Fueled by Ethanol
By Tim Ard, Forest Applications Training, Inc.
Today it is getting more and more important to know what your chain saw and trimmer are drinking. Alcohol in excess is bad news for you and your two cycle machines.
Chances are pretty high today that the fuel location you purchased from last year for your two cycle fuel is not the same this year. The difference is that most gas stations today have a minimum of 10% ethanol in their blending at the pump. Ethanol or alcohol in any form can have some ill effects on your chain saw or trimmer.
Alcohol fuel can corrode aluminum and magnesium parts, collect moisture, doesn't mix well with your oil additive, can cause a rapid drop in volatility, and most important it can produce an erratic tuning that could cause major internal engine damage.
If you have one or more of the following issues you may be Fueled by Ethanol.
If you notice your trimmer or chain saw will not start or refuses to start quickly when cold or warm you may have a fuel problem.
If your saw or trimmer idles unevenly you may have a fuel problem.
If the saw or trimmer doesn't accelerate quickly upon trigger response you may have.....
If the trimmer or saw runs away at full throttle you may have ......
If your saw or trimmer takes a long time to return to idle you may have a ......
If your fuel lines are gummy or cracking you ......
If your saw or trimmer engine dies when you let off the throttle trigger you may have ....
If your saw or trimmer billows out smoke and or an obtrusive odor you.....
Yes, you may have a fuel problem!
I received a call from a friend recently complaining that his trimmer would start but wouldn't rev when depressing the throttle. He had been using the trimmer with no problem prior this season. Recently he had purchased a new supply of gas and mixed it as he always has. I suggested he try opening (counter clockwise) the carb adjustment screws slightly and the problem went away. Evidently the new gas purchase had a higher volume of ethanol in it and caused the engine to run slightly leaner. Too lean of a fuel setting to accelerate.
Alcohol in the fuel requires more flow to maintain power needs. In two cycle engines the fuel flow can also relate to lubrication needs. It takes a more open, counter-clockwise adjustment on the screws, to allow enough fuel to run properly. Most carburetors will adjust 10% to 12% but will not accept any higher percentages very well. You should try to a locate a gas supply without ethanol if at all possible.
One of the easiest ways to insure an ethanol free fuel source is to use a bottled fuel like TruSouth's. They produce a premixed 40 to 1 and 50 to 1 fuel (TruFuel or 50Fuel) that is a very convenient and consistent fuel alternative. The TruFuel is in special one quart cans. Your fuel container or mixing is not required. The product is high octane for an even and efficient burn and there is no ethanol. A correct mixture of oil and stabilizers is already mixed in which insures a fresh, properly mixed fuel - good for over two years. Ready for your two cycle machines.
More information on fuel, adjustments and issues can be found under the articles/info link at www.ForestApps.com .
(c) Copyright 2010 Forest Applications Training, Inc.