Does anyone in the Boston area know whether there is a station or brand that sells gas without alcohol? My snow blower manual indicates that only gas without alcohol should be used. The pumps I’ve checked, in small print, note that the gas contains up to 10% alcohol.
Maybe none. Some areas require all gasoline in the winter to have it.
Is the engine on your snow blower a 2 cycle or 4 cycle? My snowblower has a 2 cycle engine and I use whatever gasoline is convenient. I really doubt that up to 10% ethanol does any harm–at least it hasn’t thus far. Besides, when it is really cold, I have a drink or two before I head outdoors–my snowblower should have the same accomodation. On my 4 cycle lawnmowers and roto-tiller, I’ve used gasoline that contains ethanol with no apparent problems.
Methanol may be a different story. It presumably damages rubber components in the fuel system. However, I believe that most gasoline that comes from the pump contains enthanol and not methanol. I wouldn’t use a gasoline antifreeze such as Heet in the snowblower, as I believe it is a methanol product.
Check your local area for hot rod clubs. Some members drive vehicles where alcohol in the gas can’t be tolerated in their fuel systems. Some have websites that list gas stations that sell non-oxygenated fuel.
In the most extreme case, the alcohol can be corrosive to certain epoxy resins and rubber compounds. As an example, there are scattered reports of sludging in older, fiberglass fuel tanks. Not too likely that your snowblower has any components that cannot tolerate the alcohol.
The other issue, which is much more relavent to snowblowers, is that fuel breaks down over time and can lead to fouling of the carburetor. Ethanol blends have a shorter shelf life than those without it. Snowblowers are typically run infrequently and sit for extended periods with fuel in them. So manufacturers tend to recommend against ethanol blends to avoid the potential for problems for their customers. Never mind it’s almost impossible to get gas without it these days.
You can handle it this way-
#1 always add a fuel stabilizer to the fuel when it’s purchased. That way, the likelyhood of fuel oxidation is minimized.
#2 If it will run infrequently, add only what you need and try to run it dry or drain it. This will absolutely prevent carb fouling and long term exposure of the gaskets to ethanol.
I add stabilizer to the gas when I bring it home. If the fuel doesn’t get used in 30 days, I dump it into my vehicle and replace it with fresh and stabilizer. When I fuel up my snowblower, I only add what it will take to do the storm. We get snow here every couple of weeks so no worries. If we got it less often, I might be inclined to turn off the fuel and drain the bowl between uses.
Gas Stabilizer: $5.00
Blower starts on first pull when needed: PRICELE$$
The gas stablilizer is good advice. I add it to the gasoline mixture for my snowblower. However, I have never run any of my outdoor eqquipment dry. I fill the gasoline tanks to the brim with the gasoline mixed with the stabilizer when I store the equipment for the season, and have never had a problem. My concern is that when the fuel tank is empty, condensation may get into the fuel line and carburetor and cause a problem during storage. With the stabilizer, the fuel is supposedly good for a year.
The OP didn’t state how old the snowblower is. If it’s old enough, some parts might be sensitive to alcohol exposure over time. The idea of draining the fuel was out of an abundance of caution.
I often leave fuel in the tanks but remove and drain the bowls at the end of the season. Gives me a chance to clean out any dirt and debris and it’s surprising how often they actually need it. And I use a screened fuel funnel.
NE use to use MTBE…but about 3 years ago it’s been replaced with 10% alcohol.
I seriously doubt it will cause any harm. What snow blower are you using…The VAST majority of snow blowers use the Techumsa Snow King engine. I’ve never heard of any problems with the use of gas which contains alcohol. As for the statement of an older snow blower…my wifes uncles snow blower was built in 68…Completely origional…still runs strong using today gas.