This is the Kind of Gas to Use in Your Toro Mower (2023)

Making sure your Toro lawn mower is running on the right gas is essential to the longevity of your lawn mower. Running the wrong kind of gas can cause damage to your fuel system and worse yet, your engine. Assuming any type of gas will be okay to run in your Toro can be costly.

Toro lawn mowers require unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87 or higher. The gasoline must contain no greater than 10% ethanol. Using fuels with a low ethanol content or ethanol free is best.

This article addresses 4-stage (4-cycle) engines. While most Toro lawn mowers sold today use 4-stage engines, there are many Toro push mowers with 2-cycle engines still being used that require a gas and oil mix. Read more about 2-cycle fuel requirements in “This is the Gas to Use in a Push Mower“.

Because adding the correct type of fuel to your Toro mower is a very important aspect of keeping your mower running at its best, I have shared some tips on how to select gasoline and why it’s necessary to follow these tips.

Can You Use Regular Gas in Your Toro?

Regular Gas can be used in your Toro lawn mower as long as it has ethanol content no greater than 10%. Your Toro requires gasoline that has a minimum octane rating of 87. Gas marketed as regular gas generally has an octane rating of 87 according to the US Energy Information Administration.

This is the Kind of Gas to Use in Your Toro Mower (1)

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Follow all safety instructions provided in your equipment operator’s manual before diagnosing, repairing, or operating. Consult a professional if you don’t have the skills, or knowledge or are not in the condition to perform the repair safely.

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Choosing Gas for Toro Mowers

There are so many gas options on the market today. You may be wondering how to choose the best fuel for your Toro Mower and why it even makes a difference.

There are a few simple guidelines you need to follow when buying gas. Here is my list of items you need to consider to make sure you are running the right fuel for your Toro:

Avoid High Ethanol Percentages in Your Toro Gas

Toro recommends using unleaded gasoline with no greater than a 10% ethanol level. This is also known as E10 gasoline. While you can use gas with an ethanol content of 10%, it is recommended you use gas with less ethanol or no ethanol if possible.

Ethanol has been added to gasoline to be a better option for our environment. While it has been a good change that works well in our cars and trucks, it is not beneficial for the small engines used in Toro mowers.

How do you find the amount of ethanol in your gasoline? You will need to check the decal placed on the fuel pump which will list the amount of ethanol mixed in your gasoline.

Various gas stations can have different percentages of ethanol in their gas, but on average, it will be between 10% and 15%. Avoid using ethanol with 15% content, also known as E15 gas, in your lawn mower.

Details about ethanol:

  • It is a corn-based fuel that is more environmentally sound.
  • Ethanol works well in most motor vehicles. It is damaging to small gas engines.
  • Ethanol-based gas attracts moisture from the air which causes gas to separate from ethanol.
  • Separated ethanol and water sink to the bottom of the fuel tank. Separated ethanol will be fed through the engine causing ignition problems for your mower. Ethanol can leave gummy deposits damaging your fuel components.
  • Ethanol is corrosive and can burn very hot causing your engine to overheat. This can cause significant damage.

Buy Fresh Gas for Your Toro

Many people are unaware of the fact gasoline begins to break down and lose its effectiveness after 30 days. Because of this, it is important you only buy gas from busy fuel stations.

These are the gas stations you drive by that always have customers pumping fuel into their vehicles. Bypass the small gas stations even if they are a shorter drive for you. You want to know the place you’re buying fuel from cycles through gas regularly.

Only buy enough fuel for your Toro that you are able to consume within 30 days. Store any unused fuel in an approved fuel container in a dry area away from exposure to water.

Ethanol attracts moisture which can cause clogging in your fuel system and run ability issues with your Toro mower.

If you will not be able to consume the gas you purchased within 30 days, keep reading and I’ll explain a method to stabilize your fuel so it will last longer.

Purchase High-Quality Fuelfor Your Toro

Buying a more expensive fuel is not always better, but I recommend using a higher quality fuel with your mower if you can afford it.

Running fuel that doesn’t contain ethanol is best, but it can be a little pricey costing up to $2.00 more per gallon at the fuel pump or substantially more when purchasing in canisters from your local hardware store.

Recreation Fuel REC-90: The ethanol-free gas at the local gas station is known as recreation fuel or REC-90. Not all gas stations sell this type of gas.

You can check for local stations in your area that sell recreation fuel at They provide fuel station locations in the United States and Canada.

4-Cycle Fuel Canisters: Ethanol-free gas is sold in canisters at your local hardware store or online.

If you buy higher-end fuel for your Toro and worry you will not use all of it, there are some ways to keep gas fresh by using a fuel additive to stabilize your fuel.

You do not need to add a fuel stabilizer to recreation or 4-cycle canned fuel because it doesn’t contain ethanol, but it won’t hurt if you accidentally add it.

The best option for storing any unused gas for later use is to do as follows:

  • Use a plastic gas can that is designed for unleaded gas. Make sure that you are using a quality gas can; some plastic containers are not made to store gas and will break down.
  • Add a fuel additive to the can along with the extra gas that you are not using right away. This will help keep any gas that you may have leftover as fresh as possible. I like a product called Sea Foam Engine Treatment. Read more about the advantages of Sea Foam.
  • Try to avoid buying more than a 30-day supply of gas. The quicker you use the gas, the better. However, it can be hard to know exactly how much you have in your tank and how much you will need with each mowing.
  • Before adding new gas, always empty out the gas can you are currently using. Use any gas that has been stored first. This will ensure you are not letting gas sit for months at a time and adding fresh gas to old gas.
  • At the end of the season, if you have any gas remaining in the can, discard this appropriately. This can often be added to your car or other machines if needed. You never want a gas can to sit for months after the season is over.

Why Is My Toro Mower Leaking Fuel?

You can smell a gas leak on your lawn mower, but it can often be hard to spot a fuel leak because it tends to evaporate leaving no visible signs of a leak. It is quite different from an oil leak that will leave a visible stain on the ground.

There are many areas your lawn mower can be leaking gas so you need to check the fuel lines, gas cap, and carburetor. For a full list of areas to check on your lawn mower read the reasons your lawn mower smells like gas.


This is the Kind of Gas to Use in Your Toro Mower? ›

Unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of at least 87 ((R+M)/2 rating method) is the recommended fuel grade for all gasoline engines in Toro products.

Should I use 87 or 91 gas for lawn mower? ›

A minimum of 87 octane/87 AKI (91 RON); If operating at high altitude, see below. Gasoline with up to 10% ethanol (gasohol) or up to 15% MTBE (methyl tertiary butyl ether), is acceptable.

Should I use regular or premium gas in my lawn mower? ›

Sure, you won't hurt your lawn mower or string trimmer by putting in Premium gasoline, but you'll be wasting your money since it's more expensive. Contrary to popular belief, Premium gas does not improve fuel efficiency or performance in motors that don't require it.

What gas is better for lawn mowers? ›

To minimize issues, you should use either ethanol-free gas in your lawn mower or fuel that has the least amount of ethanol content possible. Fuel sold at a gas station is often E-10 gas, which contains 10% ethanol and can be used for your outdoor power equipment.

How much gas does a Toro lawn mower need? ›

Most Toro walk-behind power mowers have a fuel capacity of about 1/4 gallon or a quart.

Is it bad if I put 87 instead of 91? ›

If you put lower-octane fuel into your high-octane vehicle, whether by mistake or to save money on gas, you'll probably notice the effects right away: things like poor fuel economy, reduced acceleration, and spark knock, which sounds like a high-pitched pinging or rattling noise.

Does it matter if you use 87 or 89 gas? ›

The primary consideration is whether your car requires premium gasoline. If it does, you should use 87-octane only in an emergency. Otherwise, you risk hurting your engine. If your vehicle doesn't require premium gasoline, 89-octane will work just fine.

How do I know if I should use premium gas? ›

If your car needs premium gas to operate safely, it will be indicated on the inside of the fuel filler door and in the car's manual. Cars that require premium gas will typically specify the minimum octane rating necessary, which can be important if you have multiple premium options to choose from.

Does premium gas make your engine run better? ›

The higher octane of premium gas won't make your car faster; in fact, the opposite is possible because higher-octane fuel technically has less energy than lower-octane fuel. It's the fuel's ability to be compressed more without pre-igniting that results in more power when used in the appropriate engine.

Does it matter if you don't use premium gas? ›

Because regular has lower octane, it is more prone to detonation. Burning regular in an engine designed for premium on a long-term basis or under heavy loads can cause engine knock, and that in turn can damage the pistons, valves or spark plugs.

Should I use 87 or 93 for lawn mower? ›

Premium gas, such as 93 octane, helps high-powered cars run smoothly and efficiently. It's also more expensive than other types of gas, such as 87 octane. There's no need to run a small lawnmower engine on high-octane gas, but it won't hurt your lawnmower, either.

What is the best gas for Briggs and Stratton engine? ›

All Briggs & Stratton engines can use up to, and including, 10% ethanol petrol. Always use clean, fresh, unleaded petrol with an octane rating of at least 77 for side-valve engines or at least 85 for overhead-valve engines.

Is it better to leave gas in a lawn mower? ›

If you keep your mower in the basement during the winter, you should remove the fuel regardless of how much is left because storing it inside could be a fire hazard. If there's only a little fuel left after the last mow of the season, your best bet is to run the tank dry.

What is the lifespan of a Toro lawn mower? ›

A well maintained and properly stored Toro walk-behind mower will typically last ten to twelve years and the larger Toro Zero-turn mower correctly maintained and stored may last between fifteen to twenty years.

How often do you put oil in a Toro lawn mower? ›

This can be difficult, as engine oil is often out-of-sight, and therefore out-of-mind. But, Toro recommends that the oil be changed every 100 hours, or after the first 5 hours for brand-new Toro zero-turn mowers.

What is regular gas called? ›

Unleaded gas (regular)

The most commonly used fuel for vehicles is regular unleaded gasoline (RUG). It does not have any lead compounds, which makes it better for the environment and less hazardous to your health. RUG is flammable and is a byproduct of crude oil.

Which gasoline is the best? ›

Premium. Premium is the highest-octane fuel you can buy and has levels of 91-94. Even though some companies market their different grades of gas with names such as “Super Premium,” “Ultra,” or “Ultimate,” they all refer to the gasoline octane rating.

What happens if you mix 87 and 91 gas? ›

Yes, drivers can mix the two types of fuel. The combined gas types will result in an octane level somewhere in the middle — something the vehicle “will survive,” according to The Drive.

What happens if you accidentally put regular gas instead of premium one time? ›

Putting Regular Fuel in a Car That Requires Premium

Using lower octane fuel in a vehicle that requires premium gas could cause some serious internal damage. You'll most likely notice the spark knock (a sort of high-pitched pinging or rattling noise).

What happens if you accidentally put 89 instead of 87? ›

In some cases, you may notice rattling noises, decreased fuel economy, and reduced efficiency and performance from your engine. If you accidentally put in a lower octane fuel in your tank, it doesn't hurt to use it up. Just do NOT forget to fill up with premium next time you are at the gas station.

Can I use 87 regular gas? ›

When Can I Use Regular Gas? If your car recommends regular 87 octane gas, you're in luck. You can safely use the cheap stuff. Premium fuel won't make the engine run better or produce more power.

Does cheaper gas burn faster? ›

Does Cheap Gas Burn Faster? Lower octane fuels tend to burn much faster than higher octane varieties. The same is also true for those with a higher ethanol content. As a result, higher quality, premium gasoline will last longer and burn slower than the cheaper, regular kind.

What engines require premium fuel? ›

Engines with high compression ratios or turbochargers often require high octane fuel found in premium gas for optimal performance and fuel efficiency.

Can premium gas damage a regular engine? ›

Modern vehicles' high-tech electronics and fuel monitoring features easily adjust to different grades of gasoline. Even if the maker recommends premium gas for your car, there is no risk of immediate engine damage if you need to fill up with a tank of lower octane.

Can I switch from regular to premium gas? ›

If your car requires only regular gas, but the manufacturer recommends premium gas – try both and check out the difference in performance. Of course, you can stick with regular gas or dilute it with premium gas to save money. It is safe to use fuel with higher octane in standard cars that require only regular gas.

What is knocking in an engine? ›

Knocking occurs when fuel burns unevenly in your engine. When everything is going as it should, and the cylinders have the correct mix of air and fuel, the mixture burns in a controlled, progressive manner. After each cylinder's air/fuel mixture burns, it should create a small “shock wave” in your engine.

Is it bad to put 93 in a car that takes 87? ›

Premium gas 90-93 is completely okay to put in a standard vehicle. Car experts say there is no risk of damage to a standard car using premium fuel.

What is the price difference between regular and premium gas? ›

According to national averages, the price difference between regular and premium gasoline is approximately 20 to 25 percent, or 50 cents per gallon.

Can I use premium gas in my Toro lawn mower? ›

Purchase unleaded gasoline with octane rating of 87

Unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of at least 87 ((R+M)/2 rating method) is the recommended fuel grade for all gasoline engines in Toro products. Gasoline with up to 10% ethanol (gasohol) or 15% MTBE (methyl tertiary butyl ether) by volume is acceptable.

Is ethanol free gas better for lawn mowers? ›

However, when you're using gas with ethanol mixture in your outdoor power equipment, like lawn mowers, chainsaws, trimmers and leaf blowers, you run the risk of engine damage and incurring costly repairs. You should be using ethanol free gas in your small engine outdoor power equipment.

What is considered old gas for lawn mower? ›

Gasoline has a shelf life of just 3 to 6 months. Over time, bad gas can gum up your mower's engine. Siphon out the old fuel from the tank to get rid of bad gas.

What kind of gas does a Briggs and Stratton mower take? ›

A minimum 87 octane containing up to 10% ethanol is recommended. Do not use fuels with 15 to 85% ethanol, these fuels are not approved for use in small engines. Mixing oil with gasoline or modifying your 4-Cycle small engine to run on alternative fuels will damage the engine and will not be covered under warranty.

What is the best gas for 4 stroke motor? ›

The best fuel for 4 cycle engines is ethanol free. Even though ethanol free fuel does not deteriorate carburetors like gas with ethanol, we strongly recommend, running the engine until the tank is out of gas, so only put into the tank the amount of gas you feel you will use.

How many gallons of gas does a Briggs & Stratton hold? ›

7.5 Gallon Fuel Tank

Up to an 11 hour run time at 50%.

Should you store lawn mower with full tank of gas? ›

If you are keeping your lawnmower in your basement or inside a storage unit, remove all fuel. Not doing so is a fire hazard. To drain gas from a lawn mower, do your best to let the tank run dry toward the end of the season.

Is it better to drain gas or use stabilizer? ›

Using fuel stabilizer eliminates the need to drain fuel prior to storage by keeping fuel fresh for up to 24 months, and ensures quick easy starts next season by preventing gum and vanish build-up within your engine's fuel system.

Should you run the gas out of your lawn mower before winter? ›

Step 1: Drain The Gasoline

The Ethanol in your gasoline is also corrosive and can damage the carburetor. To keep your lawn mower in good shape over the winter, you need to drain the gas. Note: We've found that fuel stabilizers do NOT work at preserving fuel over the winter.

Is Toro better than John Deere? ›

Both brands utilise the pace-adjustment technology which allows the speed of the mower to vary, depending on how fast you're walking. Although Toro mowers are easy to control with user-friendly designs, John Deere's bigger and better quality range ensures there's a mower to fit a variety of needs.

Who is Toro mowers made by? ›

The Toro Company is an American company based in the Minneapolis suburb of Bloomington, Minnesota that designs, manufactures, and markets lawn mowers, snow blowers, and irrigation system supplies for commercial and residential, agricultural, and public sector uses.

Are Toro engines reliable? ›

They have quite a few small engines for Walk Power Mowers & Snow Blowers but just two core designs for Zero Turn Mowers. The TORO SX is a 16HP consumer engine that has proven to be reliable after several years on the market.

How often should I sharpen my mower blades? ›

On average, a mower blade should be sharpened after every 20 to 25 hours of use time. This depends on how often and how long you mow. Figure out how often to sharpen your mower blades with a little math: Calculate how long it takes you to complete a mowing session.

How often do you need to change spark plugs on a lawn mower? ›

For your engine to remain at optimum performance, it is recommended to replace your spark plugs once a year or after 30 engine hours. Since your lawn mower needs regular, annual maintenance, it is easiest to include replacing spark plugs as part of your maintenance routine.

Is regular gas 87 or 89? ›

Regular (the lowest octane fuel–generally 87) Midgrade (the middle range octane fuel–generally 89–90) Premium (the highest octane fuel–generally 91–94)

What is gas 87 vs 89 vs 93? ›

87 gas is the standard unleaded gasoline you'll find at most gas stations. 89 gas is premium unleaded gasoline with a higher octane rating. Regular gas is 87 octanes, and mid-grade or Plus gas is 89 octanes. Premium or Ultra gas is 91–93 octanes.

What are the 4 types of gasoline? ›

The three types of gas
  • Regular. Regular gas has the lowest octane rating, typically coming in at 87. ...
  • Mid-grade. Sometimes referred to as “plus” or “special,” mid-grade tends to be somewhere in the 89 to 90 octane range.
  • Premium. ...
  • Leaded vs. ...
  • Diesel. ...
  • Flex-fuel. ...
  • Premium gas in a regular engine. ...
  • Regular gas in a high-octane engine.

Is 91 octane OK for lawn mower? ›

Fuel for your lawn mower or outdoor power equipment must meet these requirements: Clean, fresh, unleaded. A minimum of 87 octane/87 AKI (91 RON); If operating at high altitude, see below. Gasoline with up to 10% ethanol (gasohol) or up to 15% MTBE (methyl tertiary butyl ether), is acceptable.

Does 87 gas burn slower than 91? ›

Fuel with an 87 octane rating burns more quickly while higher-octane fuels burn more slowly. In engines designed for standard unleaded fuel, efficiency and performance is optimized for 87 octane and could actually perform worse with higher-octane fuel since the burn rate is slower.

What is the difference between 87 89 and 91 gasoline? ›

Retail gasoline stations in the United States sell three main grades of gasoline based on the octane level: Regular (the lowest octane fuel–generally 87) Midgrade (the middle range octane fuel–generally 89–90) Premium (the highest octane fuel–generally 91–94)

Is 87 gas better than premium? ›

Premium gas is also often referred to as high-octane gas, thanks to an octane rating of 91 to 94. Regular gas typically has an 87-octane rating, and the 88-90 range is considered midgrade. While premium gas drives performance in certain engines, the idea that it's more fuel efficient is a myth.

Is 91 octane better for small engines? ›

Small engines have low compression ratios, meaning they won't likely benefit from anything special in the gas like a higher octane rating. Some premium fuels may actually make your equipment harder to start. So save your money and use regular gas.

Should I use 91 or 93 octane? ›

Some cars that need premium only need 91 octane, and others may require 93 octane. If the owner's manual indicates premium gas is recommended, you can typically operate the vehicle safely on regular gas. Still, you may not reach the performance and fuel economy indicated in the car's specifications.

Will using 87 gas cause problems? ›

If the octane rating is less than 91, you could damage the engine and may void your vehicle warranty. If heavy knocking is heard when using gasoline rated at 91 octane or higher, the engine needs service.”

Is 87 gas worth it? ›

If your car doesn't require premium, fill up with regular.

In a consumer notice, the Federal Trade Commission, notes: “In most cases, using a higher-octane gasoline than your owner's manual recommends offers absolutely no benefit. It won't make your car perform better, go faster, get better mileage or run cleaner.”

Does premium gas clean your engine? ›

Nope. Regular, plus, and premium gas all come with detergents to mitigate against carbon deposits in your engine. Plus and premium don't come with special powers for cleaning out the engine. If you're interested in cleaning out your engine, you're better off taking it in for service.

Is ethanol free gas better for small engines? ›

However, when you're using gas with ethanol mixture in your outdoor power equipment, like lawn mowers, chainsaws, trimmers and leaf blowers, you run the risk of engine damage and incurring costly repairs. You should be using ethanol free gas in your small engine outdoor power equipment.

What is the price difference between 87 and 91 octane gas? ›

The wholesale price difference between regular (87 octane) and premium (91) is about 5.5 cents, but the price difference at the pumps is typically about 15 cents, says McKnight, a senior petroleum adviser with En-Pro International.

Why is 87 gas cheaper? ›

More ethanol. Ethanol is cheaper than gasoline (especially right now) and has a high octane rating so when the percentage of ethanol is higher, the octane goes up and the price goes down. Usually 87 octane gas is a 10% ethanol blend and 88 octane is a 15% blend. But, be aware, ethanol has less energy than gasoline.

What happens if you accidentally put regular gas instead of premium? ›

Putting Regular Fuel in a Car That Requires Premium

Using lower octane fuel in a vehicle that requires premium gas could cause some serious internal damage. You'll most likely notice the spark knock (a sort of high-pitched pinging or rattling noise).


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