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3 On Your Side: Check The Gas You Put Into Leaf/Snow Blowers

jim-donovan-web Jim Donovan
Jim Donovan is a 13-time Emmy Award-winning consumer reporter w...
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By Jim Donovan

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Options at the gas pump are expanding and while you’re probably careful about what you put in your vehicle’s gas tank you’ll want to watch what you’re filling up leaf blowers and eventually snow blowers with too.

By now, many have put away the lawn mower, moved on to the leaf blower, and may soon tune up the snow blower. No matter which tool you’re powering up, be aware of more options at the gas station, as more ethanol gets pumped into the mix.

“The key to remember is the fuels marketplace is changing.  We are no longer in a static situation and so, pumps may look different, gas stations may look different; they may not be the same,” says Kris Kiser of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, which urges consumers to take a second look before fueling small machines that may not be designed for new fuel blends.  According to Kiser, “The problem is the hundreds of millions of engine units, engine products in use today are all designed built and warranted to run on fuel containing more than 10 percent of ethanol and so that’s the challenge.”

Anything higher than the e-10 fuel safe for all cars and engines could cause home equipment to overheat, leading to damage and sometimes injury.

Among common items in the shed that can be affected –

– leaf blowers

– lawn mowers and tractors

– trimmers

– power washers

– and snow blowers.

If you’re unsure about which fuel is safe for certain equipment start by reading the owner’s manual for details.  If that doesn’t help, reach out to the manufacturer for guidance.