After the lawn season, it’s time to hibernate your trusty lawn mower. There is no doubt that a lawnmower may malfunction after long-term storage. As such, you need to know the best tips on how to keep your lawn mower in tip-top shape until the next mowing season. Although it takes a bit of work on the front end, your efforts are truly worth it, a lush green and healthy lawn also involves caring for the lawnmower. So, should I use a fuel stabilizer in my lawn mower?
You’ll find all the information you need on lawn mower fuel stabilizers and the best tips on how to winterize your trusty lawn-care companion.
What is a Fuel Stabilizer?
A fuel stabilizer is a mixture of lubricants and antioxidants, usually made from petroleum. It keeps fuel fresh and prevents it from degrading by providing a protective layer to it. Principally, stored fuel for example Gasoline is subject to various chemical reactions that lead to its vaporization. Besides, these reactions may also cause the fuel to be gummy. In this way, gasoline stored for just a few months can lead to engine problems in your lawn mower.
A fuel Stabilizer helps keep your engine safe by preventing the breakdown of the fuel. In short, the fuel stabilizer help improve the lifespan of your fuel.
Types of Fuel stabilizers
A fuel stabilizer is manufactured with a formula that fits some specific area of concern. In this case, we can categorize fuel stabilizers into two basic types:
- For Storage
One of the main reasons for using a fuel stabilizer is to keep the fuel fresh for storage and increase its durability. As such, when manufacturing this type of fuel stabilizer, certain formulas are kept in mind. Thus, these fuel stabilizers help keep your fuel fresh for long periods. Most manufacturers claim a 24 months protection span.
- For Performance
On the other hand, fuel stabilizers can be used to enhance fuel performance. In this case, the formula used to manufacture the stabilizer effectiveness and performance than extending the life span of the oil. As such, the fuel’s durability is not as long as 24 months but much less.
Should I Use Fuel Stabilizer in my Lawn Mower?
Yes, you should use a fuel stabilizer in your lawn mower if you are about to store it. Taking a step ahead of the season to prepare your mower for storage will save you a lot of time and money.
Fuel stabilization is one of the best things you can do to ensure that your mower engine remains in good shape over long periods. Specifically, it helps prevent the fuel from evaporating and degrading over time which may damage your mower’s engine.
Typically, when you store your lawn mower, the fuel in it deteriorates and causes corrosion. This in turn damages the mower engines. Similarly, if your lawn mower uses ethanol-blended fuel, it can attract moisture leading to corrosion in the engine. This alcohol component is dangerous specifically to sections of the fuel system that are made of rubber and plastic.
A fuel stabilizer prevents these damages by keeping the fuel clean. Besides, stabilizing the fuel ensures that moisture does not condense in the fuel tank. Thus, the engine runs smoothly. If you are on the hunt for the best tips when storing your lawn mower, a fuel stabilizer is your best option. Besides, stabilizing your mower oil comes in handy with a lot more benefits like preventing fuel-related problems including stalling and engine hesitations.
Therefore, if you like being on top of lawn care and maintenance, using a fuel stabilizer is one of the easiest ways to maintain the effectiveness of your mower. Whether you are storing your mower away at the onset of winter or you are just letting some time pass before mowing next, curbing the fuel’s degradation is crucial.
Related: Are Lawn Mowers Batteries Standard or AGM?
How to Use Fuel Stabilizer in Lawn Mower?
As any lawn owner knows, stabilizing the fuel is essential for enhancing the effectiveness of the lawn mower. However, using a fuel stabilizer can be a daunting task. Luckily, we’ve provided you with a step-by-step guide to ensure that you have a flawless process:
- Go Through the Manufacturer’s Instructions Inscribed On The Bottle
First, you need to read the instructions that come with the stabilizer. This is very crucial because stabilizers come in varying brands, and how you use one type is slightly different from the way you use another type.
For instance, you’ll have to empty the fuel tank when using some fuel stabilizers. On the contrary, other types of stabilizers can be added to the existing new fuel.
- Drain All The Existing Fuel From The Tank
You should not mix old fuel with the new one. As such, before adding fresh fuel to your lawn mower, you’ll need to drain all the existing old fuel from the tank. Besides, this step also helps the lawn owner to know the exact amount of fuel remaining. This in turn helps in knowing the amount of stabilizer to use. Note that mixing the fuel with a bigger or smaller amount of the stabilizer than is indicated in the instructions might cause more harm than protection.
- Add The Correct Amount Of Stabilizer into The Tank
In this step, you’ll need to find the appropriate amount of stabilizer for your lawn mower. Usually, the mower’s manual provides the specifications on the fuel stabilizer amounts to use. This is normally given as a ratio. For example, most brands recommend one ounce of fuel stabilizer per 2 gallons of fresh gasoline.
- Fill The Tank With Fresh Fuel
Upon adding the appropriate stabilizer, the next thing is to fill the tank with fresh fuel. After filling the tank, ensure that the fuel cap is in place and reconnect the spark plug wire. Note that you should only fill the tank to about 95%. The extra remaining space allows for expansion and prevents the oil from spilling when the mower is in use.
- Start The Lawn Mower and Let The Engine Run For A Few Minutes
Finally, after filling the tank with the appropriate amounts of fuel and stabilizer, run the engine for at least 10 minutes. This ensures that the mixture goes through the engine, turning, and thus distributing the fuel stabilizer throughout the fuel system.
How Much Fuel Stabilizer Do I Put in Lawn Mower?
The ideal amount of fuel stabilizer to use differs from one brand to the other. Luckily, each stabilizer brand comes with a manufacturer’s guide that indicates the proper amounts to use. For example, some brands come with a mixing ratio of I ounce of fuel stabilizer to a gallon of fuel while some recommend the same amount of stabilizer to 2 gallons of fuel.
Is it Better to Drain the Gas or Use a Stabilizer?
You might be wondering, if summarizing or even winterizing your lawn mower with fuel in it can damage the machine, why not drain the gas completely? This may probably seem like a good idea but on the negative side, it decreases the lifespan of your engine.
Precisely, drying the tank may cause the engine to be as dry as hard rock and will eventually lead to leaking, or worse, the entire engine system may catch fire. Besides, the extreme dryness may cause cracking of the metal parts and will encourage moisture, which is the last thing you want in your engine system.
As such, fuel stabilizers are necessary especially if you use your lawn mower seasonally. A stabilizer will not only increase the lifespan of the fuel but also keep your mower in a good condition. On the worse side, if you keep the fuel in the engine and then hibernate your machine for a long time, both the fuel and the engine are at risk of getting damaged. So, Yes, using a stabilizer is better than draining the gas.
How long does a fuel stabilizer last?
The lifetime of a fuel stabilizer varies from one brand to the other. However, a closed stabilizer bottle kept in the ideal conditions is more durable than an open one.
Tips for Lawn Mower to Winterize Lawn Mower
Since gasoline left in your lawn mower can lead to serious damage, you must learn some tips on how to store your lawn mower over the cold winter season. Follow the following tips to winterize your mower and you won’t have a hard time starting its engine after winter ends.
- Top off the fuel, or better, drain it and use fresh fuel
- Stabilize the fuel
- Take out the mower’s battery
- Remove the spark plug
- Replace or clean the mower’s air filter and fuel filter
- Sharpen the mower blades
- Clean and lube your lawn mower
Overall, a fuel stabilizer is an excellent way to ensure that your lawn mower is highly durable. Besides, it prevents corrosion of your mower’s fuel system which may otherwise lead to engine failure. As such, a stabilizer is an efficient way to keep your engine clean, ensure your machine runs smoothly, and also prolong the lifetime of your machine. Over the winter months or whenever your mower will be stored for long periods, it is essential to use a fuel stabilizer to prevent engine damage.