Most modern-day snowblowers feature 4-cycle engines. However, some of us still own 2-cycle (or 2-stroke) engines. For those of you who do, it's important that you know how to mix the proper amount of oil with the gasoline.
Pouring too much oil in will produce the dirty cloud of smoke that you've surely come to know (and probably hate). You don't want to smoke out the neighborhood when you start up your machine!
Mixing a concoction of gas and oil isn't necessarily easy in freezing temperatures while wearing gloves. We recommend following these steps during the late fall before the first flake falls.
Step 1: Separate Your Stash
Once you add engine oil to your gas can, you won't be able to rinse it out. We recommend buying two gas cans for that reason.
First, fill a 5-gallon gas can with regular unleaded gasoline. You can use this gas for your lawn-mower, snowblower, or any power equipment using a four-cycle engine.
Then, pour two gallons of gas into a separate gas can that is dedicated to your 2-cycle mixed fuel.
Step 2: Order Extra Oil
You definitely don't want to run to the hardware store during a blizzard. Most snowblowers come with a small bottle of oil good for only 1 gallon of gas. We know as well as you do that a single gallon of mixed fuel isn't enough to get through the winter.
We recommend ordering a six-pack of 2-cycle engine oil instead. Sure, it might sound excessive. But the oil contains fuel stabilizer to keep it fresh.
Step 3: Add Oil to the Gas
Two-stroke engines require one of two types of fuel: either a gas/oil mixture of 40:1 or 50:1. Always check your owner's manual for your specific model before mixing the fuel.
Finally, add the appropriate amount of 2-cycle oil (usually two 2.6-ounce bottles) to your two-gallon gan can. Shake thoroughly and serve (in your snowblower's gas tank).
Benefits of Pre-Mixed Fuel
If you don't want to deal with measuring your own mixture ratios or having your gloves and clothing smell like gasoline, getting pre-mixed fuel is an instant solution. All you need to do is open, pour, and go.
Pre-mixed 2-cycle oil is extremely easy to use and guarantees the correct ratio of gasoline and oil—every time. Plus, unopened pre-mixed fuels have a shelf-life of up to three years. Once opened, it will still last 2 winters.
Now that you've topped off your snowblower, it's time to put it to work.