Making sure your Toro lawn mower is running the right gas is essential to the longevity of your lawn mower. Running the wrong kind of gas can cause damage to your fuel system and worse yet, your engine. Assuming any type of gas will be okay to run in your Toro can be costly.
Toro lawn mowers require unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87 or higher. The gasoline must contain no greater than 10% ethanol. Using fuels with a low ethanol content or ethanol free is best.
This article addresses 4-stage (4-cycle) engines. While most Toro lawn mowers sold today use 4-stage engines, there are many Toro push mowers with 2-cycle engines still being 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“.
Because adding the correct type of fuel to your Toro mower is a very important aspect to keeping your mower running at its best, I have shared some tips on how to select gasoline and why it’s necessary to follow these tips.
Can You Use Regular Gas in Your Toro?
Regular Gas can be used in your Toro lawn mower as long as it has ethanol content no greater than 10%. Your Toro requires gasoline that has a minimum octane rating of 87. Gas marketed as regular gas generally has an octane rating of 87 according the US Energy Information Administration.
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Follow all safety instructions provided in your equipment operators 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.
Choosing Gas for Toro Mowers
There are so many gas options on the market today. You may be wondering how to choose the best fuel for your Toro Mower and why it even makes a difference. There are a few simple guidelines you need to follow when buying gas. Here is my list of items you need to consider to make sure you are running the right fuel for your Toro:
Avoid High Ethanol Percentages in Your Toro Gas
Toro recommends using an unleaded gasoline with no greater than a 10% ethanol level. This is also known as an E10 gasoline. While you can use a gas with an ethanol content of 10%, it is recommended you use a gas with less ethanol or no ethanol if possible.
Ethanol has been added to gasoline to be a better option for our environment. While it has been a good change that works well in our cars and trucks, it is not beneficial for the small engines used in Toro mowers.
How do you find the amount of ethanol in your gasoline? You will need to check the decal placed on the fuel pump where it will list the amount of ethanol mixed in your gasoline. Various gas stations can have different percentages of ethanol in their gas, but on average, it will be between 10% and 15%. Avoid using the ethanol with 15% content, also known as E15 gas, in your lawn mower.
Details about ethanol:
- It is a corn-based fuel that is more environmentally sound.
- Ethanol works well in most motor vehicles. It is damaging to small gas engines.
- Ethanol-based gas attracts moisture from the air which causes gas to separate from ethanol.
- Separated gas sinks 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 for Your Toro
Many people are unaware of the fact gasoline begins to break down and lose its effectiveness after 30 days. Because of this, it is important you only buy gas from busy fuel stations. These are the gas stations you drive by that always have customers pumping fuel into their vehicles. Bypass the small gas stations even if they are a shorter drive for you. You want to know the place your buying fuel from cycles through gas regularly.
Only buy enough fuel for your Toro that you are able to consume within 30 days. Store any unused fuel in an approved fuel container in a dry area away from exposure to water. Ethanol attracts moisture which can cause clogging in your fuel system and run ability issues with your Toro mower.
If you will not be able to consume the gas you purchased within 30 days, keep reading and I’ll explain a method to stabilize your fuel so it will last longer.
Purchase High Quality Fuel for Your Toro
Buying a more expensive fuel is not always better, but I recommend using a higher quality fuel with your mower if you can afford it. Running fuel that doesn’t contain ethanol is best, but it can be a little pricey costing up to $2.00 more per gallon at the fuel pump or substantially more when purchasing in canisters from your local hardware store.
Recreation Fuel REC-90: The ethanol-free gas at the local gas station is known as recreation fuel or REC-90. Not all gas stations sell this type of gas. You can check for local stations in your area that sell recreation fuel at pure-gas.org. They provide fuel station locations in the United States and Canada.
4-Cycle Fuel Canisters: Ethanol-free gas is sold in canisters at your local hardware store or online.
If you buy higher-end fuel for your Toro and worry you will not use all of it, there are some ways to keep gas fresh using a fuel additive to stabilize your fuel. 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.
The best option for storing any unused gas for later use is to do as follows:
- 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 additive 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. I like a product called Sea Foam Engine Treatment. Read more about the advantages of Sea Foam.
- 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 the can, discard of this appropriately. This can often be added to your car or other machines if needed. You never want a gas can to sit for months after the season is over.
Why Is My Toro Mower Leaking Fuel?
You can smell a gas leak on your lawn mower, but it can often be hard to spot a fuel leak because it tends to evaporate leaving no visible signs of a leak. It is quite different from an oil leak that will leave a visible stain on the ground.
There are many areas your lawn mower can be leaking gas so you need to check the fuel lines, gas cap and carburetor. For a full list of areas to check on your lawn mower read the reasons your lawn mower smells like gas.