I was watching the Grand Prix race in Baltimore and one thing would come on was a TV ad for a company VP Racing Fuels. The one thing was showing how this company has fuels for small engines for rescue equipment because there is no ethanol in their fuels plus they have fuel with oil already mixed for those engines that use gas and oil mix.

I would wonder if any emergency groups would use this product and does it work for them better than using gasoline from the pump in their power tools? 

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We use SEF fuel very similar to VP. After all the trouble we had with regular fuel we switched and haven't had a minutes problem with saws or anything starting now. Wouldn't switch back for anything. Expensive but worth every penny no repairs on clogged or gummed up carbs!





My fire department has been using VP-SEF 94 since it came out a few years ago. It costs a little more but we were constantly sending saws and tools out for repairs because they wouldn't start or were poorly running.  Not the greatest for when you are depending on that saw to start or the jaws to run when lives are on the line. We use it in everything, saws, jaws, fans, generators, brush pumps, boat motors and ATV/UTV's.


The issue is the ethanol found in pump gas, it gums up the small lines and ports of small engines. Ethanol also attracts water.  The ethanol (alcohol) also eats the rubber lines and plastic found in small engines.  We had seen some fairly new equipment start leaking from rubber lines and plastic fuel tanks being degraded by the fuel. This problem is made worse by tools and equipment sitting in trucks for long periods of time while waiting for a call. Even if you start them once a week or once a month, the fuel is eating these components everyday.


Another problem is a fairly new tool that will just "blow up" while still in warranty (seize). Something that before ethanol based pump gas, was unheard of.   What is happening is in a two stroke engine, the ethanol in the pump gas attracts water, the gas and oil will remain mixed but they will separate from the water and ethanol (layering) and when you run the tool out of gas, (two stroke chain saw) the last bit of fuel before the saw runs out is basically all ethanol and water. The saw will run super lean and without the proper lubricant (oil) it will seize.


As Chris states there are a few options for fuel choices.  There is VP-SEF; TruFuel 50; and most of the small engine companies are now offering a line of ethanol free gas.  Why we chose VP was it has 94 octane, blended with a great synthetic oil; and meets all manufacturers warranties. Others may be a little cheaper in price but their octane on some is down around 86 and blended with other chemicals. 


It costs more to buy any of these fuels compared to pump gas but in reality it is ready for service and will start easier / perform better and we also remove the chances of having a tool that refuses to start when someone's life is on the line. I have stopped fogging the boat motors at the seasons end and just leave them wet all winter. They fire right up in the spring without any problems. The fuel has no shelf life because it is unleaded and contains no lead to spoil like in years past.


I made up a powerpoint that I could send you that explains and shows tools ruined by pump gas. Just send me an address.   BTW this problem is not going away, the feds are going to raise the ethanol from 10% to 15% in pump gas. The auto industry has been forced to become ethanol compliant meaning all their hoses and engine parts will not degrade from the ethanol in the fuel.... small engines are unfortunately not compliant.


VP has a website just for their product.  www.seffuels.com



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Yup, what they said. Burns cleaner, less plug fouling or carbon buildup. Has a 2 year shelf life. The 2 cycle mixed is consistant, no more guessing or trying to get exact ratio. 94 octane for the 4 stroke engines gives them quicker starts.  More expensive in the short term, but way cheaper in the long term because you don't have to pay the repair bills on the equipment.


We just bought some VP but haven't used it yet.  Seems like a good idea.  We use AVGAS in everything now and don't seem to have any problems.  Does anyone else use AVGAS in the their saws and pumps?  It is 100LL, but we have not had problems with the lead so far. 

Jim I did about a decade ago before anybody made the new ethanol free gas. The only issue I had is the 100LL had lead in it so it would spoil if stored in a plastic can (remember the days of shellacked gas) and we would have to dump and freshen the cans.


Also 100LL is ideally designed for low compression engines that run cooler, most manufacturer's of two stroke small engines say the 92-94 range is best for octane. I did ruin a few two stroke motorcycle engines because the fuel would detonate sounded like we had marbles in the cylinder and (cold seize) because I couldn't build heat in the motor. I later learned it was the AV fuel I was buying from the airport.


It seems I have found out that a lot of agencies don't know about these fuels. I work for a county public works and they are using the gasoline from the pumps with the ethanol in it on all the small engines we have. We have switched all our gas powered salt spreaders to electric because we thought the people that were behind the wheel couldn't run them right. It could have been that the engines couldn't run on the gasoline we put in them. Our small engine shop sees a lot of the crews bring in chainsaws, trimmers, mowers and other special tools come in for repairs which I think is part of the problem.  

Sorry to say Ashfire but it was totally your problem. Take it from a wrench, I made a video of equipment that failed from pump gas that contains ethanol. Love to talk more about it. Drop me an email. Bill




Well I have problems letting those at the top know that there is something better that what they are doing. I had just learn about this type of fuel and how it is better. I will talk to a supervisor and try to get them to pass the idea up the line until it gets to the Director and hope for the best.

There are ways thing could run better but it takes a lot to make people understand when they don't understand the way it should be.

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