Engineered Fuel vs. Pump Gas: Which Will Win?
Russ Chastain 07.22.20
Project Farm decided to do some testing with that really expensive “engineered fuel” you can buy for your small engines. He compared ethanol-free pump gas with Trufuel 4-stroke fuel.
My first question is, “What makes Trufuel ‘engineered?’ Isn’t it just gasoline with some additives?” And the answer seems to be, “Yes.” From the Trufuel website:
“Precision-engineered with synthetic lubricants and advanced stabilizers, our high-performance fuel empowers your equipment to start strong and run great, every time.”
I’ve been running ethanol-free pump gas in all of my small engines for years, and it makes a big difference. That extra buck or so per gallon hurts a little, but nothing like the $20 a gallon he says it cost for the TruFuel in his test, although the “gallon” can of TruFuel doesn’t even contain a gallon (128 ounces), but instead contains just 110 ounces.
His first test is to ensure both gasolines are ethanol-free, and they are. I kinda want to do this test on my local ethanol-free pump gas, just to be sure…
Next, he tests lubricity and finds that TruFuel does indeed have some lubricating abilities.
Following that, he runs an engine for one hour on ethanol-free pump gas and then the TruFuel. One of the fuels produced more fouling on the spark plug, valves, and head… and it was the TruFuel.
He next tests fuel efficiency in a generator. Pump gas wins again (by about 1%), running the engine for 22 seconds longer than the same amount of TruFuel.
After a flame test, the finale is a drag race test in an RV he’s dubbed the Farmabago. That one results in a tie, but he gives the “exhaust sound” win to TruFuel.
I certainly won’t be rushing out to buy any canned fuel anytime soon, but as he says, it might not be a bad idea if you need to keep a small amount of fuel in reserve for a long period of time. I burn gas in small engines all the time, so I rotate my stock of ethanol-free pump gas, and that method has served me well.
What do you think? Is engineered gas worth the time and trouble?