With so many fuel options available at the fuel stations today, it can get a little confusing knowing exactly which type you need to buy for your Honda lawn mower. You can’t rely on the color of the fuel pump handle as these can differ from one fuel station to another. You’ll have to read the decals posted on the fuel pump.
Honda lawn mowers use an unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87 or higher and an ethanol content no greater than 10 percent. This type of fuel is often sold as regular or E10 gasoline. It can be found at your local fuel station.
This article addresses 4-stage (4-cycle) engines. While most Honda lawn mowers sold today use 4-stage engines, there are many Honda mowers with 2-cycle engines used that require a gas and oil mix. Read more about 2-cycle fuel requirements in “This is the Gas to Use in a Push Mower“.
It is important to not only use the right type of gas in your Honda mower, you must know how to properly care for your fuel so it doesn’t harm your fuel system or engine. Keep reading and I’ll share more about choosing the right gas and how to minimize fuel problems from developing in your mower.
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Follow all safety instructions provided in your equipment operator’s manual prior to diagnosing, repairing or operating. Consult a professional if you don’t have the skills, knowledge or are not in the condition to perform the repair safely.
What is the Best Gas for Honda Lawn Mowers?
The best type of fuel for your gas-powered Honda lawn mower is an unleaded gasoline. It should have a minimum octane rating of 87 which can be found in most unleaded gasolines at your fuel station.
What you really need to watch out for is the ethanol level. Never use a fuel that has more than a 10% ethanol content. Different gasolines with varying amounts of ethanol have been appearing at more fuel stations. They are marketed as E15, E30 and E85 which includes an ethanol content of 15%, 30% and 85% respectively.
Choosing Gas for Your Honda Lawn Mower
Not only is it necessary to purchase the right kind of fuel, you need to care for it properly to extend the life of your Honda mower and ensure it runs smoothly.
Buy Fresh Gas for Your Honda Mower
Only use fresh fuel in your Honda lawn mower. Fuel can begin to break down and become less effective as soon as 30 days after purchase. Use these tips when buying and using gasoline in your lawn mower:
- Purchase gas at a busy well-known gas stations
- Only purchase an amount of fuel you can consume within 30 days.
- Add a fuel additive to stabilize fuel that isn’t going to be used within 30 days.
- Store fuel in a dry cool location away from outdoor elements.
Avoid High Contents of Ethanol in Your Gasoline
Ethanol is a corn-based product added to most gasolines on the market today. While ethanol is an environmentally friendly product okay to use in most vehicles, it is not good for the small engine in your Honda lawn mower.
Ethanol in the gasoline attracts moisture from the air. Ethanol is corrosive to the fuel system. It also leaves a gummy substance that can clog the fuel system. When the gasoline begins to breakdown, the water and fuel mixture will separate from the gasoline and sink to the bottom of the tank. Running this solution can make the engine overheat and cause extensive damage.
Use a Fuel Additive to Stabilize Your Gasoline
Since ethanol-based gasoline can breakdown rather quickly, any gasoline that can’t be used within 30 days needs to be stabilized. Because I know the damage old fuel can cause in the fuel system and engine. I choose to add the fuel additive Sea Foam Motor Treatment to all the gas I purchase so I don’t have to worry about consuming my gas before it becomes unstable.
Sea Foam Motor Treatment not only stabilizes fuel up to two years, it also minimizes moisture and cleans the fuel system. It is a petroleum-based product safe to use in your Honda mower. Read more about the advantages of Sea Foam here.
Using Ethanol-Free Fuel In Your Honda Lawn Mower
If you don’t want to worry about dealing with the effects of ethanol on your Honda lawn mower, you can purchase an ethanol-free fuel. This type of gas can be found at the pump at some fuel stations and in canisters at hardware stores.
Recreation fuel (REC-90), an ethanol-free fuel, is sold at select gas stations. It can be up to $3.00 per gallon more expensive than regular gas. You can find a list of fuel stations in the United States and Canada that carry that recreation fuel at puregas.org
Canisters of 4-cycle fuel can be purchased at your hardware store or online. This is definitely the most expensive way to purchase ethanol-free fuel, but it is very convenient. If you are running a small lawn mower or smaller handheld equipment, this is a convenient option to have sitting on your shelf.
Old Fuel Can Cause Problems in Your Honda Lawn Mower
Like I mentioned in the article, old fuel can cause problems in your mower including fuel restrictions and leaking due to degrading fuel components. If you are experiencing problems with your fuel system. Check out one of these articles for help identifying and fixing the fuel issue:
This is Where Your Honda Lawn Mower Is Leaking Gas