Engine manufacturers complain about ethanol in gas

Before you fire up the snow-blower or anything else with a small engine, you'd better be careful what you put in the gas tank.

The Environmental Protection Agency will soon announce whether to allow even more ethanol to be mixed in with the gas used to run your car's engine. Makers of other engines are paying close attention.

Small engine manufacturers including giants like Briggs-Stratton have complained loudly about the effects of ethanol in their gas engines. The trade group representing the largely gas-powered outdoor equipment industry wants more clearly marked gas pumps.

"We don't want them choosing a fuel that could kill or damage their equipment," said Kris Kiser of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute.

Kiser says gas pumps are confusing enough for average drivers, but the wrong choice can be disastrous for users of equipment with small engines.

The group has launched a campaign called "look before you pump."

"Whatever gas you could put in the car or pickup truck, you could put in the can. Whatever went in the can could go into your mower, your chainsaw, you generator and your bass boat. For the first time ever, that's not the case," said Kiser.

In fact, it's illegal to run small engines on anything higher than E-10, even if the EPA says it's okay for the engines of cars and trucks.


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