Do Lawn Mowers Take Regular Gas

Do Lawn Mowers Take Regular Gas? (what I use instead)

Like most engine-powered vehicles, lawn mowers need gas in order to run properly. However, lawn mower engines and car engines work a little differently. Keep scrolling to find out my answer to the question, do lawn mowers take regular gas?

Trust and Accuracy Information

This article was last updated on by Lawn Chick Owner Sarah Jameson
Article content reviewed for accuracy by Horticulturist Arthur Davidson, A.S.

Lawn mowers can run on the regular unleaded gas you get at the pump, but to perform at their best, you should choose an ethanol-free gas that is stable and won’t be as harsh on your mower’s internal parts.

If you use the wrong type of gas, it could damage the mower and potentially make it dangerous to use.

Quick Facts About Mower Fuel

  • Most lawn mowers use regular unleaded gas that has 10% ethanol or less and a minimum octane rating of 87.
  • Some mowers can also run well on premium gas, and still others require a mix of regular gas and engine oil.
  • It’s always best to double check what type of engine your mower has to make sure you’re using the correct type of gasoline. is reader supported. If you make a purchase after clicking a link, I may earn a commission at no additional cost to you.
Trufuel - Ethanol Free Gas for Lawn Mowers

Today, I’m bringing you an in-depth look at the lawn mower fuel that I use and recommend, called Trufuel (which you can order online or buy locally at Ace Hardware, or Home Depot, and you can order online from Amazon).

It’s an ethanol-free gasoline that keeps my mower engine running clean. It eliminates the need to stabilize my fuel for the winter, and I don’t have to worry about bad gas making my mower struggle to start in the spring.

I’ll also talk about the types of gasoline you should not put in your mower.

Finally, I will reveal some tips on how to prevent gas from going bad, as well as how to start a mower with old gas.

Best Lawn Mower Fuel

The best lawn mower fuel, and the type that I use, is Trufuel. Trufuel is an ethanol-free, four cycle engine fuel that has been engineered to be the highest quality lawn mower fuel on the market.

What is the Best Lawn Mower Fuel?

They make a few different types (some are mixed with oil for 2-cycle engines like the one on your gas-powered weed-wacker), but the one you want for your mower is the one in the gray-colored can.

It’s pricey, but for me it’s worth the money because it helps my mower and snow blower last with minimal maintenance.

I noticed an immediate an immediate improvement in my mower as soon as I started using it. The startups became much smoother, and I no longer had to worry about stabilizing fuel for winter storage, or running my mower out of gas before putting it away in the fall.

Over the longer term, my mower needed fewer repairs, the fuel lasted longer, and it made the overall mowing experience much easier.

This fuel even helps take care of your mower’s engine. A few things Trufuel does that no other fuel can do include:

  • Lubricating engine parts
  • Preventing mower corrosion
  • Cleaning the mower’s fuel system

Trufuel is available in multiple different gardening and hardware stores. I get mine locally from ACE Hardware. If you haven’t used it – Ace has an order online option where you can get your delivery the same day to save yourself a trip to the store.

It’s a big time-saver on those weekends when you have a million things to do and limited time.

Types Of Fuel You Should Not Use In Your Lawn Mower

Since lawn mower engines are a bit different from other engines, there are certain types of fuel you should never use in them.

Gas You Should Not Use in a Lawn Mower

Types of fuel you should avoid at all costs include gas that is high in ethanol and diesel gas.

These kinds of gas will be extremely harmful for your mower engine. In fact, they could make your mower dangerous to use.

Ethanol is a common ingredient in gasoline for cars. It’s a chemical compound that helps to oxygenate the fuel and reduce air pollution as the engine is running.

It’s also cheaper to produce, which helps make gas less expensive (although if you’ve pumped gas recently, you’re probably rolling your eyes at that one!).

You can use regular gas in your mower, but, gas with ethanol isn’t great for your mower, and definitely avoid any gasoline that has higher than 10% ethanol content.

High ethanol amounts and small, low power engines don’t work well together. Gasoline that’s high in ethanol can cause corrosion, and break down your engine more quickly.

Engine damage means that your lawn mower won’t function as it should. In extreme cases, the engine could burst into flames, which (obviously) is a dangerous situation and something we should try to avoid.

You must also avoid using diesel fuel in your lawn mower. Diesel is a very powerful fuel that is only used for large, diesel engines, such as those on trucks, trains, and boats.

You’ll regret it immediately if you try to put it in a machine with a small engine, like a lawn mower.

Diesel will cause your lawn mower to start emitting large clouds of black smoke almost immediately after starting. Your mower will also be severely damaged.

How To Prevent Gas From Going Bad?

Yes, gas generally lasts a long time, but it will eventually go bad and end up expiring. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help prolong the life of your gas in storage for as long as possible.

How To Prevent Gas From Going Bad in a Lawn Mower

The best ways to prevent gas from going bad include:

  • Store it in an airtight container
  • Keep it in a cool place
  • Store small amounts
  • Use a fuel stabilizer

How to Properly Store Gas for Your Mower

Keeping your gas in an airtight container will help prevent it from being exposed to oxygen.

When gas is exposed to air, it starts oxidizing, which can lessen its ability to perform and give your mower’s engine trouble.

The majority of mower gas brands send their gas to market in airtight containers. You can also find empty airtight containers made to store gas at gardening and hardware stores.

It’s crucial that gas stay in an air-tight container to keep out the oxygen in the air.

Keep your gas in an appropriate air-tight container in a cool place. When gas is exposed to heat, the flammability of it increases exponentially.

This can increase the likelihood of it exploding or starting a fire!

Here are some examples of good places to store your gas:

  • A garage
  • A shed away from the house
  • A specially designed gas crate you can get from hardware stores

Buy Small Amounts of Gas so It’s Used More Rapidly

You should also store your gas in small amounts. In fact, no more than five gallons is recommended.

What Kind of Gas do Lawn Mowers Use?

This will help decrease the chances of all of your gas being exposed to air and unusable.

In the event of a fire or explosion, it will also lessen the amount of damage caused.

Finally, you can use a fuel stabilizer like this one on Amazon to help your gas last longer. A fuel stabilizer is an additive liquid that’s designed to act as a shield for the gas.

It bonds with the chemicals in the gas to prevent it from evaporating or oxygenating.

Make sure to add the stabilizer to the gas within one month of pumping it into your storage container, or it won’t work properly.

Always read and follow the instructions listed on the product packaging.

Starting A Lawn Mower With Old Gas

If you leave gas in the mower for too long, it will eventually get too old and break down. When this happens, you’ll probably have trouble starting up your lawn mower.

What Gas Do Lawn Mowers Take?

If this happens, your best option is to just drain the old gas and add new gas.

Drain it into an appropriate container (a small siphon pump kit like this one can make it an easy, mess-free job) and find out how to safely dispose of it.

You can ask your local disposal center for this information, or Google “Household hazardous waste disposal near me” to find a recycling facility nearby that will accept it.

There might also be build up in the gas tank, and you need to clean that out or risk carburetor problems down the road.

How to Clean Out Your Mower’s Carburetor

You could use some carburetor cleaner to clear the build up, making sure to follow the product instructions.

Personally I use this spray every time I start my mower. I simply remove the air filter, spray it into the hole the filter covers where the engine takes in air (it will get sucked into the carb on start-up), and then replace the air filter.

One can is under $5 and will last you a few years – that’s a lot cheaper than replacing your mower’s carburetor.

What to Do After Removing the Old Gas

Once you’ve removed the old gas and cleaned out the tank, all you need to do is add fresh gas to the tank.

After that, your mower should start up and be good to go. If it doesn’t, there is probably something else wrong.

The maximum amount of time you can leave gas in a mower’s gas tank without it going bad ranges from three to six months.

Believe it or not, how gas smells can help you figure out whether it has gone bad. Fuel that has gone bad smells sour or at least different than what gas usually smells like.

I don’t recommend sniffing gasoline regularly, but thought it was worth mentioning, as it’s an easy way to tell if that’s the problem with your mower.

Do Lawn Mowers Take Regular Gas?

Yes, mowers can run on regular gas that you get at your local gas station, but there are some rules you should follow if you’re using gas with 10% ethanol in your lawn mower.

Lawn Mower Gas

Here’s what I recommend:

And if you find TruFuel to be too expensive, I recommend using regular gas for most of the year, and switching to TruFuel in the fall and using it for the last few mows at the end of the season.

This way your mower will only have TruFuel in it when you store your mower for the winter, which will allow you to know your gas won’t go bad and enjoy a hassle-free start up the following spring.

Proper engine maintenance is a crucial part of lawn mower care. As long as you use the correct type of gas and the it’s fresh, your mower will function the way that it should and the engine won’t end up damaged.

At Lawn Chick, I am committed to publishing accurate, useful, and trustworthy resources for my readers. As part of this commitment, I’ve invited subject matter experts to review our articles for accuracy. I invite you to read our editorial policy and publishing standards which outlines in detail how every article on this site is sourced, edited, fact-checked, and vetted.



Sarah Jameson’s blog, Lawn Chick, is read by over 2 million homeowners each year and she is regularly cited as an expert source of lawn care knowledge by major publications. Her goal is to meet you where you are, and help you achieve a yard you’ll be proud of. Ready to take the next step toward improving your lawn? Grab her free lawn care cheat-sheet: What to Do When - Take the Guesswork Out of Lawn Care, or upgrade your garage by browsing her favorite DIY lawn care products.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *