In the never-ending fight for truth, justice, and efficiently running 4-cycle engines, the newest arch nemesis of mowers and small lawn equipment everywhere has reared its ugly head: ethanol! As crude oil prices rise, gas companies are trying to cut costs and encourage renewable energy sources by adding ethanol to their gasoline mixture — up to 30% by volume in some parts of the U.S. For an easy way to combat the negative effects of ethanol in your small engine, you can install an inline fuel filter. Follow the jump to learn how.
First, I’m sure many of you are wondering why ethanol is so bad for engines in the first place. Well, it’s actually not the ethanol itself that’s the problem, it’s what the ethanol has a tendency to attract — water — which is a big no-no when it comes to small engines. On a molecular level, ethanol and water attract each other like magnets, causing the ethanol to suck water into the fuel lines of 4-cycle engines when there’s even the slightest humidity in the air.
You can easily remedy this by adding an inline fuel filter to your 4-cycle engines. Most lawn equipment uses a 1/4″ fuel line, and the standard size fuel filter from Briggs & Stratton will fit the majority of the models on the market. The fuel filter blocks all water as well as any impurities in the gas before it gets into the engine.
Installation is easy: Simply find the fuel line running from your gas tank into your engine intake port, and cut it cleanly with a sharp utility cutter. Install the fuel filter between the cut, with the smaller-diameter side facing the gas tank and the larger-diameter side facing the intake port. Secure it in place with small spring clamps on each side, and you’re done. Of course, you want to empty all the gas out of the gas tank and fuel lines beforehand.
This $5 worth of parts and five minutes of your time can greatly increase the lifespan and efficiency of your 4-cycle engines. You can find all the parts at home improvement stores or online.
Inline Fuel Filter [Briggs & Stratton]