What Kind Of Gas Do You Put In A Snowblower?

So, you’ve just purchased a snowblower and now you’re faced with the dilemma of choosing the right type of gas to fuel it. It’s a question that often pops up for many new snowblower owners, and understandably so. After all, you want to make sure you’re using the correct fuel to keep your new machine running smoothly. In this article, we’ll explore the different types of gas you can put in a snowblower, helping you make an informed decision and ensuring that your winter snow-clearing adventures are hassle-free.

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Types of Fuel for Snowblowers

Regular Unleaded Gasoline

Regular unleaded gasoline is one of the most common types of fuel used in snowblowers. It is readily available at gas stations and is relatively affordable. Regular gasoline typically has an octane rating of 87, which is suitable for most snowblower engines. When using regular unleaded gasoline, it is important to ensure that it does not contain any ethanol, as ethanol can cause damage to the fuel system components.

Ethanol-Blended Gasoline

Ethanol-blended gasoline, also known as E10, is a type of fuel that contains up to 10% ethanol. Ethanol is derived from corn and is added to gasoline as an oxygenate. While E10 gasoline is commonly used in automobiles, it is not recommended for use in snowblowers. Ethanol can absorb moisture, which can lead to phase separation and the formation of deposits in the fuel system. These deposits can clog fuel lines and cause engine performance issues.

Non-Ethanol Gasoline

Non-ethanol gasoline is a type of fuel that does not contain any ethanol. It is often referred to as “pure gas” or “ethanol-free gas.” Non-ethanol gasoline is a preferred choice for snowblowers as it reduces the risk of fuel system damage. It helps prevent fuel line clogs and ensures optimal engine performance. Non-ethanol gasoline is commonly available at certain gas stations and is worth considering if you want to avoid the potential issues associated with ethanol-blended fuels.

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Octane Ratings

What is Octane Rating?

Octane rating is a measure of a fuel’s ability to resist knocking or pinging during combustion. Knocking refers to the undesirable sound produced when the air-fuel mixture in the engine’s cylinders detonates prematurely. Higher octane ratings indicate a greater resistance to knocking. Snowblowers typically require gasoline with octane ratings of 87 or 89.

Recommended Octane Rating for Snowblowers

Most snowblower manufacturers recommend using regular unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87. This octane rating is suitable for the majority of snowblower engines and provides optimal performance without the need for higher octane fuels. It is important to consult the manufacturer’s manual for specific octane rating recommendations, as some snowblower models may require a higher octane rating.

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Effects of Using Incorrect Octane Rating

Using fuel with an octane rating lower than what is recommended for your snowblower can lead to engine knocking and reduced performance. On the other hand, using fuel with a higher octane rating than required does not provide any significant benefit. It is crucial to follow the manufacturer’s recommended octane rating to ensure the proper functioning of your snowblower.

Fuel Additives and Stabilizers

Why Use Fuel Additives and Stabilizers?

Fuel additives and stabilizers are products designed to improve the quality and longevity of the fuel used in snowblowers. They help prevent fuel degradation, corrosion, and the formation of deposits in the fuel system. Additionally, fuel additives and stabilizers can enhance engine performance and protect against the harmful effects of ethanol in gasoline.

Benefits of Using Fuel Additives and Stabilizers

Using fuel additives and stabilizers in your snowblower can offer several benefits. They can help keep the fuel system clean by preventing the build-up of deposits, which can hinder fuel flow and affect engine performance. Fuel additives and stabilizers also help prevent fuel oxidation, which can lead to the formation of harmful varnish and gum deposits.

Additionally, fuel additives can help mitigate the negative effects of ethanol in gasoline. Ethanol can attract moisture, which can cause fuel system corrosion and damage. Fuel additives with corrosion inhibitors can protect against these issues and maintain the integrity of the fuel system components.

Types of Fuel Additives and Stabilizers

There are various types of fuel additives and stabilizers available on the market. Some common ones include:

  1. Fuel stabilizers: They help prevent the degradation of gasoline over time, especially during periods of extended storage.

  2. Fuel system cleaners: These additives are designed to remove deposits and improve fuel system performance.

  3. Ethanol treatment: Ethanol-specific additives can help address the problems caused by ethanol-blended gasoline, such as phase separation and fuel system corrosion.

When choosing a fuel additive or stabilizer, it is essential to select a product that is specifically formulated for small engines and compatible with the type of fuel you are using.

Storing Fuel for Snowblowers

Proper Storage Containers

When storing fuel for your snowblower, it is crucial to use proper storage containers. The container should be made of a durable material such as high-density polyethylene (HDPE) or metal. It should be tightly sealed to prevent any leakage or evaporation of the fuel. It is advisable to use containers specifically designed for fuel storage, as they often come with safety features such as spill-proof spouts and flame arrestors.

Duration of Fuel Storage

Fuel should not be stored for extended periods as it can degrade over time, leading to poor engine performance. It is recommended to use fuel within 30 days of purchase. If you need to store fuel for longer durations, using a fuel stabilizer can help extend its shelf life. Fuel stabilizers prevent the oxidation and degradation of gasoline, allowing it to remain usable for longer periods.

Precautions and Safety Measures

When storing fuel for your snowblower, it is essential to follow safety precautions to minimize the risk of accidents and ensure your safety:

  1. Store fuel in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight and sources of heat.

  2. Keep fuel containers in a secure location, away from the reach of children and pets.

  3. Label the fuel containers clearly to avoid any confusion or accidental use of the wrong fuel.

  4. Do not smoke or use open flames near the fuel storage area.

  5. If you need to transport fuel, use approved fuel containers and follow local regulations regarding transportation.

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By following these precautions, you can minimize the risk of fuel-related accidents and ensure safe storage of fuel for your snowblower.

Choosing the Right Gas for Your Snowblower

Consulting the Manufacturer’s Manual

When determining the type of gas to use in your snowblower, the first step is to consult the manufacturer’s manual. The manual will provide specific recommendations regarding the type of fuel and octane rating suitable for your snowblower model. It is crucial to follow these guidelines to avoid any potential damage or performance issues.

Considering Climate and Altitude

The climate and altitude where you live can also influence the choice of gas for your snowblower. In cold weather conditions, it is advisable to use fuel with a lower volatility to ensure easier starting and smoother operation. Additionally, at higher altitudes, air density decreases, which can affect engine performance. Some snowblower models may require adjustments to the carburetor or a higher octane rating at higher altitudes. Refer to the manufacturer’s manual for specific recommendations.

Avoiding Fuel Blends with Higher Ethanol Content

When selecting gas for your snowblower, it is generally recommended to avoid fuel blends with higher ethanol content. Ethanol can cause fuel system issues, especially in small engines like those found in snowblowers. Opt for non-ethanol gasoline or gasoline with a lower ethanol content to minimize the risk of fuel system damage and related performance issues.

Common Fuel-related Issues with Snowblowers

Clogging or Blockage of Fuel Lines

One common fuel-related issue with snowblowers is the clogging or blockage of fuel lines. This can occur due to the formation of deposits or the presence of contaminants in the fuel. Clogged fuel lines can restrict fuel flow, leading to engine performance issues such as starting difficulty or stalling. Regular use of fuel system cleaners and proper maintenance can help prevent fuel line clogs.

Carburetor Problems

The carburetor is a crucial component of the fuel system in snowblowers. It is responsible for mixing air and fuel to create the combustible mixture that powers the engine. Carburetor problems can arise due to fuel contamination, clogged jets, or misadjusted settings. Symptoms of carburetor issues include rough idle, poor acceleration, and difficulty starting the snowblower. Regular cleaning and maintenance of the carburetor can help prevent such problems.

Starting Difficulty and Stalling Issues

Snowblowers may experience starting difficulty or stalling issues due to fuel-related issues. Using fuel with the wrong octane rating or ethanol content can affect the combustion process and hinder proper engine operation. In addition, fuel degradation or contamination can impact fuel quality, leading to starting issues and engine stall. Maintaining a proper fuel system and using the recommended fuel can help alleviate these problems.

Maintenance Tips for Snowblower Fuel

Draining the Fuel System for Storage

Before storing your snowblower for an extended period, it is essential to drain the fuel system. Stale fuel can cause varnish and gum deposits, leading to clogs and poor engine performance. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions on how to properly drain the fuel system, including the fuel tank, carburetor, and fuel lines. Ensure that the fuel is disposed of safely and in accordance with local regulations.

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Regular Inspection and Cleaning

Regularly inspecting the fuel system components is a vital part of snowblower maintenance. Check for any signs of fuel leaks, cracks, or damage in the fuel tank, fuel lines, and connectors. Clean any dirt or debris that may have accumulated around the fuel cap or other fuel system parts. Keeping the fuel system clean and well-maintained can help prevent fuel-related issues and ensure optimal performance.

Replacing Filters and Spark Plugs

Filters, such as the fuel filter and air filter, play a crucial role in maintaining the quality of the fuel and airflow in the snowblower. Over time, these filters can become clogged or degraded, affecting engine performance. Regularly inspect and replace filters as recommended by the manufacturer. Additionally, spark plugs should be inspected and replaced if necessary to ensure proper ignition and combustion.

Safety Precautions with Snowblower Fuel

Avoiding Spillage and Overfilling

When refueling your snowblower, it is important to avoid spillage and overfilling. Spilled fuel can be hazardous and can ignite if it comes into contact with sparks or open flames. Always take care to pour fuel slowly and accurately into the fuel tank. Use a funnel if needed to minimize the risk of spillage. It is also crucial not to overfill the fuel tank, as excess fuel can leak out and create a fire hazard.

Proper Fuel Storage and Disposal

Proper fuel storage and disposal are essential for maintaining a safe environment. Store fuel in approved containers and in a well-ventilated area away from potential ignition sources. Avoid storing fuel in living spaces or near appliances that produce sparks or flames. When disposing of fuel, follow local regulations and guidelines for safe disposal methods. Never pour fuel down drains, sewers, or into the ground, as it can contaminate water sources.

Preventing Fires and Explosions

To prevent fires and explosions, it is vital to handle and store fuel for your snowblower with the utmost care. Keep fuel containers and the fueling area clean and free of any flammable materials. Avoid smoking or using open flames near the fueling area. Ensure that any fuel spills are immediately cleaned up and that no fuel residue is left behind. Regularly inspect your snowblower for any signs of fuel leaks and address them promptly to prevent potential accidents.

Environmentally-friendly Alternatives to Gas-powered Snowblowers

Electric Snowblowers

Electric snowblowers are an eco-friendly alternative to gas-powered ones. They run on electricity and do not produce any emissions or require the use of fuel. Electric snowblowers are generally quieter, lightweight, and easy to maneuver. They are ideal for smaller areas and less heavy-duty snow clearing tasks.

Battery-powered Snowblowers

Battery-powered snowblowers are another environmentally-friendly option. They use rechargeable batteries to operate and do not emit any harmful gases. Battery-powered snowblowers offer the convenience of cordless operation and are suitable for moderate snow-clearing tasks. However, their run time may be limited, depending on the battery capacity.

Manual Snowblowers

Manual snowblowers, often referred to as snow shovels or snow pushers, offer a completely non-mechanical and environmentally-friendly solution for snow removal. These tools require physical effort to operate, but they do not rely on fuel or electricity. Manual snowblowers are suitable for smaller areas and can provide a great workout while clearing snow.


When it comes to selecting the right fuel for your snowblower, it is essential to consider the manufacturer’s recommendations, the octane rating, and the ethanol content. Regular unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87 is suitable for most snowblowers, while fuel blends with higher ethanol content should be avoided. Using fuel additives and stabilizers can enhance fuel quality and protect against fuel system issues. Proper fuel storage, regular maintenance, and adherence to safety precautions are key to ensuring the longevity and optimal performance of your snowblower. Lastly, if you prefer an environmentally-friendly option, electric, battery-powered, or manual snowblowers can be excellent alternatives to traditional gas-powered models. Stay safe and enjoy the winter season with a well-maintained and properly fueled snowblower!

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