Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- After all but disappearing a few years ago, ethanol-free gas is making a bit of a comeback.
While it’s probably never going to be the dominant fuel at the pumps, there’s enough non-ethanol gas out there to satisfy all the people who’ve been clamoring for it.
It’s something boaters are always after, but that’s not the only way people use non-ethanol gas.
“In the wintertime too, mixing it with the two cycle mix, if you’re storing weed eaters like that. They’re probably apt to start first time in the spring when you try to use them rather than taking to have them serviced, which costs more, probably, than the gas it uses all year,” explained Tim Caswell, who uses ethanol-free gas.
And here’s why: The ethanol in the blended fuel attracts water and the water separates, which can create a real problem for smaller engines.
“The biggest reason is the fact that when you’re using a boat the gas might sit in the tank for two weeks or a month at a time, while it’s sitting in the tank it’s drawing in moisture,” said Wayne Carroll of Brewerton Boatyard.
If you can't find ethanol-free gas for your boat or other small engines you use around the house, say your snow blower, it’s probably best to get an ethanol gasoline additive. You can find it at a marina or maybe your lawn mower repair shop.
"Snowmobilers, the boaters they're all the ones that are looking for it, so it’s almost like a niche fuel if you want to call it that, but there is a demand out there,” said Jeff Szkolnik with Fastrac Markets.
Fastrac has added 91 octane non-ethanol fuel to every pump at all of its 45 stations in upstate New York, most of them in the greater Syracuse area.
“It made it easily accessible for all our customers that want that fuel,” Szkolnik continued. “Easy on the lot, easy off if you’re towing a trailer. It was just something we felt made sense for our customers.
Szkolnik says it’s been selling very well for them, even though the premium ethanol-free gas is anywhere between seven and 20 cents more per gallon than regular gas. Don’t expect to see non-ethanol 87. He says it’s just too cost prohibitive to sell.
Nice N Easy offers 91 octane ethanol-free at select locations. Sav On has some stations that sell only non-ethanol gas.