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Opinions on "non-ethanol fuel" vs "up to 10% ethanol fuel" in my 2017 RZR S900? Manual says that up to 10% ethanol gas is fine, but guy who runs ohv trail riding business only uses pure gas. I'm inclined to go with non-ethanol gas, because I've seen small engine equipment (chainsaws, blowers, weed whackers) need "early" maintenance (or even early grave) because of ethanol gas. I know it's more expensive, but I don't want to shorten the life of my machine by simply an incorrect or not wise fuel decision. Opinions? Thank you!
 

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If you're going to use it all within a month or so corn juice is ok... NOT good but ok to use. If you're not going to use it within that time it will eventually destroy your machine. Simple as that.
 

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I could be giving them too much credit, but I assume that the engineers today take into account ethanol fuel and adjust accordingly. I am sure after time it can still be bad but I would be more worried about an older mower or piece of equipment I had that was built before ethanol fuel. I have 4 vehicles parked at my house, 3 ATV's, a large ZTR mower, tiller, etc. and can honestly say I've never had problems with anyone that points to ethanol issues. Just my experience.
 

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I could be giving them too much credit, but I assume that the engineers today take into account ethanol fuel and adjust accordingly. I am sure after time it can still be bad but I would be more worried about an older mower or piece of equipment I had that was built before ethanol fuel. I have 4 vehicles parked at my house, 3 ATV's, a large ZTR mower, tiller, etc. and can honestly say I've never had problems with anyone that points to ethanol issues. Just my experience.
If you keep them long enough, and they sit for long periods of time with alcohol and the water it collects, you WILL have problems no matter what year model it is. Probably 75-80% of the machines brought to me in the spring and early summer for repair is because of alcohol/water damage to the fuel system. The amount of time and the severity of damage depends a lot on the climate where you live but it WILL happen eventually. Just ask anyone who works on small engines or boats.
 

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I could be giving them too much credit, but I assume that the engineers today take into account ethanol fuel and adjust accordingly. I am sure after time it can still be bad but I would be more worried about an older mower or piece of equipment I had that was built before ethanol fuel. I have 4 vehicles parked at my house, 3 ATV's, a large ZTR mower, tiller, etc. and can honestly say I've never had problems with anyone that points to ethanol issues. Just my experience.
Yeah, you are giving the engineers too much credit. To adjust for ethanol means stainless steel, non rubber fuel lines and fuel system parts and a method for preventing atmospheric air from entering the combustion chamber during periods of non use.

I just acquired a snow blower identical to the on I have been using for years. It was offered up for $100 for parts because it did not run, had a few non critical parts bent up, a broken recoil and missing a muffler shroud. I snagged it for $50.

This machine is only about 5 years old, electric start and has a 200cc Briggs & Stratton OHV engine. Yeah, the motor is made in China!

I first checked the fuel tank - it was rusty inside and looked like about 1/4 of water was on the bottom of the tank. I extracted the water into a clear hose and tested it for alcohol. The water was about 40% ethanol. The gas was stale to the point it burned like fuel oil. I turned the fuel off, drained the carb and got about a teaspoon of water - no gas. I drained the fuel tank, put about a pint of non-ethanol fuel in the tank and tried starting. The engine never fired, but cranked over normally. A little starting fluid and it fired instantly. I guessed the carb needed to be cleaned.

I shut the fuel off and proceeded to remove the carb. When I disassembled the carb there was no gas in the float bowl. My initial thought was a stuck float needle, Nope, needle and seat were dirty but not stuck. I looked at the inlet nipple and found something obstructing the passage. I used a dental pick to remove the object. It appeared to be a lady bug (snow blowers and most lawn mower engines do not have fuel filters), but it was rather soft. I decided to drain the fuel tank to descale it on the inside. I connected a length of hose to the fuel line where it connected to the carb and turned the fuel on to drain the tank - it went drip.......... drip.......... drip.........

It took a couple hours to drain less than a quart of fuel out of the tank. With the tank drained, I removed the fuel line which was only about 4 inches long. I used a flashlight and peered into the hose. It was blocked almost solid from one end to the other with melted rubber. The inside liner of the hose had softened and expanded from exposure to alcohol.

I cleaned the tank, installed new fuel line and completely cleaned the carb. Starts immediately and runs almost as good as new again, I repaired the recoil starter and got a new muffler shroud. Less than $100 in parts and I now have another snowblower that sold for over $800 new.

To avoid the problem, I only use pure gas. With pure gas, my other snowblower sat unused for 3 years and when I needed it, I expected to have to have to perform some maintenance. It started and ran fine - I removed our first 4 inch snowfall from my drive without even having to top off the fuel tank. I use only non-ethanol fuel ion my seasonal equipment and have found that pure gas increases fuel mileage in my car (Mercury Grand Marquis with 4.8L V8) by 4 miles to the gallon. I use ethanol fuel for local driving and never put more fuel in the tank than I will use in two weeks.

Ethanol does not damage substantially in the short term (it still damages, but not severely), but does it's damage when the machine it is in is not used for days at a time. I absolutely will not use ethanol fuel in my Vette as it is only driven a few times a year for special occasions.
 

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From the Gold Eagle site:

MYTH #2: “STA-BIL PRODUCTS DON’T WORK WITH ETHANOL-BLENDED GASOLINE.”
STA-BIL products treat ALL types of fuel—and that includes every ethanol blend, from E-10 to E-85, as well as pure gasoline and diesel. This is widely known in the Midwestern area of the United States, where our manufacturing plant is based and ethanol-blended gasoline has been used for nearly three decades.

The rest of the country is still relatively new to the idea of ethanol-blended fuel, which the government began mandating in recent years to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil.

The misunderstandings began mostly in warm-weather climates such as the Southeast, where humidity increases the likelihood that water will collect in gas tanks and lead to corrosion. Blended gasoline can heighten this issue because ethanol is an alcohol that absorbs moisture from the atmosphere.

This is especially a concern with equipment that tends to sit between uses, like boats or lawnmowers.

Old Fuel and Phase Separation


STA-BIL will absolutely work in these conditions, as long as you have the right formula (see our answer to myth #3, below). Our special marine formula is made exclusively for nautical conditions, and the daily-use ethanol treatment (link to post titled “Considering ethanol-free gas? Try an ethanol treatment instead.”) is designed to be used with every fill up.

But they fail to advise you on the right formula other than providing a link to their Special Marine Formula which is their highest priced. If you read the hype on any of their products they all claim to work with ethanol blended fuel, but on their own website they inform that you must use the RIGHT FORMULA!

Addendum:
From the Gold Eagle Products web site:

“STA-BIL brand additives use a highly-purified petroleum distillate to deliver our additive package to the fuel. This solvent allows the additives to quickly blend completely into the fuel. The additives themselves would be too concentrated to blend easily, especially in cold weather. Use of more flammable solvents like gasoline would make shipping and storage too dangerous. The addition of the recommended dose of STA-BIL product to fuel has always been safe. Dozens of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) have confirmed this by testing and recommending our products.”

Petroleum distillates include gasoline, naphtha, mineral spirits, kerosene, paraffin wax, and tar. They are the primary ingredient in many consumer products, including certain furniture polishes, paint solvents, adhesives, and automotive chemicals.
 

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I've done some informal side by side testing of my own with Sta-bil, another additive, plain untreated ethanol and K-100 in my garage. Using 10% ethanol fuel and some added water, all were mixed and agitated vigorously. The 4 jars have been sitting on the shelf undisturbed for over a year now. The K-100 jar still shows absolutely no separation after more than a year. The others separated into very distinct layers within a short period of time. The Sta-bil jar took a little longer but still separated none the less.
I know this is not really a very scientific test but I can SEE what the results are and that's good enough for me.
 

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I use non-ethanol (89 oct) with fuel stabilizer is all my ATVs, Motorcycles & yard equipment. You cant go wrong!
 

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I've done some informal side by side testing of my own with Sta-bil, another additive, plain untreated ethanol and K-100 in my garage. Using 10% ethanol fuel and some added water, all were mixed and agitated vigorously. The 4 jars have been sitting on the shelf undisturbed for over a year now. The K-100 jar still shows absolutely no separation after more than a year. The others separated into very distinct layers within a short period of time. The Sta-bil jar took a little longer but still separated none the less.
I know this is not really a very scientific test but I can SEE what the results are and that's good enough for me.
I did a similar test with Liquid Performance Ethanol Equalizer

The control sample (same fuel straight out of the pump) has turned dark yellow (almost orange)all the ethanol (approx 12%) is in a layer below the gas and the gas is more oil than gas (leaves a film on the sides of the rubber cork sealed beaker), there is only about 2/3 as much liquid as was originally put in the beaker and the rubber cork is swelled on the liquid side.

The test beaker with Ethanol Equalizer had about a teaspoon of water and a tablespoon of denatured alcohol (ethanol that has additives to make it poisonous, bad-tasting, foul-smelling, or nauseating to discourage recreational consumption)added to the fuel (same quantity as the control sample) and one drop of food coloring. I shook the solution and to this day almost 3 years later, it is completely pink from top to bottom. NO SEPARATION!
 

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Do the math. Spend the extra for a goid quality non ethanol gas. All my atvs get non ethanol and ive never had a failure. The extra change for the better gas is peace of mind
 
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