By International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association

The International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association (ISMA) has partnered with the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) and the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) in the ‘Look Before You Pump’ campaign, an ethanol education and consumer protection program. The campaign reminds consumers to always use fuels containing no greater than ten percent ethanol when powering their outdoor power equipment or other non-road product, such as boats, snowmobiles, motorcycles, ATVs not designed for higher ethanol fuel blends.

The International Snowmobile Manufacturers Association is the leading association representing the manufacturers of snowmobiles, which encourage policies, programs and activities to improve the lifestyle activity of snowmobiling.

The ‘Look Before You Pump’ campaign is most known by its emblematic prominent, red warning hand symbol indicating ‘OK’ for 10 percent ethanol and ‘No’ for mid-level ethanol blends (such as E15, E30, E85). The campaign was launched in October 2013, in response to higher ethanol blended fuels being made available in the marketplace for ‘fl ex-fuel’ automobiles, and to warn consumers not to inadvertently mis-fuel their engine products not designed to handle these higher ethanol fuel blends.

The level of support for ‘Look Before You Pump’ continues to grow. No one wants to damage or destroy their equipment. But the changing fuel marketplace demands education, as evidenced by retailers, dealers, and manufacturers—and now major industry organizations—being more proactive in telling American consumers and business owners to be more mindful when selecting the right fuel for their products.

According to Ed Klim, President of ISMA, “It is important our customers know their fuel selection is important.”

The National Marine Manufacturers Association also joined forces this summer in spreading the campaign messaging, and major retail outlets including Lowe’s, Walmart and True Value, as well as independent dealers, began using the ‘Look Before You Pump’ message in their stores and in customer circulars and catalogs this past year.

A summer 2013 Interactive study shows the vast majority of Americans (71 percent) are “not at all sure” if it is illegal or legal to put high level ethanol gas (i.e., anything greater than 10 percent ethanol) into engines such as those in boats, mowers, chain saws, snowmobiles, generators and other engine products. The US EPA is on record stating that snowmobiles should NOT use fuel with more than 10% ethanol (E-10).