View Full Version : 2 stroke lawnmower = 40 idling cars?
05-19-2004, 01:26 PM
I was listening to an environmentalist on the radio the other day. She was pushing to get people to trade in their 2 stroke lawnmowers for more enviro-friendly 4 stroke. Thatís all well and good, but she made the above comment:
ďA 2 stroke lawnmower running for an hour produces as much pollution as 40 new cars idling.Ē
Is there any truth to this statement? Seems a bit extreme. Iím aware of the problems with 2 stroke engineers, but is it really THAT bad?
05-19-2004, 01:31 PM
The fact that she wasn't pushing one of the new electric mowers that are out lends evidence to her being a complete moron.
While I have not seen the tailpipe emissions from a two stroke engine, I can tell you that
A) They are way dirtier than 4 stroke motors
B) The main culprit is excess hydrocarbons due to the oil being mixed into the gas
C) No emission controls on a lawnmower
on the other hand, cars are getting cleaner all the time. We have cars out there now that emit almost 0 PPM hydrocarbons. Now admittedly there are a lot more parts per million passing through a car engine than a lawnmower (look at the size of the tailpipes) but the lawnmower is probably putting out between 2,000 and 5,000 PPM (SWAG based on what I know about engines) a new car might be putting out -3 - 5 PPM. Yes, you can see negative PPM of hydrocarbons, dirty incoming air, and a very good converter.
My question is who sells 2 stroke lawnmowers? I don't think I have ever seen one in the last 20 years or more. Chainsaws, weed whackers, leaf blowers sure, lawnmowers nope.
I have also been told by emission engineers that current cars are so much cleaner than older cars that a current production car driving @ 60mph puts less junk into the air than a car from the 60's did when parked.
Most lawnmowers these days use 4-cycle engines; still dirtier than car engines, but cleaner than 2-cycle. A lot of smaller equipment (chainsaws, trimmers, leaf blowers) still use 2-stroke engines. I remember a similar statistic being bandied about in the mid-late 1990s (when I had a job in the power equipment industry), and upon further examination their statistic was based on running an older engine at full throttle for the entire time - which isn't really how the equipment is used.
05-20-2004, 08:50 AM
AFAIK, Lawn Boy still makes 2-cycle lawnmowers.
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