I have been a mechanic for over 30 years so I have a great deal of experience with engines and fuel. I am currently working 7 days a week on small engines both two strokes and four strokes. The recent addition of ethanol has been causing severe fuel related problems in these small engines. Not only does it absorb moister and cause all the problems related to water in the fuel but it actually eats away at the protective coatings on metal parts. That leaves the metal free to corrode from the water.

Far worse than that, it eats and sometimes actually melts all the rubber parts. This includes the fuel lines, diaphragms in the carb and fuel pumps, the O-rings and the rubber needle or seat. It also makes the rubber swell and distort. As the rubber is dissolved it leaves behind a residue that plugs the small passages that the fuel is supposed to flow through. This starves the motor of fuel making it run very lean or not at all. In a 2 stroke motor the lack of fuel also means lack of lubrication which will cause catastrophic engine failure.

To repair these systems, they need all new parts. That includes fuel lines, fuel pump, carb needle & Seat, float bowl, O-rings, and diaphragm. I have had to do some motors twice this season. The more they sit the faster the problems occur. A fuel pump alone for a small engine is approximately $45 the carb rebuild with parts and labor can be $70 or more. Now if you buy a new weed eater for say $85 fill it with fuel use it one time then let it sit for just 2 or 3 months the chances of it starting and running are slim.

So now the $85 weed eater you used once needs a carb rebuild for $70 or more and may need new fuel lines because they have hardened and are now leaking. It's almost cheaper to buy another new weed eater. 95% of all the equipment that comes to me for repair is fuel related and the direct result of ethanol in the fuel system. The really sad thing is once repaired it's only a matter of a few months before it needs another repair. I would also like to note the all the replacement parts specify not for use with 10% or more ethanol. If needed I can provide plenty of evidence such as melted fuel lines, distorted diaphragms, swelled O-rings, and corroded float bowls.