Determining Two-cycle Mixed Gas from Regular Gasoline

A two-stroke gas next to a trimmer.
Two-cycle mixed gas is generally used for small engines, like yard trimmers or lawn mowers. It is important not to mix up regular gasoline with this blend as it can cause damage to the engine if the wrong type is used. Be sure to refer to your owner's manual for the correct gas requirement.


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October 1, 2006

I need to know how to tell two-cycle mixed gas from regular gas. We have one gas can of each, and no idea which is which. We already broke a lawnmower by guessing wrong once, and we just can't afford that same mistake again!

Nicole from Chicago, IL


October 2, 20061 found this helpful
Best Answer

The 2 Cycle gas should have a bluish color to it from the oil which is mixed in. Normal gas is more yellowish. Hope that helps - I know it is kind of a subjective way to tell.

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By Mary. (Guest Post)
October 3, 20060 found this helpful
Best Answer

I had this problem too - my husband, who is a mechanic, told me to put some of the gas on my finger and that the mixed gas would leave a residue, while the plain gas would just evaporate

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By (Guest Post)
October 4, 20060 found this helpful
Best Answer

You can also tell the difference if you can see into the container. The fuel mix will sometimes leave a dark residue in the container from the oil. The smell will be different as well as the oil mitigates some of the gasoline smell, but the prime factor as was already pointed out is the color.


Your fuel mix will be darker than regular gasoline.

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By Dean (Guest Post)
October 5, 20062 found this helpful
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Pour a bit of each of the two gases on to a white sheet of paper.The one with the gas will evaporate and leave no stain.The one with the oil in it will leave an oily stain.

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October 8, 20060 found this helpful

After learning the appearance differences, please check only with the manufacturer as to what kind of gas to use with each piece of equipment!

My son swore that all lawn equipment uses "2 cycle engine oil for lawn equipment", arguing tooth and toenail that there was no way our older but very expensive self-propelled mower used regular motor oil instead. So, I had to dig the original owner's manual out to prove it, even though neither of us understands just why. It seems to have something to do with the engine type? He had already added the wrong oil to it and it would not work until I began to investigate and inquire.


I had to immediately dump all of the 2-cycle oil out, pray that it hadn't damaged the engine already since I had gotten it started but observed it dying often after several strokes through the lawn. I haven't used it since that oil was changed last month, and my son mysteriously purchased himself and his fiance a new mower after mowing my lawn with the oil-changed "damaged"? mower...(do I smell a broken mower from wrong gas or what? Well, yes, but my God can fix anything if I invite/request it, so I'm praying and believing that it isn't broken, and that it's only my son's pride that got hurt causing him to buy "their own" equipment! LOL )

God bless you, and give you all a head's up, if you hadn't heard about such things. : )

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