Whenever working with power equipment, its best to refer to your owner's manual to determine what kind of fuel is needed. Often a special mixture is needed; including some parts oil and some parts gas. Be sure to look for any specific instructions regarding the use of higher octane fuel.
In snow blowers, saws, trimmers and other small power equipment, it is important to use a gas/oil mixture for improved lubrication. Unlike engines that have separate gas and oil reservoirs, two-cycle engines run on a gas/oil mixture that keeps the engine lubricated at all times. Never use straight gas in a two-cycle engine as straight gas will ruin the engine quickly. Only use high-grade oil intended for use in two-cycle air-cooled engines. A high-grade premium gasoline will burn cleaner in the engines, leaving less carbon buildup in the cylinder, exhaust port and muffler. A fuel grade of 89 octane and higher is recommended.
The ratio varies, but usually falls between 16/1 and 50/1 parts gas to oil. Your owner’s manual will give the correct ratio for your machine. Although gasoline with ethanol is often warned against, gasoline from the pump does contain about 10% ethanol. Using any ethanol-gasoline blend up to E10 should work well for snow blowers and small off-road equipment. You can use gasoline which is blended with a maximum 10% alcohol, but never use E85 or diesel fuels.
Gas/oil mixtures attract moisture and can create acids as time goes by, so it is important not to leave it in your machine longer than 60-90 days. Drain away old fuel and start with fresh fuel any time your equipment has been sitting with non-stabilized fuel for long periods of time.
When using a gas powered lawn mower, be sure to add a gas stabilizer at the end of the season and run the unit for approximately 30 seconds to allow the stabilized fuel to reach the carburetor and run through the fuel lines. This type of product will stabilize and protect gasoline for up to two years, as well as prevent the formation of corrosion and other gumming up problems associated with ethanol-blended gasoline. Adding a stabilizer is affordable, and it protects an engine better than draining the fuel.
Be sure to consult your manual or manufacturer website to be sure you use the correct gasoline, oil, and mixing ratio; and keep up regular maintenance to ensure the best and most reliable performance from your power equipment all year.