Within the past year, we have seen a change in the type of fuel we use, with a shift from E5 to E10, in a bid to reduce carbon emissions. One of the biggest questions with this move was how it would affect us in our everyday lives. The primary focus has been on transportation, with the UK government providing an online tool to check if your vehicle is compatible with this fuel type. But what does this mean for other appliances that run off petrol? As the sun comes out and we start to get our gardens ready for the Spring and Summer months, many of us will be getting our garden tools out and wondering if E10 fuel will be suitable for us to use.
It has always been advised to take caution when filling garden appliances with fuel. This is due to petrol containing ethanol; ethanol attracts water and, if left inside an appliance for a long period of time, this attraction of water can affect an appliances internal performance. This is important to keep in mind with lawnmowers and grass trimmers, as we don’t use these as regularly as other appliances, so once used we store them away for a few weeks, or months, before our next use. During this time, if fuel has been left in the tank then the attraction of moisture can lead to corrosion and blockages of the fuel lines and filters.
E10 fuel contains 10% bio-ethanol, more than its predecessor. This essentially means it has a higher risk of attracting more water and moisture than E5. To best maintain your equipment, it is recommended to only use the required amount of petrol and avoid any overfilling. If necessary, it is even suggested to completely drain any excess petrol which can be done by using your appliances until they physically stop. If you do have extra fuel to store, it is advised to store the petrol in an airtight can and keep it out of direct sunlight.
Alongside taking care with the fuel in your garden appliances, you should also ensure you are following the cleaning and maintenance advice for your specific model. Regularly cleaning your fuel filter, cleaning away any debris off the unit and changing the spark plug if it has become worn down is essential to keeping your lawnmower in the best condition. Similarly, with any strimmers or grass trimmers, always care for these as per your user guide, and replace your trimmer lines when necessary.
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