Gasoline Guidelines – Protect your Power Equipment

Gasoline plays an important role in everyday life, powering everything from your automobile to your outdoor power equipment. However, all gasoline is not the same. Knowing a few facts about your fuel can keep the engines in your  equipment running strong. 

Gasoline storage life:

You may not realize it, but gasoline begins to decompose and break down into other compounds in as little as one month when stored. This is not normally an issue for cars since people drive their cars and refill their tanks on a regular basis.

Outdoor power equipment is often used far less frequently, sometimes as little as a few times in a year, and then can be stored away for weeks, months or years until it is needed again. Additional fuel is normally stored in containers that may only be refilled once or twice a year. This means there is a greater chance of the fuel breaking down and forming gum and varnish-like compounds that can easily restrict or block the tiny fuel passageways used in small engines.


Ethanol blended fuels:

Gasoline containing Ethanol fuel can be a potentially harmful mixture. To ensure the best possible results in your equipment, we recommend following these simple guidelines from STIHL Canada:

  • Keep fuel containers sealed at all times. Ethanol fuel can bond with moisture or humidity in the atmosphere and contaminate the fuel causing phase separation
  • We recommend you regularly empty the fuel storage containers to reduce contamination and improve overall fuel quality
  • Ethanol fuels can dry out flexible components such as fuel lines & gaskets. Remove the fuel from the machine & run the engine dry if not being used for longer than 30 days
  • All outdoor power equipment gasoline engines require fresh fuel with a minimum rating of 89 Octane. Use only STIHL mixing oil at a ratio of 50:1 when mixing for 2-cycle STIHL units, and store for no longer than 30 days
  • STIHL MotoMix & TRUFUEL 4 Cycle are your best protections against Ethanol gasoline as it 92 high-octane alkylate fuel. This can be stored in your machine for up to two years without any performance issues

What’s the difference between my car’s engine and engines used in small power equipment?

Automobiles have comprehensive fuel and engine management systems controlled by electronics and numerous sensors. You may not feel or hear anything going on when your car is running, but there are many measurements and automatic adjustments being made to account for things like humidity, altitude, temperature and the quality of the gasoline being used.

On the other hand, yard and garden power equipment like your STIHL & Cub Cadet tools are designed to be compact and lightweight. These tools don’t have the space available for the equipment found in automobiles and so are much more sensitive to issues like fuel quality.

Look Before You Pump:

You can read more about ethanol, the damages it can cause to your engine and recommendations on the fuel you should be purchasing for your outdoor power equipment at & find out about their Look Before You Pump Campaign.

My unit won’t start? It sounds like it is a fuel related issue. What should I do?

Bring your unit into our shop. Our factory trained technicians will be glad to diagnosis the issue & provide you with a price to repair/replace the parts causing the issue. Whether we repair the unit or you are advised to purchase a new unit, you will leave knowing that you have been given the best advice with respect from our team. We offer pickup/delivery of units needing repair/service at a competitive rate. If you need to have your unit picked up for service, email us at or call 905.562.4513.