Not as simple as the title suggests.. I wouldn't hesitate to drive a few more miles to find ethanol-free gas for the snow blower and generator, but there is none to be found. After looking around for a bit, I was told the state passed a bill last year requiring all gas stations to use gasoline with ethanol.

Is this doing a lot of damage to the appliances, and is there something I can do to make the gasoline more compatible with the equipment?

  • 2
    The reason you should not use ethanol based petrol is because ethanol is "dry" and dries out any mechanical parts. So you need to find an additive to lube up the petrol(which will relube bearings/rings/etc)- or just mix in a bit of oil with the gasoline (old school-and might smoke a bit)
    – ppumkin
    Nov 9, 2011 at 15:24

2 Answers 2


The website http://pure-gas.org/ has a list of ethanol-free gas stations in the U.S. and Canada.

In addition, your local airport probably has 100LL (100-octane low-lead gasoline without ethanol) for sale, as most reciprocating airplane engines require it.

  • I'm not sure if that's better or not for small engines. Which is worse, ethanol damaging seals/hoses, or lead fouling? :-) Nov 9, 2011 at 19:45

One other thing to try when purchasing gas for small engines: go for the Super/High Octane.

I've noticed that some pumps have a generic "May contain up to 10% Ethanol" on the pump, while other locations have it attached only to the location that pump regular.

  • Untrue. The octane rating for Ethanol is higher than gasoline can naturally attain (without lead anyways). They use x% ethanol and then blend in an appropriate gasoline to end up with the correct result. There's no way for the end user to determine the percentages based on the octane level printed on the pump (and if there was, it would be the opposite of what you said). Nov 11, 2011 at 13:06
  • I didn't realize that - I've removed that line.
    – chris
    Nov 11, 2011 at 14:27

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