Is your gasoline choice a risky one?

Not so many years ago, the act of buying gasoline for your snowmobile was a very simple matter. For most recreational sleds, you bought regular fuel and if you had a modified machine, you might have bought premium gas or even racing fuel. The only risk involved was buying that four month-old hoagie on the way out of the gas station. These days there is a component to pump gasoline that is cause for concern and that is ethanol. In the North American market, regular and mid-grade gasoline is mandated by government to contain ethanol. Regular gasoline contains up to 10% and mid-grade will contain up to 5%. Many premium fuels are advertised as containing 0% ethanol, but this can vary depending on the brand and location.

So what’s wrong with ethanol?

It’s touted as a virtuous commodity that is good for the environment and a boost for the farm economy. Some might suggest that it’s a great winter fuel as ethanol is a natural gas line antifreeze. We won’t delve very far into the dubious economics or highly questionable environmental benefits of ethanol.  The main problem with ethanol for snowmobile and other small engine applications is that it readily absorbs moisture. This ethanol/water mixture forms a “ball” in the fuel tank that sinks to the bottom (see image below) where it can create a gummy deposit that can clog fuel systems. This ethanol/water mixture will also make its way into the engine and depending on the severity,  it can create an extreme lean-burn situation that can result in engine seizure.

If that wasn’t enough, ethanol has other performance deficiencies stemming from the fact that it delivers 34% less energy by volume than straight gasoline. This may have a detrimental effect on power output, cold-starts and fuel consumption. We wouldn’t be too concerned about using regular fuel in automotive applications as most vehicles today are tuned to accept a wide range of fuel qualities and ethanol is certainly factored into the equation.

So what if you must use regular fuel with ethanol content?

For a variety of reasons, regular fuel may be your only option and for those instances we can offer a product that is a steadfast insurance policy against ethanol problems. AMSOIL Quickshot Powersport/Small Engine Gasoline Additive is designed to disperse moisture, preventing the ethanol from absorbing it. Moisture can then pass harmlessly through the engine without risking the engine damage or deposit formation.

Quickshot Water/Ethanol Phase Separation

Other benefits of Quickshot include:

  • Cleans deposits from carburetors, injectors, piston crowns, sparks plugs and combustion chambers to promote peak performance.
  • Disperses deposits in dirty fuel for consistent performance.
  • Provides mid-term fuel stabilization for outstanding “in-season” protection.
  • Works in 2-and 4-stroke engines. Can be used in every recreational and utility engine on the yard.

For the reasons stated above, we use Quickshot in all of our small engines, even though we use premium gasoline exclusively. As you can never predict the quality of fuel along the trail, Quickshot is your best safeguard against ethanol and other gasoline issues.