Spring Lawn Mower Maintenance

Spring Preparation for Your Lawn Care Equipment

Now is the time of year to fire up all the equipment that you have waited all winter to use. The seasons are changing, and so do other things—including small engines and the fuel that keeps them running. As the price of this new equipment increases (just check the price on lawn mower engine repair or replacement!), the cost of not caring for can hit your pocketbook hard. Performance Fuel Specialists wants to make lawn mower maintenance easy and save you some money doing it.

Unlike a dull mower blade or a missing line on your weed whacker, fuel system needs are not easy to see. The best way to fix a fuel problem is to keep them from ever occurring.  Let’s look at some of the problems you may not have had just a few years ago.

Some Potential Lawn Mower Engine Maintenance Issues

1. Gasoline stability:

Gasoline constantly changes with new regulations and technology. Unfortunately, these changes are not always helpful, and one of the biggest problems is fuel stability. This is the ability of a fuel to maintain the quality that it had when it came from the refinery. Sure, it works well fresh, but letting it sit for a few months can create several issues: the buildup of varnish and sludge, as well as the loss of performance.

Newer equipment is more finely tuned for emissions, and this means it is more easily affected by poor fuel.

2. Ethanol: Water with dye for water and ethanol separation test in fuel

While ethanol may be good at reducing our need for oil, it honestly is not a blessing for our engines. Issues with ethanol include corrosion, loss of power, decrease in fuel stability, poor performance and phase separation. This is when the ethanol settles out of the gasoline during storage, and then when your engine starts, it is fed straight ethanol and water. This process also removes most of the octane from the gasoline itself.

The result is a totaled engine with no warranty coverage. The corrosion also can destroy the rubber and metal components in the system, and is especially harmful as it sits in storage.

3. Condensation:

Water in the fuel tank occurs naturally with the fluctuation in temperatures. When it is warm, then cold, the condensation can build up inside your tank. Now as bad as this can be in the winter, it also can cause engine failure in your small engines. It is the water in the fuel that causes the ethanol to separate from the gasoline as mentioned above, and it takes only 0.5% water to remove 70% of ethanol as shown in figures 1 and 2 (red dye is added to water for visibility). This water/ethanol combination can not only destroy your engine but is extremely corrosive.

How to Prevent Small Engine Damage

Don’t let this list overwhelm you, there are a few simple things you can do to avoid these problems.

  1. Fill your gas can with fresh gasoline and add PFS Gas Plus to the can; a little extra to start will not hurt a thing. Top off your equipment tank with fresh fuel if possible. If your tank is full, you can add a squirt of our Gas Plus directly to your tank without any chance of overtreating. Before you start any small engine that has been sitting for even a few weeks it is best to manually shake the equipment well. This movement will cause any ethanol and water that may have separated to re-mix with the gasoline. It may save you an engine and a lot of trouble.
  2. After you have run you first tank of fuel through the engine, now is the best time to change your oil for the summer. Fresh fuel and PFS Gas Plus will clean out all the carbon and deposits in your engine—which is great news. But some of these deposits can find there way into your oil too, so let’s get rid of them. You were going to change your oil anyways, so let’s do it strategically by cleaning the fuel system first, which allows you to get the most out of your oil all summer.
  3. As the summer season sadly comes to an end, make sure to fill your fuel tanks completely with ethanol free fuel if available, and don’t forget the PFS Gas Plus. This will keep your fuel tank from creating condensation, eliminating the water problem. Also, by using ethanol free fuel for storage, you stop the chance of phase separation and the corrosion issue caused from ethanol. If ethanol free fuel is not available, rest easy, PFS Gas Plus fuel treatment has you covered.
  4. For those who are mechanically minded, you may choose to totally empty the fuel tank and fuel system including anything in the lines and carbs/injectors. Fill with fresh fuel and PFS in the spring and you’re ready to go!

How Can PFS Fuel Treatments Help You?Gas Plus and Lead Plus fuel treatments, all sizes

  1. Our PFS Gas treatments contain our Ethanol Guardian technology with an A rating for corrosion protection, the industry’s highest. Not only will this give you an A-rated corrosion protection, but also proper pH, acidity control, and you’re gonna gain a couple of points in octane to boot.
  2. PFS Gas Plus has a remarkable combustion enhancer that not only will help you regain some of the power you lose with the use of ethanol fuels, and because it allows your fuel to burn more completely, you also have less carbon deposits inside your engine and engine oil.
  3. All PFS additives remove water with continuous use, and this will retard the phase separation discussed earlier by keeping the tank free from water.
  4. All PFS additives have an excellent fuel stabilizer keeping your fuel like new for up to a year, no need for any other stabilizer additives.
  5. Our detergent dispersant additive will remove all varnish sludge and carbon in your entire fuel system, keeping it 100% clean at all times. 
  6. Gas Plus contains a lubricant and not alcohol and solvent cleaners. Our lubricant helps keep all those fragile components in your fuel system from degrading and drying out. This is especially important with ethanol-based fuels.
  7. Remember, our PFS fuel additives are designed to be use every time you get fuel, keeping your fuel system at its best 24/7. It’s just like brushing your teeth every day instead of brushing them once or twice a summer. Which just makes sense, right?