How to Repair a 2 Cycle Engine with Mechanic In a Bottle

Posted by Toley McGettigan on Apr 28, 2015 10:26:00 AM

When you have a 2 cycle engine that's running poorly or not at all, a simple solution to try before taking the unit into the shop is Mechanic In a Bottle. In this FAQ, Toley McGettigan, Horizon's National Sales Manager for Power Equipment, describes how Mechanic In a Bottle works and provides a few steps for using it correctly in both poor-running and non-running engines.

Video Summary

Mechanic In a Bottle is a synthetic fuel additive that cleans and revitalizes 2 & 4 cycle engines. It removes varnish from the fuel system without having to remove the carburetor, removes carbon deposits and water, revitalizes rubber and plastic components, and cleanses the unit's fuel system so that it starts efficiently and operates in top condition.


Usage Instructions for a Poor-Running Engine

  1. Mix 1 oz of Mechanic in a Bottle per gallon of fuel.
  2. Fill the fuel tank and run the engine for 5 minutes.
  3. Let the unit sit for 8 hours.

Usage Instructions for a Non-Running Engine

  1. Drain the fuel system completely.
  2. Add Mechanic In a Bottle to the tank. 2 oz for small power equipment (e.g. string trimmers), 4 oz for larger equipment (e.g. mowers).
  3. Press the primer bulb to get the Mechanic In a Bottle up into the engine.
  4. Let the unit sit for 8 hours.
  5. Pour in a fresh tank of gas and start the engine.


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How to Avoid Ethanol Fuel Problems in 2 Cycle Engines

Posted by Toley McGettigan on Apr 22, 2015 5:21:00 PM

When left untreated, the ethanol blended into most gas can damage 2 cycle engines. In this FAQ, Toley McGettigan, Horizon's National Sales Manager for Power Equipment, describes the problems ethanol causes over time and offers a simple solution that can keep the engine in your 2 cycle power equipment running properly.

Video Summary

One of the biggest threats to the long-term performance of a 2 cycle engine is ethanol, which is blended into most fuels. Many 2 cycle products are on the edge of not being able to function with anything over E10 (10% ethanol, 90% gas), and E15 fuels (15% ethanol, 85% gas) are becoming more common.

The problem with ethanol is that it attracts water and forms water bubbles in the fuel. Engines can have trouble passing water, which keeps the engine from running properly and affects power. Water can also make the rubber pieces inside in the engine brittle.

ethanol_shield_frontTo keep your engine safe, it's important to use:
1. A high octane fuel with as low of an ethanol rating as possible.
2. A product like Ethanol Shield, which stabilizes the fuel and bonds to the water, absorbing it back into the fuel.

Ethanol Shield Usage Instructions - Lawn & Garden (2 & 4 cycle):
  1. Use in every tank fill-up.
  2. Pour 1 oz. per 2.5 gallons of fuel in fuel tank or storage container.


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Topics: Equipment Maintenance

How to Get More Hours Between Hydraulic Oil Changes

Posted by Toley McGettigan on Apr 17, 2015 9:32:00 AM

Looking to get more hours between hydraulic oil changes and save money in the process? A simple solution is to use an oil that is specifically designed for your mower's hydraulic system. In this FAQ, Toley McGettigan, Horizon's National Sales Manager for Power Equipment, discusses the benefits of moving to a hydraulic oil.

Video Summary

In commercial landscaping, many of the large riding and walk behind mowers have a hydraulic system. This video discusses hydraulic fluid or hydraulic oil and why it's important that you use the right hydraulic fluid in your mower's hydraulic system.

The Problem with Using Mobile 1 in a Hydraulic System

In the past, the standard oil for hydraulic systems was Mobile 1. A number of years ago, the EPA required Mobile 1 to take the zinc out of their oil because of environmental concerns. Mobile 1 is often used as engine oil and the EPA didn't want zinc being burned off into the atmosphere.

The problem with zinc no longer being in the oil is that it causes the oil to break down at high temperatures and you don't want the oil breaking down in your hydraulic system.

The Benefits of Using Hydro Oil

premium_hydro_oilIt's a good idea to use an oil that is designed specifically for hydraulic systems. Since it's not an engine oil, Exmark has added zinc back in to their Premium Hydro Oil. This oil stays contained, doesn't burn off, and goes to a higher temperature without breaking down.

Typically if you're using Mobile 1 in your hydraulic system, you're going to change your oil about every 200 hours. If you use Exmark Hydro Oil with the zinc back in it, you're going to change it about every 500 hours. So it's actually going to work out longer and costs you less money over time.

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What is the Best 2 Cycle Oil for Outdoor Power Equipment?

Posted by Toley McGettigan on Apr 15, 2015 4:32:00 PM

Using the right oil can make a big difference in the long-term performance of your outdoor power equipment. In this FAQ, Toley McGettigan, Horizon's National Sales Manager for Power Equipment, shares 3 tips to help you get the best oil for your 2 cycle landscape equipment.

Video Transcript

In this video, we're going to talk about oil and which is the best oil for your outdoor power equipment.

Tip #1 - Use D Rated 2 Cycle Oil.

It's important that you use what's called a D rated 2 cycle oil. There are two different organizations. The Japanese Standards Organization (JASO) and the International Standards Organization (ISO) that rate oil.


On the bottle itself, you'll find a rating that tells you exactly what kind of oil it is. D is currently the best oil you can get. So make sure you're using a D rated oil when you're doing your mixture.

Tip #2 - Mix Your Fuel and Oil at a Ratio of 50:1.

Also on the label, you're going to find a ratio of 50:1 for commercial handheld landscape equipment. You want to make sure that you follow that ratio. You're going to take the bottle for the right size. This happens to be a 12.8 ounce bottle, which mixes to 5 gallons. So I would take 5 gallons of fuel in the proper no spill container and I would take the 12.8 ounce bottle and put it in with the five gallons of fuel and mix it up.

Very important that you get the ratio of 50:1 correct. If you undermix it and you don't have enough oil in there, you could potentially have a lean seizure with your engine, which would cost you a lot of money. Or if you overmix it, you get a lot of gummy deposits left in your engine that can affect the performance of your handheld product.

Tip #3 - Use an Oil with Cleaning Properties Every 5-7 Tanks.

Now we can take a look at our TurfGro oil and there's a Shindaiwa or Echo Red Armor Oil. They're both D rated oil. The difference is this Shindaiwa oil actually has some cleaners that are in the oil as well. So it's actually cleaning your engine while you use it.

Now you don't need to use this all the time. This is something that you would want to would want to run through a tank maybe every 5-7 tanks. You would want to have this in there. It's quite a bit more expensive than the standard oil. So you can use it all the time, but you're going to end up paying more money in the long run to do so.

So be sure you're always using a D rated oil and every now and then, mix in an oil that has a little more of the cleaning properties like the Shindaiwa Red Armor or Echo Red Armor Oil and you'll get a better result.

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