Higher Ethanol Fuel Blends can Damage your STIHL Equipment

higher ethanol fuel blendsAs a lawn care professional, you have probably heard or read about the issue with higher ethanol fuel blends. Until recently, almost all gasoline sold has been E10 (10% ethanol) or less. Today, some gas pumps are beginning to offer higher ethanol blends, from E15 to E85 (85% ethanol). Higher ethanol fuel will damage your STIHL equipment and may void your limited warranty when used. So keep your fleet running strong and look before you pump!

STIHL equipment was made to run on fuel containing no more than 10 percent ethanol. The same fuel you put in your car may not be the same fuel meant for your chain saw, trimmer, blower, or other STIHL landscape equipment.

What is the Difference Between E10, E15 and E85 Gasoline?

Today, there are more fuel choices for consumers than ever before.No longer can anyone go to a gas station and assume the fuel from the pump is safe and legal for all engines. Most fuel sold today at gas stations for automobiles and outdoor power equipment contains up to 10 percent ethanol (E10). However, in the past year, more gas stations are selling ethanol fuel blends greater than 10 percent – such as E15 and E85. STIHL outdoor power equipment is not made for ethanol blends higher than 10% ethanol or E10.

Don’t Pump the Wrong Fuel

In the past, consumers were physically kept from selecting the wrong fuel – with diesel you have to use a different pump, for example. This isn’t the case now as blender pumps, which dispense various ethanol fuel blends, become more widely available. The EPA has stated E15 and higher is not legal for use in off-road engine products, and only legal for a subset of automobiles. Yet, the only warning against “mis-fueling” is a small 3×5 pump label. Double-check the pump to make sure you put the right fuel in the right engine.

Why Are There So Many Different Fuels?

In an effort to meet federal renewable fuel standards, higher ethanol blends are being brought to market. When a small number of retail gas stations in select U.S. states began offering E15 and higher ethanol blends for sale in 2012, we at STIHL grew concerned. We want to protect our customers and future customers from inadvertently damaging their equipment by using the wrong fuel.

Most people believe any fuel sold at a gas station or other retail fuel station is likely legal and safe for any engine product. This is not true, and STIHL owners need to become aware of the fuel for which their equipment was designed, built and warranted – and use only that fuel.

To help keep your STIHL running strong

  • Avoid E15 gasoline – too much ethanol can damage engine components
  • Use a minimum of 89-octane gasoline.
  • Use fresh fuel – Buy enough fuel to only last a two-month period (at most).
  • STIHL recommends STIHL MotoMix® Patented Premixed Fuel a pure and stable fuel mixture that can be stored for up to two years in its original container.


To learn more about caring for your STIHL equipment, visit http://www.stihlusa.com or like STIHL on Facebook.

Source: STIHL Incorporated