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Do lawn mowers take regular gas?

Do lawn mowers take regular gas or mixed gas? Or is there some special kind of gas that is designed for lawnmowers?

A lawnmower is an excellent investment for keeping your lawn healthy and looking clean and friendly.

However, if you have not used one before, the question of which gas to use can be confusing, especially with so many fuel choices at the gas stations.

Ideally, your lawnmower should use the same regular gas–like cars. However, some fuels used by cars will not work on a lawnmower engine.

Also, depending on your lawnmower, you might have to mix it with oil.

Below, we have compiled everything you need to know about the fuel used in lawnmowers. We have also included information about mixing gas with oil and which type of fuels you should avoid.

Do lawnmowers take the same gas as cars?

Lawnmowers have engines similar to cars, with the only significant difference being the size. You can use the same fuel you put in your car on your lawnmower.

However, when it comes to lawnmowers, there are some considerations when choosing the fuel to use.

Honda 663020 lawn mower

For instance, you cannot use some of the specialty fuels used in some brands of vehicles. Also, some types of fuels used in cars, such as diesel, can cause the lawnmower not to run, or worse, damage the engine.

To be safe, you should only use the regular unleaded gas in your lawnmower.

What type of gas should I put in my lawnmower?

While regular unleaded gas is recommended for lawn mowers, there are other types of fuel you can use.

Here is a look at all of them and what – if any – their effect is on your lawnmower:

1. Regular unleaded gas

Regular unleaded gas is the most common fuel in gas stations, and it is ideal for use in your lawnmower engine. When filling your canister with regular gas, you will notice that it is rated 87 octanes.

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Octane describes the level of compression gas can take before it combusts. Therefore, 87 is the lowest octane gasoline in most gas stations.

However, at high altitude areas, regular unleaded gas will come in at 85 octanes since the air is thinner, and the engine will draw in less air during combustion.

However, while lower octane fuel will work fine in high-altitude areas, you should not use it in common altitude areas.

Doing so can cause the engine to run poorly or even damage it. Therefore, if you are unsure what octane level is suited for your altitude, you can stick with 87 octane gas.

2. Mid-grade unleaded gas

Mid-grade (or mid-range) unleaded gas is a higher-octane fuel sold at some gas stations. It is less common and is sold as a “plus” fuel for vehicles.

Depending on the region, the octane level can range between 89-90 (or 87 in high-altitude areas.)

Mid-grade unleaded gas is okay to use in your lawnmower engine. However, it does not offer any substantial benefits.

And given that it is more expensive than regular gasoline, most people consider it an unnecessary expense.

3. Premium unleaded gas

Premium unleaded gas is another higher-octane fuel sold at gas stations with the highest octane rating, ranging between 91 and 94 depending on the region.

It is also more expensive than both regular and midgrade gasoline.

Like midgrade gas, your lawn mower engine will run fine with the premium gas. However, there will be little to no difference in fuel consumption and performance.

Therefore, it is an unnecessary expense, and you are better off with regular gas.

4. Non-oxygenated gas

Regular, midgrade, and premium unleaded gasoline are oxygenated fuels. The oxygenation is achieved by adding additives known as oxygenates, for example, ethanol.

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Oxygenation helps improve combustion and raises the fuel’s octane rating. But unfortunately, when it comes to lawnmower engines, oxygenation might negatively affect them.

The oxygenated fuels, especially those containing ethanol, absorb moisture from the air, leading to corrosion of your lawn mower engine parts.

The corrosion is likely to occur if you use gasoline with higher ethanol content or one that has been in storage for a long time (more than 30 days).

To avoid problems caused by oxygenated fuels, you can opt for non-oxygenated fuels. One of the best options on the market is the TRUFUEL, which is also praised for being more reliable and producing better performance in lawnmower engines.

However, it is much more expensive than regular, mid-grade, and premium gases.

Which is the best fuel for a 2-stroke lawnmower?

All of the above fuels are suitable for a 4-stroke lawnmower. However, the fuel requirement will differ if your lawnmower uses a 2-stroke engine.

These engines will use the same fuel type (regular, midgrade, premium, or non-oxygenated), but you must mix it with 2-stroke engine oil.

For optimal performance and to avoid damage to your engine, you must mix the gasoline and oil in a specific ratio.

The ratio will be specified in your lawn mower manual, so you should refer to it before starting the mixing process.

Which fuel should you not use on your lawnmower?

We have looked at ideal fuels to use on your lawnmower. However, you should avoid some fuels that can cause poor performance or damage the engine.

They include:

  1. Higher ethanol fuels – fuels with more than 10% ethanol content (E10) are not ideal for your lawnmower, as they can cause engine corrosion. Therefore, you should avoid gasoline rated between E15 (15% ethanol) and E85 (85% ethanol).
  2. Diesel fuel – diesel fuel burns in a completely different manner from gasoline. Therefore, you should never put diesel in any gasoline engine – like your lawnmower.
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Can you use fuel stabilizers with your lawnmower?

Aside from absorbing moisture, oxygenated fuels also degrade over time due to oxidation. When this happens, gumming occurs, leading to issues starting your engine, misfires, or engine failure.

Fuel stabilizers are added to the fuel to stop gumming.

Stabilizers allow you to use gasoline that you have stored for a long time without the risk of moisture or gumming.

Therefore, they are a good idea for your lawnmower gas if you plan on storing your fuel (in a canister) for more than 30 days.

A person dethatching a lawn
Photo by: PaulMaguire

You should also use stabilizers if you regularly leave your lawnmower with gas in the tank for an extended period.


Are you looking for the best gas for a lawnmower? The above are some of the most suitable fuels you can use on your lawnmowers and ones you should avoid altogether.

While there are many options to consider, regular unleaded gasoline with no more than 10% ethanol content will do just fine.

If the gas you use contains ethanol, you should ensure that it is fresh – no more than 30 days since you purchased it from a gas station.

You can consider other fuels, such as midgrade, premium, and non-oxygenated fuels, but these do come with a higher price tag.

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