Can I Mix 87-octane with Rec-90 fuel?

gas handles at station 87 octane rec 90

If you’re a boater or own other small engines, you may have heard about ethanol-free fuel, often referred to as “recreational fuel” or “REC-90.” This fuel is believed to be better for small engines, especially those that sit for long periods, and can prevent carburetor issues and costly repairs. But what if you’re running low on REC-90 and only have regular 87-octane fuel? Can you mix them together? Let’s explore this question further.

First, it’s important to understand the differences between REC-90 and regular gasoline. REC-90 fuel is 90% gasoline and 10% ethanol-free octane. Ethanol is a type of alcohol that is commonly added to gasoline to reduce emissions, but it can cause problems for small engines. The ethanol in gasoline can attract moisture, which can lead to corrosion, and it can also break down over time, causing the fuel to become gummy and clog fuel lines and carburetors.

Regular gasoline, on the other hand, contains ethanol in varying amounts, usually around 10%. This means that if you mix regular gasoline with REC-90, you’ll end up with a fuel that contains some ethanol, which may defeat the purpose of using REC-90 in the first place.

So, can you mix 87-octane with REC-90 fuel? The short answer is yes, you can. However, it’s not recommended. If you mix 87-octane gasoline with REC-90, you’ll end up with a fuel that has a lower octane rating than REC-90. Octane rating is a measure of a fuel’s ability to resist “knocking,” or pre-ignition, which can damage engines. Most small engines require a fuel with an octane rating of at least 87, so if you mix 87-octane gasoline with REC-90, you may end up with a fuel that doesn’t meet this requirement.

In addition to the potential octane rating issues, mixing gasoline with different ethanol contents can also cause phase separation, which occurs when the ethanol and gasoline separate into two distinct layers. This can happen when the fuel sits for an extended period and can cause damage to the engine if the separated ethanol layer is inadvertently used.

If you find yourself in a situation where you’re running low on REC-90 fuel and only have regular 87-octane gasoline, there are a few things you can do to minimize any potential problems. One option is to use the regular gasoline but add a fuel stabilizer. Fuel stabilizers are chemicals that are added to gasoline to prevent it from breaking down and causing problems in small engines. By adding a fuel stabilizer to the regular gasoline, you can help prevent carburetor issues and other problems that can be caused by the ethanol in the gasoline.

87 octane gas

Another option is to mix the regular gasoline with REC-90 but do so in small amounts. For example, if you have a 5-gallon tank, you could add 1 gallon of REC-90 and 4 gallons of regular gasoline. This will give you a fuel that still contains some ethanol but has a higher octane rating than regular gasoline alone.

Ultimately, the best way to avoid any potential issues with small engines is to use ethanol-free fuel whenever possible. If you’re unsure about which fuel to use for your particular engine, consult the owner’s manual or contact the manufacturer for guidance.

In conclusion, while you can mix 87-octane gasoline with REC-90, it’s not recommended due to potential octane rating issues and the risk of phase separation. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to use regular gasoline, be sure to add a fuel stabilizer or mix the fuel in small amounts to minimize any potential

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