We have all been in the situation when we purchase a major piece of equipment and forget to ask a simple question about its operation. We get home and have to figure it out on our own. You may have just bought a snowblower and forgot to ask about the type of fuel to use in your Craftsman snowblower.
Most Craftsman snowblowers with 4-cycle engines use regular 87-grade unleaded gasoline that has a 10% or less ethanol content. Older snowblowers with a 2-cycle engine will use a gas and oil mix.
Whether you have owned a snowblower for years or you are just buying one, you want to protect your financial investment and perform regular maintenance on your snowblower including using the correct gasoline in your Craftsman snowblower.
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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 Craftsman Snowblowers?
While snowblowers come in different sizes and styles, they are all relatively similar when it comes to the internal components.
Most Craftsman snowblowers will feature a four-stroke engine where the best gas is an unleaded gasoline with an octane level greater than 87-grade with an ethanol content no greater than 10%.
This article will focus on the Craftsman 4-stroke engine which is how most current snowblowers are powered. However, if you have an older 2-cycle engine, consult your owner’s manual for the ratio or oil to gas required. Running straight gas through a 2-cycle engine will ruin the engine.
Choosing Gas for Your Craftsman Snowblower
With so many options for gas at the local fuel station, it can get a little confusing what type of gas to buy. Keep reading and I’ll explain what to look for.
Always Buy Fresh Gas
Gas can breakdown and degrade in a short period of time. It is best to use gas within 30 days of purchase.
Because of this, you should purchase gas from a busy gas station that cycles through fuel faster than a small gas station that does not get much business. This will help ensure you are getting the some of the freshest fuel available.
Only purchase fuel you can use within 30 days. I understand it is inconvenient to have to run to the gas station every 30 days just for your snowblower, but doing so will help your snowblower’s fuel system perform at its best.
You will also want to make sure any gas left in the plastic gas can is stored in a dry environment as gas will draw moisture and become less potent and ineffective over time.
Avoid High Ethanol Percentages in Your Craftsman’s Fuel
When it comes to fuel for your Craftsman snowblower, a gas with a lower ethanol percentage is best. Ethanol is essentially a corn-based fuel that has been developed to be more environmentally friendly than prior gasoline offerings.
When you visit your local gas station, you will notice there is a label showing the percentage of ethanol mixed with gasoline.
Gas stations will offer different percentages of ethanol, but on average, it will be between 10% and 15%. You will want to find a gasoline for your Craftsman snowblower that has an ethanol content of 10% of less.
Some people refer to a gas with an ethanol level of 10% as E10 and often wonder if it is safe to use E10 in their snowblowers. Using E10 gasoline is a sufficient fuel used in most Craftsman snowblowers.
Keep these things in mind about ethanol and how it can affect your snowblower:
- Avoid gas that is sold as E85. This gas has an ethanol content of 85%. This will cause damage to most small engines used in Craftsman snowblowers.
- Ethanol based gas attracts moisture from the air causing the gas to separate from the ethanol. The gas sinks to the bottom of the fuel tank.
- The ethanol that separates from the gas in the fuel tank will feed through the engine causing ignition problems in your Craftsman snowblowers.
- Ethanol is corrosive and can burn very hot. This heat can cause your small engine to heat up causing irreversible damage.
If you absolutely cannot find gas that is ethanol-free or below 10% ethanol, you will need to add an extra fuel treatment. These treatments are easy to find and can help stop fuel from separating. I prefer a product call Sea Foam Motor Treatment found on Amazon.
Buy High Quality Fuel for Your Craftsman Snowblower
Purchase the higher-quality fuel, if you can afford to, with a lower ethanol content. It will be pricier than the 87-grade gas with 10% ethanol content. Because your snowblower’s gas tank is small, it should cost too much more to fill up the tank.
You may worry about wasting higher-priced, higher-quality gas, but you can make sure you don’t waste this fuel by adding a fuel stabilizer to keep gas fresh. Using a product like Sea Foam will not only stabilize fuel up to two years, but also reduce moisture buildup in your fuel system.
Follow these instructions to storing unused gas:
- Use a plastic gas can that is designed for unleaded gas. Make sure that you are using a quality gas can; some plastic containers are not made to store gas and will break down.
- Add a fuel stabilizer to the can along with the extra gas that you are not using right away. This will help keep any gas that you may have leftover as fresh as possible.
- Try to avoid buying more than a 30-day supply of gas. The quicker you use the gas, the better. However, it can be hard to know exactly how much you have in your tank and how much you will need with each mowing.
- Before adding new gas, always empty out the gas can you are currently using. Use any gas that has been stored first. This will ensure you are not letting gas sit for months at a time and adding fresh gas to old gas.
- At the end of the season, if you have any gas remaining in your gas can, discard of this appropriately. This can often be added to your car or other machines if needed. You never want a gas to sit in a gas can for months after the season is over.
We explain more about fuel stabilizers with “Best Fuel Stabilizer for Your Snowblower“.
Why Your Snowblower is Leaking
It’s frustrating to go to your garage or storage shed to find it smelling of gas. There are many different reasons your snowblower may be leaking including a bad gas cap, carburetor problems, cracked fuel lines and more.
Check out our article, “Reasons Why Your Snowblower is Leaking Gas” for more details.