We continue to hear the horror stories more and more of how ethanol fuel is the culprit for costly repairs. From 30+ horsepower zero-turns down to 24cc string trimmers, ethanol and the moisture it brings will attack carbs, injectors, valves, and more. Engineered fuel such as TruFuel is a safe alternative to pump gas. Not only does it have a shelf-life of years, but it also includes synthetic lubricants for your engine.
When ethanol first hit the pumps, we were seeing about a 10% ratio of ethanol to gasoline (E10). While it’s common to see 15% and 20% ethanol—don’t put E85 in your OPE tanks. E85 (or flex fuel) will contain 51% to 83% ethanol in the blend, depending on your geographic location and the season. Don’t even think about letting this sit on the shelf in your tank for any length of time.
When evaluating the best string trimmer, we included plenty of gas-powered weedeaters. To keep things equal, we ran TruFuel 50:1 Mix and TruFuel 4-Cycle in all the tanks.
What’s the Big Deal with Ethanol?
We could build a whole website from the Ethanol debate, so we’ll just keep this brief. Ethanol is alcohol, and alcohol attracts moisture. This moisture doesn’t have to come from rain or being near water, it’s present in our air. This is especially true at our headquarters here in Central Florida. This moisture begins to collect in the fuel tank, or storage container (gas can), and then mixes with the fuel – or doesn’t mix.
Most of us know that water is heavier than gasoline and oil, so as the fuel and water separate (and it will), the water sinks to the bottom. The first place our fuel pumps and pickup tubes pull from is the bottom of the tank. So, in goes the water which doesn’t have very good combustion qualities. The more alcohol content in the fuel, the higher the possible moisture collection.
TruFuel Premix and 4-Cycle Engineered Fuel
TruFuel engineered fuel takes the ethanol out of the equation. First, they start with high-quality ethanol-free fuel, then they add synthetic lubricants that stay mixed and have a long shelf-life. This is fuel designed for the small engines in our outdoor power equipment, not for cars and trucks.
TruFuel engineered fuel can be purchased in three different recipes. TruFuel 50:1 Mix and 40:1 Mix take the place of your messy gas and oil mixture known as premix. As the names imply, the 50:1 (most commercial equipment) and 40:1 (mostly homeowner equipment) are the gas to oil ratio. TruFuel 4-Cycle is the engineered fuel made for all your 4-Cycle or 4-Stroke engines, hence those not requiring a gas-oil mixture.
Using TruFuel – Success Story of Our Own
Not only did we use TruFuel in our recent String Trimmer (weedeater) Shootout, but we also used TruFuel engineered fuel in our best backpack leaf blower article a few months back. Back before we did the blower shootout, we were moving some items into an additional shop. We noticed that we had a couple of cases of TruFuel left over from an article several years ago.
This meant that the TruFuel had been sitting on the shelf for more than 3 years. Not a chance that today’s gasoline would last this long, but had the TruFuel engineered fuel managed to live?! We poured some in a clear container to give it a once-over. We may have even sniffed it or lit a match to it – secret lab testing. “Seems good, let’s put it in the blowers and let’r rip” says me.
The three-year-old TruFuel performed great and we used up all the cans in our old boxes. Having been on the wrong-end of many old-fuel and water-intrusion incidents (boats, motorcycles, string trimmers…and the list goes on), this proof-in-the-pudding spoke volumes. Furthermore, we got a new shipment of TruFuel engineered fuel in for our string trimmer shootout. Of course, this new shipment delivered great performance and levelled the playing field as well.
TruFuel Engineered Fuel by the Numbers
One 32oz. can of TruFuel will cost you between $5 and $6 each. Multiply times 4, and the cost per gallon is $20-$24. You can also by the 1-gallon cans for about $20, so the price remains much the same. Ouch, this stings a bit. Sure, you save the price of purchasing 2-cycle oil, but this adds less than $1/gal. Buying ethanol-free fuel typically costs about $4/gallon. Adding the $1 for oil, and you get a total cost of ~$5/gallon. This equates to TruFuel being 4x the price of pump-gas and oil mixture.
The value really comes down to convenience and assurance. While $20/gallon is not a small pill to swallow, one costly repair can consume this quickly. In addition to the cost of repairing equipment, you also have to consider the cost of down-time. If your equipment is down, you can’t make money with it. Digging into these labor and injured-equipment calculations is probably something you would know better than us. We’ll let you dig into these details.
No doubt, using an engineered fuel like TruFuel will deliver sustained performance in your equipment. TruFuel will also provide a much longer shelf-life, excellent for those long winters. Performance, convenience, durability, and sustainability are no-brainers with TruFuel, but the Value computation is in your court.
I believe trufuel tore up my edger..no problems until I used trufuel
I’ve been using Startron with regular gas for several years. What are your thoughts? At over $7/bottle, it’s not cheap, but had worked for me, both in my mower and snowblower. These are both 4-cycle machines.
I am sold on True Fuel. I started using it 2 years ago and all my 2 cycle engine powered tools run excellent! I’m serious. Everything starts and runs PERFECT! I’m a true believer.
I use non ethanol gas with Stabil & good 2 stroke oil So far so good. It is called Mo Gas that i buy at a local airport