Don't Be Fooled by E15

Don’t Be Fooled by E15

Posted March 31, 2014 by 8 Comments

Don’t be fooled this year when filling up your gas cans for your outdoor power equipment.

If you see a new fuel grade marked E15 at your local gas station, don’t let the lower price tag fool you.


It’s not only harmful to use in your lawn mower — and pretty much every other type of outdoor power equipment — it’s also against the law!

By now, if you haven’t been warned about the damaging effects of ethanol, here’s a quick list to help you catch up:

  1. Eats away at metal fuel tanks and components
  2. Degrades rubber fuel lines
  3. Plugs up the carburetor
  4. Gums up the fuel system
  5. Attracts moisture, a.k.a. water in your tank

The Ethanol Mandate

According to the EPA, ethanol-blended fuels aim to lower carbon emissions, making engines more environmentally-friendly. But for your outdoor power equipment, it’s lethal!

In the summer of 2012, the EPA approved the sale of E15 gasoline (15% ethanol, 85% gas). Currently, E10 gasoline is still the widely used and sold fuel throughout the country. But E15 and higher blends have been creeping up in gas stations nationwide.

Here’s an example warning label you may see on a gas pump that dispenses E15:


What Fuel is Safe?

E10 and lower fuel blends are compatible with your lawn mowers, tractors, boats, snow blowers, and other small engine equipment. But don’t forget to add a fuel stabilizer right away. It’s always good practice to read the owner’s manual for fuel grade and octane ratings specific for your equipment too.

Here’s a warning from the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, the next time you go out to refuel your power equipment — LOOK BEFORE YOU PUMP!


  1. Donald Woodman
    on April 1, 2014 at 11:45 am

    We have been warned against E-10 for some time now and small engine mechanics are reporting many problems because of it. Why are we now endorsing E-10 fuel?


    Reply to this Comment

    • Ervin
      on April 1, 2014 at 9:40 pm

      30 years ago, when E10 was new, there were issues with rubber parts in carburetors, etc. Because the E10 was a cleaner, it could clean and release rust and dirt particles in the fuel system, plugging fuel filters. But when the system was fully cleaned out, things got better. And since cars haven’t had carburetors in years, and rubber parts have been replaced by plastic or neoprene, E10 works just fine. I have driven it many hundreds of thousands of miles in multiple vehicles with absolutely no problems. It has been, and still is recommended by engine manufacturers. Just check your engine manual. E15 and E85 are a different story. The article is correct. Only use them in an engine designed for it!

      Reply to this Comment

  2. Richard
    on April 1, 2014 at 12:30 pm

    hello,on small engines i was told that if you use 93 octane ina small engine it will run cooler??Rich

    Reply to this Comment

  3. Vaughn
    on April 1, 2014 at 11:40 pm

    Does anyone sell just straight gasoline,if so where

    Reply to this Comment

    • mark yax
      on April 3, 2014 at 2:01 pm

      The big box stores are now selling fuel/mix for two cycle engines that have no alcohol and a built in fuel stabilizer. They go for about 5.00/quart. They come in different fuel ratios 40:1 and 50:1. I’m thinking about using this just to store fuel in my equipment when not in use. Pricey and a real hassle.

      Reply to this Comment

    • Dennis
      on July 31, 2014 at 8:09 pm

      You can find 100% gas if you look. Marinas tend to have it. Do an internet search. The last time I bought gas it was 4.60 for 94 octane and 8 something for racing gas.

      Reply to this Comment

  4. Ray Snow
    on April 2, 2014 at 7:36 am

    Used E10 in a Huskvana Ride on The valves Gumed up and had to have a complete overhaul Quite expensive.

    Reply to this Comment

  5. mark yax
    on April 2, 2014 at 9:06 am

    I have dozens of small engine powered equipment. From using E10 they all have been hard starting, carburator issues,fuel lines deteriated,floats gaskets and seals ruined. I have taken care of these and they have lasted me over 30 years. But E10 has cost me many rebuilding kits and an awful amount of time. I can’t imagine the damage this new blend E15 will cause.

    Reply to this Comment

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