How E10 petrol will impact small garden machinery: Problems and Solutions

E10 petrol is a type of fuel that contains 10% ethanol and is commonly used in garden machinery equipment. However, it can be damaging when left stored in the equipment between uses.


Why is E10 being introduced now?

According to; Increasing the bioethanol blend in petrol up to 10% will bring Ireland in line with most European countries and most of the UK, where E10 petrol is already the standard petrol that is sold

The increase in bioethanol in petrol to E10 is one of several measures towards achievement of 51% reduction in transport carbon emissions by 2030, as set out in the climate action plan, as well as measures for active and public modes of travel and electric and alternative technologies for transport.


What is ethanol and why is it bad for your small garden engine?


Ethanol is a member of the alcohol class of organic compounds. It is used as a solvent, in the synthesis of other organic chemicals, and as an additive to gasoline.  

Petrol with an ethanol content of more than 10% can cause running problems in engines with a manually adjustable carburettor therefore it should not be used in such engines. It may also be necessary to readjust the carburettor to compensate for the changed composition of the fuel.


Petrol with Ethanol is not the ideal fuel to power your small garden machines. It can cause corrosion to fuel components (including plastics, rubber, fibreglass and even some metal items) and it can attract water. It also can block your capillaries in your carburettor causing all sorts of engine issues. Its corrosive properties can erode your engine away.

Some petrol engines, especially older ones, and even some entry level priced engines may face some issues of material compatibility when using E10 petrol which may affect the vehicle/device’s fuel system and/or engine. If your power equipment isn’t certified to run on E10 then never use it.


Over time, the ethanol in the fuel can cause the fuel to break down and become less effective, which can make it difficult to start the equipment.

Stihl products manufactured within the last two decades are compatible with E10 fuel. However, it is not recommended to use E10 petrol that has been stored for more than 30 days.

Some STIHL M-Tronic engines can still deliver full power when run using petrol with an ethanol content of up to 25% (E25) please follow your handbook for storage information.

Addressing E10 Petrol Challenges: Our Recommendation

To prevent damage to garden machinery equipment, it is important to properly store the fuel.

  1. We recommend a fuel called Aspen or Stihl MotoMix instead of E10 Petrol.

Stihl MotoMix is completely free from ethanol and has virtually no olefins or aromatic compounds. Emission-wise, this makes it a cleaner, more environmentally friendly choice than regular fuels, plus it lasts longer.

Aspen contains no ethanol, will stay fresh for up to 5 years, emits 99% less toxic emissions and ultimately prolongs machinery life.

    1. We recommend if using E10 that you also add a fuel additive like Hp Ultra to the E10 petrol which slows the degeneration of the E10.

    2. Store E10 fuel for no longer than 30 days and out of direct sunlight to minimise the degree of fuel segregation.

    This is where the moisture in the air binds with the ethanol and settles on the bottom of the canister. This can cause running problems and shaking the container does not completely resolve fuel segregation.

    4. Only use a sealed and clean fuel container to store petrol. If you are using a steel container you must check for corrosion on the inside of the container.

    5. Drain the fuel from the equipment if it will not be used for an extended period.

    By following these tips, you can help ensure that your garden machinery equipment stays in good condition and is ready to use when you need it.

    Signs of E10 Petrol Damage to Garden Machinery

    keep an eye out for these common symptoms of damage:

      • Engine fails to start.
      • Irregular RPM or hunting
      • Stalling or engine starts and stops.
      • Loss of power
      • Decreased fuel efficiency

    If you have noticed any of the above symptoms in your garden machinery, it is possible that the E10 petrol has caused damage. It is important to take action to prevent further damage and ensure that your machinery runs smoothly.

    Here are some steps you can take:
    1. Stop using E10 petrol immediately: This will prevent further damage and give you time to assess the situation.

    2. Drain the fuel tank completely and dispose of any remaining E10 petrol safely. This will help to remove any contaminated fuel from your machinery.

    3. Remove and clean the carburettor thoroughly to remove any debris or build-up caused by the petrol. The carburettor is a common area for damage from E10 petrol.

    4. Replace the spark plug to ensure that your machinery starts and runs smoothly.

    5. Use a fuel stabiliser: If you must use petrol with ethanol, use a fuel stabiliser to reduce the risk of damage to your machinery. E.g., Hp Ultra. Fuel stabilisers can help to protect your engine and improve fuel efficiency.

    6. Consider alternative fuels: If you are concerned about the impact of E10 petrol on your machinery, consider using alternative fuels such as Aspen & Stihl Motormix. These fuels can be less damaging to your machinery and better for the environment. 


    When it comes to product warranty, it's important to understand what is covered and what is not. Unfortunately, damages caused by E10 petrol are not covered under warranty. We recommend you use Aspen & Stihl MotoMix instead of E10 petrol to avoid any potential damage.
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