Choosing Petrol for Your Lawn Mower: A Guide to Fuel Types

by Anna

Selecting the appropriate petrol for your lawn mower is essential to ensure optimal performance and longevity of your equipment. Different types of petrol, often referred to as gasoline, contain varying levels of additives and octane ratings, which can impact your lawn mower’s engine and overall operation. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the various types of petrol available and provide insights to help you choose the right fuel for your lawn mower.


1. Understanding Octane Ratings

Octane rating is a measure of a fuel’s resistance to knocking or pinging during combustion. Lawn mower engines typically require lower octane ratings compared to high-performance car engines.


Regular Unleaded Petrol (87 Octane): This is the most common type of petrol and is suitable for most lawn mowers. It provides the necessary combustion properties without excessive cost.

Mid-Grade Unleaded Petrol (89-90 Octane): If you’re looking for a slightly higher octane rating, mid-grade petrol can also be used. However, it may not significantly improve performance in most lawn mowers.

Premium Unleaded Petrol (91+ Octane): Premium petrol is generally not necessary for lawn mowers and may even be harmful if the engine is not designed to handle higher octane fuel.

2. Ethanol Content

Many modern petrol blends contain ethanol, a renewable fuel additive made from corn. While ethanol can be used in some lawn mower engines, it’s essential to consider its potential impact on performance and longevity.

E10 (10% Ethanol): Most lawn mowers can safely run on E10 petrol without significant issues. However, prolonged use of E10 in small engines may require more frequent maintenance.

E15 and E85: These higher ethanol blends are not recommended for most lawn mowers, as they can cause damage to the engine components and lead to decreased performance and efficiency.

3. Avoiding Fuel Mixtures

Lawn mowers typically require pure petrol without any oil additives or mixtures. Avoid using fuels meant for two-stroke engines unless your lawn mower specifically requires a fuel-oil mixture.

4. Storage Considerations

Proper storage of your lawn mower during off-seasons is crucial for maintaining its performance. When storing your mower, follow these guidelines:

Empty the Tank: If you plan to store your lawn mower for an extended period, consider emptying the fuel tank to prevent stale petrol from affecting the engine.

Fuel Stabilizer: Adding a fuel stabilizer to the petrol can help prevent it from deteriorating and causing starting issues when you use the mower again.

Run the Engine: Before storage, run the engine for a few minutes to ensure that the stabilized petrol reaches all parts of the fuel system.

5. Professional Recommendations

Check your lawn mower’s user manual for manufacturer recommendations regarding fuel type and octane rating. Following the manufacturer’s guidelines ensures that you’re using the right fuel for your specific mower model.

6. Common Mistakes to Avoid

Leaving Old Petrol: Using old or stale petrol can lead to starting problems and decreased engine performance. If your petrol has been sitting for a long time, it’s best to replace it with fresh fuel.

Using Diesel or Other Fuels: Lawn mowers are designed to run on petrol, and using other types of fuel, such as diesel, can cause serious damage to the engine.


Selecting the right petrol for your lawn mower is a critical aspect of ensuring its smooth operation and longevity. Understanding octane ratings, ethanol content, and proper storage practices will help you make informed decisions about the fuel you use. By following manufacturer recommendations, avoiding common mistakes, and practicing proper maintenance, you can enjoy efficient and reliable performance from your lawn mower for years to come. Remember that proper care extends beyond fuel selection – regular maintenance and adherence to manufacturer guidelines are key to maintaining your lawn mower’s peak performance.


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