchase ethanol-free fuel for their engines might have a harder time finding it. If you want to protect your engine and have some assurance that you’ll be able to find the fuel you want when you need it, write to your legislator today and ask them to reform the RFS fuel mandates.

Guest Post:
Kris Kiser, President and CEO of OPEI


The Renewable Fuel Standard – America’s ethanol mandates – requires ethanol be blended into our fuel supply and into our engines. This can cause corrosion of metals, swelling of rubber and break down your engine entirely. Even worse – higher blends of ethanol could actually void the warranty on your vehicle. The engines in our cars, boats and small motors are at risk of costly damages as a result of misfueling.

Tell Congress today that we need a better policy that protects our property instead of harming it.