Some may think all fuels are the same and they can be used interchangeably in a Snapper lawn mower. It’s important to make the right gas selection to avoid damaging your mower and causing significant damage.
Snapper lawn mowers use unleaded gasoline with a minimum octane rating of 87 and a maximum ethanol content of 10 percent. Keep reading and I’ll share more about gasoline and its ethanol content along with ways to store it.
This article addresses 4-stage (4-cycle) engines. While most Snapper lawn mowers sold today use 4-stage engines, there are many Snapper 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.
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Follow all safety instructions provided in your equipment operator’s manual before diagnosing, repairing, or operating. Consult a professional if you don’t have the skills, or knowledge or are not in the condition to perform the repair safely.
Can You Use Regular Gas in Your Snapper Mower?
Regular gas can be used in your Snapper lawn mower. Most unleaded gasoline marketed as regular gas has an octane rating of 87 according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Gas for your Snapper mower must also contain an ethanol level of 10 percent or less.
Most Snapper lawn mowers today use 4-cycle engines which require the use of unleaded gasoline with a minimum octane rating of 87 and a maximum ethanol content of 10%.
If your mower is older and uses a 2-cycle engine, refer to your operator’s manual for the correct ratio of gas to oil for your mower.
Choosing the right gas for your Snapper mower will save you from many headaches and repair bills down the road. Using the wrong type of gas or old gas can damage your fuel system and your engine shortening the life of your lawn mower.
Avoid High Ethanol Percentages
Gas stations today are adding different fuels to the pumps so it can be confusing knowing what gasoline is best to run in your Snapper mower. Avoid gas with high levels of ethanol. I have seen both E85 and E15 fuel options appearing at the pump. These fuels contain 85% and 15% ethanol levels respectively.
Read the labels on the fuel pump to identify the octane rating and ethanol content. It’s important to understand never to buy gas that contains more the 10% ethanol.
The less ethanol in your fuel the better. While ethanol isn’t bad to run in your vehicles, it is bad for small engines like the one in your Snapper mower.
Here are a few details about ethanol and its effects on mowers:
- Ethanol is a corn-based fuel that is more environmentally sound.
- Ethanol-based gas attracts moisture from the air which causes gas to separate from ethanol.
- Separated ethanol and water sink to the bottom of the fuel tank. Separated ethanol will be fed through the engine causing ignition problems for your mower. Ethanol can leave gummy deposits damaging your fuel components.
- Ethanol is corrosive and can burn very hot causing your engine to overheat. This can cause significant damage.
Buy Fresh Gas
Gas can begin to break down and become less efficient as soon as 30 days. It’s important to consume the fuel you purchase within this time frame.
Ethanol attracts moisture and as gasoline ages, the moisture and ethanol separate from the gasoline causing running problems in your mower when this moisture evaporates and leaves behind gummy deposits.
Make sure you store your fuel in an approved fuel container and keep it stored in a dry location. Rotate your fuel so you are using your oldest fuel first.
If you are unable to use your fuel within 30 days, you must stabilize it with a fuel additive. Read more about this in the next section.
Purchase High-Quality Fuel
It is not always better to buy more expensive fuel, but if you can afford it, I recommend buying higher-quality fuel.
There is a non-ethanol fuel that can be purchased. It is a little pricey costing up to $3.00 more per gallon at the fuel pump and much more when purchasing them in canisters from the local hardware store.
You don’t have to worry about the damaging effects of ethanol when you purchase these fuels. There are two options to buy this fuel:
At the Fuel Pump: You can find ethanol-free fuel at some fuel stations labeled as recreation fuel or REC-90. Not all gas stations sell this type of gas. I am seeing more gas stations in my area adding this to their fuel lineup.
You can check for local stations in your area that sell recreation fuel at pure-gas.org. They provide a list of fuel station locations in the United States and Canada.
At the Hardware Store: 4-cycle canisters of gas can be found at your local hardware store or online. This is the most expensive way to purchase ethanol-free fuel, but it is a convenient option to keep on your shelf for a smaller format mower that doesn’t have a large fuel tank.
If you buy higher-end fuel that contains ethanol for your Snapper and worry you will not use all of it, there are some ways to keep gas fresh by using a fuel additive to stabilize your fuel.
Note: You do not need to add a fuel stabilizer to recreation or 4-cycle canned fuel because it doesn’t contain ethanol, but it won’t hurt if you accidentally add it.
I add a fuel additive called Sea Foam Motor Treatment to every tank of fuel. It stabilizes fuel and keeps my fuel system running well with reduced clogging.
Find out more about Sea Foam in my article here and why this is the additive I choose to use the product in my powered equipment.
Why Is My Snapper Mower Leaking Fuel?
Problems can develop in your fuel system where gasoline damages or corrodes your fuel parts causing them to fail or leak. You may be able to smell or recognize fuel leaks with wet spots on the mower or burn marks in your lawn, but you may not be able to find the leak.
I put together a list of common areas known to leak on your Snapper lawn mower. You can find it in my article Your Snapper Lawn Mower is Leaking Gas.