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This isn’t really a car question but some of you probably know the answer.
I used ethanol gas on our new Sears Craftsman lawn mower twice (it already had some gas in it, but I like to top it off before mowing instead of having to gas up mid-mow) before finding out that it does not use ethanol.

When my husband found out, he insisted that the mower is ruined and no longer usable. He emptied the mower’s gas tank but did not refill it, try to use it, or ask any third parties whether it can still be used.

Is it usable now if it’s refilled with pure gas? I’d rather ask you guys because you’re more likely to be objective and Sears would probably just try to sell us another lawn mower.



You’ll need to clarify. Pretty much all gasoline sold in the U.S. right now contains up to 10% ethanol. Mowers and other small engines are running on it all over the country. Over time it can cause problems, but it is absolutely not instant death.

Or are you saying that you ran E85 ethanol in it (85% ethanol)? I couldn’t say what that would do - but surely there’s no harm in adding your husband’s favorite gas to it and firing it up. Its probably fine.

It actually sounds like your husband may have some other issue, perhaps with you. Does he complain if you hang the toilet paper the wrong way?

Did he use his Stewie from Family Guy voice? Did he say it was “rueened”? Give him a bowl of Cool Hwippp and and he’ll be fine.

The mower is not ruined until it can’t be used any more. Fill it with regular gasoline with up to 10% ethanol and see if it runs. If so, and it should, then it will last for a while. Or does hubby want a zero-turn radius Simplicity riding mower instead?

Today, ALL the SME lawn equipment will run FINE on gas that contains 10% ethanol…Because, in most areas of the country, that’s all you can get…

I hate mowing yard and have tried everything to do in my lawnmower. I have used gasoline containing ethanol. Every time I read on this board that a particular brand of motor oil causes all kinds of engine problems, that is the brand I put in my lawnmower. There was a post some time back about how Champion spark plugs will burn holes in pistons. I made certain to put a Champion J-8 plug in my mower. Nothing I have done killed the mower and I have used this mower since 1988. I’ve resigned myself to the fact that there is no way out of mowing the yard. I’m certain that you didn’t hurt the lawnmower, and, unfortunately for your husband, if you put some fresh gasoline back in the tank, the mower will take right off and he’ll have to mow the yard.
Mrs. Triedaq loves to mow yard, but unfortunately she has had rotator cuff surgery and foot surgery. Much as I hate mowing yard, I tell her that our mower is an old, delicate piece of machinery and I don’t want her to touch it.

Right now I’m waiting for my older two stroke parts in the fuel system Of my mower to come in. It seems the primer bulb as well as the lines are “disintegrating” due to ethanol. Otherwise, the mower runs fine. I would encourage you to use stabile for ethanol added gas use if it sits for very long. There are lots of horror stories around here concerning snowmobiles stored too long in the summer and ethanol effects over time of non use in warm weather.

I installed shut offs on all of my small engine stuff & now I turn off the gas & let them stall out before turning them off. I’m hoping that will ward off some of the ill effects - at least on the carbs.

The primer bulbs and fuel lines used on SME fall apart in a few years even if they are never used…it’s not the ethanol…

One thing I do with all my small engines: only use treated fuel. Treated for storage, I mean. I buy it in 5 gallon containers, treat the 5, and then I don’t have to think about it until next year. Use fuel from that can to create your oil-gas mix 1 gallon can, and everything is treated, all the time. So far, my mower is 11 years old, and I’ve replaced the spark plug once, and air filter twice. Weed whacker same, and no repairs there yet.

"primer bulbs and fuel lines used…fall apart even if they are never used"
Tell that to the tiller which sits in my garage whose primer bulb has not been used for years and is in perfect shape compared to that of my mower which was used regularly. I don’t doubt what you say is true, but what you do say contradicts the dealer and experience. Otherwise, we are looking at designed obsolescence in mowers within past twenty years, similar to cars. I can buy that…BTW, I only used treated fuel and that did not help with decomposition of fuel line components.

I certainly would not worry about what gas my wife would put in the mower when she is cutting the grass, IF I could get here to mow the grass.

Of course I have a battery powered electric mower so neither of us have to worry about the gas, but I am still mowing the lawn. :slight_smile:

A lawnmower repairman can rebuild the carburetor, if it is necessary, fairly cheaply. I recently got rid of a 20 year old Sears Craftsman mower that I ran on fuel with 10% ethanol, and it ran fine. I always used fuel stabilizer and drained the tank (ran it dry) at the end of mowing season, and usually had the carburetor rebuilt every 2-3 years.

I don’t think your lawnmower is ruined. If anything, it just needs repaired, but I am skeptical about even that.

So what exactly happens with the gas if you don’t put the Stabile or whatever stuff in? And by “exactly” I mean I’m hoping to hear stuff ending with -ene or -ane and what have you.

Dagosa - If you haven’t used something in years how do you know it’s in perfect shape? Ever seen an old rubber band?

Triedaq, I Have Found The One Thing That Makes Mowing A Little Less Dreadful. Father’s Day Comes Up One Of These Months, Right ?

I’ve used them fo many years. My brother-in-law even uses his to tune out unwanted advice or additions to the honey-do list. He sometimes has them on while inside the house.


Buy a new mower for your husband that is the same type that my son purchased. My son thinks gasoline engines are troublesome and messy. When his free lawnmower from his neighbor who was moving gave up the ghost, he purchased an old style reel push mower (no engine). He says the mower has already paid for itself–he gave up his membership at the Y for the mowing season–claims pushing the mower is his workout. The mower is quiet and doesn’t disturb his neighbors if he wants to mow early in the morning. This would be the perfect mower for your husband if he is the one that is going to mow the yard.
This is the type of mower my family had when I was in elementary school. Two of my buddies and I had a lawnmowing business with this mower. We tied a rope to the front of the mower. Two of us would push while the other pulled. We were paid 75 cents for each yard–a quarter apiece.

Those push mowers are GREAT for SMALL lawns. I have a large lawn…and with my 48" profession walk-behind it still takes me 2 hours to mow the lawn. I’d still be mowing the 2008 season with one of those push mowers.

The push mowers are also great for kids–gives them exercise. An old geezer like me needs a power mower. However, I’m still able to pull a starter rope so I don’t need electric starting and I have never liked a self propelled mower–these self propelled don’t seem to want to move as fast as I like to mow.

“Those push mowers are GREAT for SMALL lawns.”

The same is true for battery-powered mowers. I’d need 2 or 3 batteries to mow just 15,000 sq ft. Many battery mowers don’t have removable batteries, either.

I had one of those reel mowers recently, but wound up giving it away. It would cut the grass ok, but it wouldn’t cut the weeds for anything. With all this rain we’ve been getting here in Ohio, I’ve kinda missed it. I could mow while the grass was still wet and not have to worry about it clogging up