Small Engine Repairs

If you have fuel system issues with your snowblower, lawn mower, or rototiller, you will find that many small engine repair shops are encountering a lot of fuel-line-related issues since the introduction of ethanol. Because of ethanol’s effects on rubber, plastic and synthetic materials, they are finding themselves spending a lot more time fixing fuel delivery systems than they did in the days of leaded gas and carburetors. They are faced with many possible types of fuel line sizes and types that are necessary to make a proper, and durable repair. New sizes, new materials and new attachment clamps have caused many small engine repair businesses to expand their inventories of fuel line products to meet market demands.  While plain, old fashioned, neoprene fuel line will still work for many applications, other products are designed to meet specific needs.

Everyday neoprene fuel hose can be used for fuel, positive crankcase venting and EEC systems on all engines where working pressures are under 50 psi or vacuum ratings are under 24-in. of mercury for 7/16” and smaller inside-diameter sizes. Fuel line is a petroleum-resistant nitrile tube with a covering that resists weathering, ozone and heat degradation and can be used for ethanol-based and diesel fuel. It should, however, not be used on coolant systems, oil systems or fuel-injection systems that produce pressures higher than 50 psi. Neoprene fuel line is available in a wide range of sizes including: 1/8” through 5/8” sizes on bulk rolls, 1-1/2” through 2-1/4” ID is available for gas filler neck applications.


If we are talking about an outboard motor, marine fuel hose is a different product from standard fuel hose and has to be Coast Guard approved. Marine hose is rated for 40 psi and will work for carbureted passenger cars and light trucks.

You can use gear clamps, spring clamps or specialized fuel line clams to make a secure, leak proof connection. These are made by several brands such as: Glarks, Ticonn, Lockman, and Tech Team. Tech Team offers a full range of size specific clamps so that you don’t have to buy a whole assortment just to get a few clamps in the right size.    They offer mini gear clamps    spring clamps , and spring tension fuel line clamps .  In addition, they have a great video that shows you how to measure so that you buy the correct clamp size.


Small engines on your lawnmower, ATV or motorcycle use a gas-resistant vinyl tubing called Tygon. It is usually clear or transparent yellow in color. Tygon is available in short sections or on a large roll and can be quite expensive, but it will outlast the standard vinyl and does not turn brown and brittle after extended use. Rubber vacuum or heater hose, unless it is NBR rubber, should never be used in fuel applications. The hose will deteriorate from the inside out and can plug fuel filters and carburetors.