Does It Hurt To Use 32:1 Mix in Place of 40:1? Fuel Mixing Twist!

by Jason Ryffe
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Finding a 40:1 premade oil mix is much easier than getting your hands on a 32:1 premix fuel. That’s why many people don’t want to go through the extra hassle of managing a 32:1 oil mix. 

Yet, they wonder — can you use a 32:1 mix in place of 40:1, and vice versa? The short answer is yes. Using a 32:1 mixture in place of a 40:1 ratio will not harm your engine.

However, understanding how fuel mix ratios work on 2-stroke engines is crucial to avoid potential complications.

In this article, we dive into the world of fuel mix ratios and discuss their impact on 2-stroke engines. By breaking down this topic into manageable sections, you’ll gain valuable insights into whether or not using a 32:1 ratio instead of a 40:1 mix is appropriate for your needs. Exploring these factors will ensure you stick to optimal fuel mixing practices at all times.

So, buckle up, and let’s unravel this fuel mixing dilemma!

First Things First: What Does Oil Mix Ratio Mean?

Two-stroke engines function differently from the engines in your cars. While car engines receive lubrication from engine oil alone, 2-cycle engines require a mixture of gas and oil to provide adequate lubrication.

Remember: Most times, a wrong ratio mix will seriously affect the engine. The fuel will remain in the tank, gradually damaging the injector and the vehicle’s fuel line. Also, the fuel pump will receive severe damage.

If you’re new to owning a 2-cycle engine, oil mix ratios can be incredibly confusing. But don’t worry — in this section, we’ll clarify everything you need to know about oil mix ratios.

The first number in the ratio represents the part of gas, while the second number denotes the part of oil. For example, a 32:1 mix indicates that 32 parts gas are mixed with 1 part fuel.

To better understand different oil mix ratios, refer to the table below.

Ounces Of Oil Per Gallon Of Gas
Mix Ratio To 11 Gallon2 Gallons2.5 Gallons5 Gallons
324.0 oz8.0 oz10.0 oz20.0 oz
403.2 oz6.4 oz8.0 oz16.0 oz
502.6 oz5.1 oz6.4 oz12.8 oz

You can also use this table as an oil mix calculator.

As you can see, with an increase in the amount of gas, there should be an engine oil increment. With an oil mix ratio of 32:1, you’ll mix 1 gallon of gas with 4 ounces of oil. However, for an oil mix ratio of 40:1 or 50:1, you’ll need to add only 3.2 ounces or 2.6 ounces of oil to the same amount of gas.

Here’s another ratio chart with different units:

Ounces Of Oil Per Liter Of Gas
Mix Ratio To 15 Liters10 Liters20 Liters
32156 ml313 ml625 ml
40125 ml250 ml500 ml
50100 ml200 ml400 ml

Now that you grasp the concept of oil ratios and how they work, it’s essential to note that not all 2-cycle engines recommend the same ratio of oil — otherwise, life would be much simpler.

For those with different landscaping equipment, maintaining the optimum oil mix for various two-stroke machinery can be a significant challenge. Newer machines typically call for a 50:1 oil mix, while older ones may recommend a 40:1 or even a 32:1 ratio.

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This complexity leads many to a logical question — does it hurt to use a 32:1 mix in place of a 40:1 ratio? Let’s find out the answer.

So, Can You Use a 32:1 Mix Instead of 40:1?

When shopping for premix oils, you’ll find that many popular oil brands offer a 40:1 ratio rather than a 32:1 mix. But what if your 2-stroke engine recommends a 32:1 ratio? What should you do in such a situation?

In most cases, using 32:1 and 40:1 oil mixes interchangeably is perfectly fine. They’re not too far apart, although the latter has a richer mixture with more gasoline.

The specific 2-cycle engine you’re using will also play a role in this decision. While an excess of fuel can potentially damage the fuel injector and fuel line, this would require the mixture quality to be extremely poor.

However, it’s essential to keep in mind that using a 32:1 mixture in an engine that recommends a 40:1 mixture could void the warranty.

Other than that, there are usually no serious issues when you use a 32:1 oil mix in an engine that demands a 40:1 ratio.

For instance, a user from TractorByNet forum says they used a 32:1 mix instead of 40:1 for his Stihl chainsaws. There was no problem using the mix, even though the recommended combination was 40:1. However, they suggested using a heavier mix for the Stihl chainsaws.

Interestingly, it’s more common for people to reverse the situation and use a 40:1 oil mix when their engine recommends a 32:1 mix. This occurs because of the availability issue mentioned earlier — 40:1 oil mixes are easier to find and generally safe to use in older 32:1 engines.

Remember the general rule of thumb regarding oil mixing ratios: more oil is unlikely to harm your engine, but excess gasoline can be problematic. Therefore, using a 40:1 mix in a 32:1 engine is much safer than using a 32:1 mix in a 40:1 engine.

Since both of these oil mixes are quite similar, you should be able to use them interchangeably without any issues. However, attempting to cover a significant difference, such as using a 32:1 mix in an engine that requires a 50:1 mix, could lead to trouble.

Related: Echo Weed Eater Fuel Mix Ratio: Why Changed?

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Does 40:1 have more oil than 32:1?

Contrary to what one might assume, a 40:1 ratio does not have more oil than a 32:1 mixture

To better understand this, let’s compare the two ratios using five liters of gasoline as a base.

For a 32:1 mix, you would use 156ml of oil with five liters of gasoline. On the other hand, a 40:1 ratio requires only 125ml of oil for the same amount of gasoline.

As you can see, the 32:1 mixture contains more oil than the 40:1 mix.

What is the mix ratio for 32:1?

Understanding the mix ratio for a 32:1 blend requires breaking down the proportion of oil to gasoline.

In a 32:1 mix, you would need to add 156ml of oil to achieve the desired balance with 5 liters of gasoline. This proportion ensures that there are 32 parts of gasoline for every one part of oil in the mixture.

If we were to increase the gasoline volume to 10 or 20 liters, the corresponding amount of oil needed for a 32:1 ratio would be 313ml or 626ml respectively.

How do you mix a small amount of 40:1?

When mixing a small amount of 40:1 fuel ratio, it is essential to carefully measure the quantities of gasoline and oil to achieve the correct balance. 

For a 40:1 mix with one gallon of gasoline, you will need to add 3.2 ounces of oil. This proportion ensures the proper balance between gasoline and oil for efficient engine performance.

Alternatively, if you’re working with liters, you can follow this guideline: for five liters of gasoline, use around 125 ml of oil. This maintains the desired 40:1 ratio, which is essential for optimal engine function and longevity.


So, does it hurt to use a 32:1 mix in place of a 40:1 ratio? The answer is no, it doesn’t cause any harm.

Since this ratio is considered a standard, many people prefer to adopt it for their engines. Nonetheless, always pay attention if the manufacturer recommends a different ratio, such as 50:1.

Furthermore, keep in mind the potential warranty void implications when choosing to use an alternative oil mix ratio.

By staying informed and aware of these factors, you can make the best decision for your engine’s needs and longevity.

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