WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Cutting the grass is always a chore, but some of you may have found using your lawn mower is even more of a challenge lately. It turns out your grass cutter could have a gas problem. The extra ethanol that has been added to fuel over the past few years has caused some major issues for folks with vehicles and machinery, like lawnmowers.
Hughes Waren mows his lawn about once every two weeks, but says cutting the grass lately has become a huge hassle.
“It’s been stalling out, not performing at the highest level as it has been in previous years,” said Waren. “I didn't know what to attribute it to.”
James Lewis, a small engine repairman in Wilmington says the problem is in the fuel.
“Fuel isn't what it used to be,” said Lewis. “It's not exactly what it used to be five years ago with all of the additives they put in it.”
Lewis says the extra ethanol can be very damaging to lawn mowers, causing the carburetor to rust faster and making the engine harder to start.
“The ethanol that is in the fuel will sit into the fuel tank and sit into the carburetor and it's caused big problems, whereas two years ago they could sit for five to six months,” said Lewis. “Now we need to get everyone to run their outdoor equipment every two to three months.”
Lewis says business has been booming. He says this year alone his mechanics have replaced more than 200 carburetors on lawnmowers because of ethanol. He advises folks to run their outdoor equipment at least every two months or completely clean the fuel out of after it's been sitting for a while. He says there are some products you can buy that help to counter act the ethanol, which can be found at most small engine repair shops.