Do Lawn Mowers Take Regular Gas?

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It’s no secret that there are plenty of lawn mowers on the market today that require gas to function. Whether that’s your trusty old machine or a brand new model, you may need to fill it with some gas for it to work.

However, what you might not be aware of is the fact that some machines, especially those with smaller engines, have a specific requirement about which type of gas they use.

The problem is of course that there are various types of fuel at a gas station, all of which have their own labels and prices, so you will need to know more about what gas your lawn mower takes.

The short answer is that most lawn mower engines need regular, unleaded gasoline with an octane level of 87. But this isn’t always the case.

So, if you’re wondering “do lawn mowers take regular gas”, then you’re in the right place, as we’re about to dive into much more information! Read on for more.

Fuel For Your Lawn Mower: The Basic Answer

So, as we mentioned, most lawn mowers need regular gas which is unleaded gasoline with an octane level of 87 and an ethanol content of 10% or less.

You will likely find that the majority of premium unleaded gasoline are good enough and meet this criteria. 

The problem is that this isn’t true for every lawn mower. While 2 and 4 stroke lawn mower engines will certainly be fine with this type of gas, it’s important to note that 2 stroke lawn mowers operate through a mixture of gasoline and engine oil.

To truly get to the bottom of this question, it’s crucial that we note that while most lawn mowers are fine with regular gas, not all gas has the same octane level.

Therefore, it’s wise that we dive a little deeper into these types of gas for more information. 

Regular Unleaded Gasoline

The most common form of gas is unleaded, regular gasoline which has an octane level of 87. As it is so commonly used, it is usually available at every gas station. 

Bizarrely, this is also the lowest octane level of gasoline you can purchase and more often than not, it’s the cheapest form of fuel. With lawn mowers that have small engines, this is typically the gas you should fill it with.

You may at this point be wondering what octane refers to. Well, in short, it refers to the measurement of how much compression the gasoline can deal with before it combusts. The lower the octane level, the less compression it can take.

This is a very important point to consider because both air and fuel are compressed repeatedly to power up your lawn mower engine! 

Mid-Range Unleaded Gasoline 

Any gasolines that are listed with an octane level of between 88 and 90 are typically considered to be mid-range unleaded gasolines. Of course, as this gasoline has a higher octane level, it can handle more compression – which can increase its price.

However, if you are at your gas station and this sort of gasoline is on offer, it’s something you should consider for your lawn mower engine.

Premium Unleaded Gasoline 

Premium unleaded gasoline is sometimes otherwise known as high octane gasoline, and this will be shown with an octane level of between 91 and 93. These are the least common forms of gasoline to find and are usually the most expensive. 

While there are many vehicles that require this form of gasoline for their best performance, it’s debated whether or not this type of gasoline is any good for lawn mower engines. As it is hotly contested, it’s best to avoid using it for your lawn mower.

This decision could not only save you time, but it will save you money. 

Non-Oxygenated Gasoline 

Non-Oxygenated Gasoline 

To put it simply, non-oxygenated gasoline is gasoline that does not contain any ethanol. Most gasoline is oxygenated and this usually reduces the carbon emissions produced from engines. 

The most common additive to the gasoline which causes it to become oxygenated is ethanol – but while this is common – it’s sometimes better to use non-oxygenated gasoline instead because it has fewer contaminants.

As a result, if you do not use the gasoline often, then this is one of the best types of gasoline to fill your lawn mower engine with. However, it’s not without its drawbacks. 

It’s difficult to find this type of gasoline, and even if you manage to source it somehow – you will find that the price is much higher than other forms of gasoline.

Gas To Use And Not To Use 

Okay, so we understand that this might be a lot to take in and you’ll likely want to make it a little simpler. So below, we’ve listed the fuels you should use and not use to make things a lot easier! 

Gas To Use In Your Lawn Mower 

The majority of lawn mowers will love regular, unleaded gasoline. While it might have a lower octane level, it can save you some money and it’s much easier to find than other forms of gasoline. 

However, if you wish to – there’s nothing wrong with using non-oxygenated gasoline, particularly for riding lawn mowers. 

Gas Not To Use In Your Lawn Mower 

The first gas to avoid is diesel. While it might already seem obvious to you, you should never add diesel to a gasoline engine. 

The second gas type to avoid is high ethanol content gasoline brands. These are often labeled as E15 (15% ethanol) and E85 (85% ethanol).

While these gasolines are certainly useful for a lot of vehicles, they can cause corrosion for smaller engines (like your mower!). 

The Bottom Line 

Yes, lawn mowers can take regular gas – but it’s critical to remember to read the manufacturer’s instructions for much more tailored information.

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