Gasoline that contains 15% ethanol can cause small engines -- including those that power lawn care equipment -- to run hotter and can damage parts, according to a study by the Department of Energy. The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute said that even E10 fuel can damage small engines. "The higher the ethanol content, the more acute the effects," said Marv Klowak, global vice president of R&D at Briggs & Stratton. To avoid damage, use ethanol-free fuel or a fuel stabilizer.

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