Do Snowblowers Use Mixed Gas?

Mixing gas is a pain in the ass. Two stroke engines have their uses, but strapped to a snowblower isn’t one of them. I’m not a fan of two stroke engines and I’m a mechanic.

Modern Snow blowers are mostly fitted with four stroke engines and they do not use mixed gas. However, some older snow blowers may be fitted with two cycle engines that do require mixed gas.

In this post you’ll learn why most modern snowblowers don’t use mixed gas. You’ll also learn how to quickly identify if your snowblower is a two or four cycle engine.

Mower gas cap

Vented Gas Cap

Modern Snow Blowers Don’t Use Mixed Gas

Most modern blowers are four cycle engines and do not require mixed gas. They do however require engine oil, and that oil needs to be changed once per season and checked regularly. I advise my customers to check once per week during the on season.

While nearly all snow blowers (two stage – auger and blower) are four stroke (non mixing gas), it’s not uncommon to find a 2 stroke engine fitted to a snow thrower (single stage – auger only)

Toro offered a 2 stroke snow thrower, however they have since been discontinued.Four cycle engines also known as four stroke engines are more common today because they are cleaner to the environment.

Mower gas tank

Winged & Threaded caps

Two Ways To Identify Four Cycle Engine

Chances are, if your snowblower was made in the last 10 years, it’s likely fitted with a four stroke engine. And if your blower is a two stage, (auger and blower) it’s most unlikely it’s powered by a 2 stroke engine.

Identifying which type engine is in your snowblower isn’t always obvious, especially if the engine is fitted with large plastic covers.

  1. Dipstick – One of the easiest ways to identify a four stroke engine is the presence of an engine oil dipstick. Four stroke engines as you know require engine oil and that oil level needs to be checked. Identifying a dipstick means your snowblower is a four stroke and does not require mixed gas.
  2. Valve cover – Another typical identifying feature of a modern four stroke engine is the presence of a valve cover (OHV).
Vented mower gas caps

Vented gas caps

What's Wrong With 2 Stroke?

The world is turning its back on dirty engines and a two stroke is a dirty engine. It’s days are numbered. Two cycle engines, by design, burn oil continuously during operation. As a result, in some countries the sale of new 2 stroke engines is outlawed.

While a two stroke engine is simple, they tend to be temperamental especially if the gas mix ratio is not to spec. The four stroke engine is an easier engine to live with, all round.

As a mechanic, I’m often asked to recommend an engine type, I have yet to recommend a 2 stroke motor. The way I look at it, I don’t want my customers to walk behind an engine that throws out so much carcinogenic fumes.

4 stroke pros:

  • Relatively clean
  • Quiet
  • Smooth
  • Fuel efficient
  • Reliable

4 stroke cons:

  • More maintenance
  • Maintenance more expensive
  • More complex engine
  • Heavier

2 stroke pros:

  • Inexpensive
  • Lightweight
  • Higher RPM
  • Simple design

2 stroke cons:

  • Dirty engine
  • Smoky to use
  • Temperamental running
  • Mixing oil required
  • Lots of vibration

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Auto Technician and Writer at Lawnmowerfixed | Website

John Cunningham is an Automotive Technician and writer on Lawnmowerfixed.com. I've been a mechanic for over twenty years, I use my knowledge and experience to write "How to" articles that help fellow gear-heads with all aspects of mechanical repairs, from lawn mowers to classic cars.