Cars

January 5, 2013

Trimmer gas won’t hurt car

Dear Tom and Ray:

Dear Tom and Ray:

I have two gallons of oil/gas mixture (40-to-1) for my weed whacker that I don’t want to save for next year or try to dispose of. Is it safe to add this mixture to an almost-full tank of gas in my 2004 Honda Accord? I use 87 octane and live in Cleveland. — Jeff

Ray: You live in Cleveland? You may want to just hang on to the gas-oil mixture and buy yourself a snow blower, Jeff.

Tom: Actually, it’s fine to use it in your car. It’s a relatively small amount of oil (1 part oil to 40 parts gasoline).

Ray: It won’t harm the engine, the fuel-injection system or the catalytic converter.

Tom: It’s not great for the environment, but, presumably, you would have burned it in your weed whacker anyway, so it’s doing no more harm being burned by your car.

Ray: Most of my brother’s cars burn more oil than that on their own, due to age and/or disrepair. In fact, some of them burn more oil than gas.

Tom: Keep in mind, you also can save the mixture for next year. Gasoline generally is good for at least a year, these days. You can make it last even longer by adding a small amount of gasoline stabilizer, like Sta-Bil.

Ray: And if you keep it, you also can use it in your lawnmower, your chainsaw, etc.

Tom: But if you do decide to power your Accord with this mix, I would do it over several tankfuls, rather than dumping the whole thing in at once. That’ll minimize the concentration of oil and ensure that no harm is done.

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