While most conventional gasoline contains either ten or fifteen percent ethanol, TruFuel is engineered gasoline that removes the ethanol from the equation. It’s pre-mixed, ready-to-use fuel for your small engine power equipment.
If you’ve recently discovered this innovative form of fuel, you likely have plenty of questions. For instance, if you already have regular gas in the engine of your lawn mower or power washer can you fill it up with TruFuel?
In short, can TruFuel be mixed with regular gasoline? Unless the existing fuel is already ethanol-free, it is not recommended to mix TruFuel with any remaining gas in the tank of your two-cycle or four-cycle engine. This largely has to do with TrueFuel having a longer shelf life and being safer to store in a tank for a longer period of time than traditional gasoline with ethanol.
Regardless, we’ll examine exactly why it’s not a great idea to mix TruFuel with regular gasoline and provide you with some general information in regards to this engineered gas alternative.
Table of Contents
- What is TruFuel?
- What is Ethanol?
- The Dangers of Ethanol
- Why Can’t You Mix TruFuel and Regular Gasoline?
- Benefits of Ethanol-Free Gasoline
- Downsides of Ethanol-Free Gasoline
- Relevant Questions
- Should I add a stabilizer to ethanol-free gasoline?
- What is E85 fuel?
- Should you use ethanol-free gas for generators?
What is TruFuel?
TruFuel is an innovative alternative to conventional gasoline that is developed with synthetic lubricants and state-of-the-art stabilizers to effortlessly power your equipment. They claim to take the hard work out of your yardwork by providing you with ready-made fuel for use in your two- or four-cycle outdoor power equipment engines.
Whether your equipment requires a gas/oil mixture or gas and oil individually, TruFuel is engineered to handle the job. The fuel comes pre-mixed, is high-octane and completely free of ethanol. Because it doesn’t contain any harmful ethanol it has a longer shelf life than more conventional gasoline.
No ethanol also means an easy startup, a quicker trigger reaction and smooth idling for your outdoor gear. TruFuel is cleaner than regular gasoline that is meant to service vehicles, enhances the performance of your equipment and is overall better on your engine.
What is Ethanol?
Ethanol is a renewable alcohol-based fuel that is produced domestically using plant material. It’s most often constructed by using grasses, corn or sugar cane. According to the U.S. government, the use of ethanol fuel has greatly increased across the country starting at 1.7 billion gallons in 2001 and rising to a dramatic 14.5 billion in 2019.
You’re probably most familiar with E10 and E15 gasoline which are blends of both gasoline and ethanol. Most gasoline sold in the U.S. to service cars contains 10% of ethanol (E10). All auto manufacturers allow the use of E10 in their gasoline engines and E15, or 15% ethanol, just recently became allowed by the EPA on newer vehicles.
The Dangers of Ethanol
While the use of ethanol helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and oil dependency, it is considered to be a dangerous chemical. Ethanol is highly flammable and inhaling it can be incredibly dangerous. Also, while it may suffice for cars, ethanol is not good for small engines such as lawn mowers, chainsaws, trimmers and other similar tools.
When ethanol is left in the engine of your small outdoor power equipment for an extended period of time, you can run into some serious problems. Over time, the ethanol in your gasoline will attract water from the atmosphere and bond together resulting in a process called “phase separation.”
With the existence of water in your fuel, the oil and gas become separated into two layers. The oil will typically rise and the bottom layer, containing ethanol and water is the first to enter your engine. Without any lubrication, this is a recipe for disaster and can severely damage the inner workers of your small engine.
Why Can’t You Mix TruFuel and Regular Gasoline?
With a better understanding of TruFuel, ethanol and conventional gas, let’s cycle back to the question at hand. Is it safe to mix TruFuel with regular gasoline? Although not recommended, it can theoretically be done if you’re planning on using up all of the gasoline immediately.
However, if you plan to store your equipment for a long period of time, such as is the case with snow blowers, the remaining ethanol from the regular gasoline in the engine becomes very problematic. Allowing it to sit will cause phase separation and could lead to major engine failure.
Also, ethanol left in small engines has been known to cause rust, soften rubber components in the engine, eat up rubber fuel lines, dissolve the system and clog the carburetor. With the known impact that conventional ethanol blended gas has on small engines, it’s no wonder people seek out a fuel that is free of ethanol.
Instead of mixing TruFuel and regular gas, the best route is to completely siphon out the old fuel and replace it with only TruFuel. TruFuel’s ethanol-free characteristics and specialized additives will make it safe to store in the tank for a prolonged period of time.
Benefits of Ethanol-Free Gasoline
Let’s examine some of the advantages involved in using TruFuel or other gasoline that is free of ethanol.
- Less dependency on ethanol crops. As previously stated, ethanol is made using agricultural products such as corn, sugar cane and grasses. The price of corn crops is directly affected by ethanol production. The use of ethanol-free gas takes pressure off the corn industry as the demand for corn to be used in gasoline production decreases.
- Decreased harm on your engines. Ethanol and gasoline mixtures on the market have a negative impact on small engine machinery and older vehicles. Older cars are not equipped to run on a mix of ethanol and gasoline and will have some of the same problems as your small engine outdoor equipment.
- Longer shelf life. While gasoline purchased from a gas station can deconstruct after as little as 30 days, TruFuel will last you years if left unopened. Once opened, the fuel will stay fresh for at least 2 years and more than 5 years when left sealed.
Downsides of Ethanol-Free Gasoline
Like anything, TruFuel and other non-ethanol gasoline comes with a few disadvantages. The associated downsides are as follows:
- More harmful emissions. While ethanol fuel helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions, ethanol-free gas is suggested to be more harmful on the environment. Emissions consisting of pure oil, instead of a blend, contribute to global warming and overall air pollution.
- More expensive than regular gasoline. For ethanol-free gasoline, you can expect to spend around 10 to 15 cents more than conventional fuel. While this cost may not seem like much when you’re filling up a small engine in your outdoor machinery, it can add up rather quickly for drivers. Also, in general, premixed fuel, like TruFuel, has a higher upfront cost.
Should I add a stabilizer to ethanol-free gasoline?
Consider adding a stabilizer to non-ethanol gas if you want to extend its life span and help preserve the fuel during offseason. However, keep in mind that ethanol-free gas will not attract as much water as ethanol blended gas and will cause you less problems when storing for long periods of time.
TruFuel advertises the existence of specialized stabilizers that extends its shelf life much further than other non-ethanol fuel on the market.
What is E85 fuel?
Also referred to as “flex fuel,” E85 is an ethanol and gasoline blend that contains between 51 and 83 percent ethanol. You’ll often find that winter blends contain less ethanol than the summer blends. This type of gasoline can only be used in FFVs, or dedicated flex-fuel vehicles.
Should you use ethanol-free gas for generators?
For generators, you should use fresh, clean unleaded fuel. The gasoline needs to have a minimum rating of 87 octane/87 AKI. It is acceptable to use 10% ethanol (E10) for generators but is not recommended. However, do not attempt to use anything higher than 10% such as E15 or E85.