Will my lawnmower work with E10 fuel?

21 July 2023
3 mins read

This is one question we have been asked a lot. The simple answer is yes, you can still use E10 fuel in your lawnmower or petrol-powered product.


Have you ever come to your power tool and its either been extremely difficult to start, or hasn’t started at all? One of our most common workshop repairs is carburation and fuel system clean. This is normally after a machine has been stood for a period. You may also experience surging or hunting once the machine fires. 

So why does this happen? Ethanol!

As of September 1st 2021 the ethanal content found in the standard grade 95 octane unleaded petrol changed from 5% (E5) to 10% (E10) this has caused the problems found with E5 fuel to happen much faster.

Common symptoms of fuel issues:

  • Difficulty or failure to start
  • Unstable engine operation
  • Power loss
  • Seizure in 2 stroke engines

Whilst using fresh fuels in most engines with ethanol is unlikely to cause any problems, in reality, it is very rare that fresh fuel is used, especially as pump fuel goes off so quickly. Manufactures state fresh fuel should be less than 30 days old and kept in a sealed container. Most garden machinery uses very little fuel, however when we go to the pump, we tend to fill a fuel can up with at least 5 litres of fuel, then use as we need it. When was the last time you used the fuel in your garden shed and how old do you think it is?

The most critical problem that ethanol causes is water contamination and fuel separation. Whilst a small amount of water in the fuel may not cause any problems, when your machine is left for longer periods of time the fuel can absorb moisture to the point where it cannot be held in suspension any longer and phase separation will occur. You will see this as a layer or bubble that will sit below the fuel. This will not allow the engine to run if this is sucked into the fuel system. This can also happen in the carburettor, it can leave behind gunky deposits, which can block ports within the carburettor once the fuel evaporates. This can sometimes be resolved by removing the carburettor and cleaning it, however more often than not a new carburettor may be the only solution. Most new machinery purchased will not cover carburettors under warranty.


Use an ethanol free fuel. ASPEN. You will also benefit from reducing toxic emissions and not needing to mix two stroke fuels. 

If you continue to use pump fuels, try to avoid the cheaper supermarket fuels, these seem to cause more issues, and use your fuel within 30 days of purchasing. 

To purchase your aspen fuel please visit Tuxford Lawnmower Centre, NG23 7HX 01522779110. 

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