Can an Engine Run on Everclear?

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YouTube host tries experiment to discover just how volatile Everclear really is, but should your Jeep drink it in an emergency?

When you’re packing for the trails, maybe you should pack some liver-punishing grain alcohol. No, not for late-night wilderness partying, but rather for the potential emergency trail fix. OK, maybe not. We definitely don’t condone drinking and driving, but we love a good experiment like, say, trying to run a small engine on 190-proof Everclear.

Small Engine Everclear Grain Alcohol Trail Fix

If you’re unfamiliar, 190-proof is 95-percent alcohol. It’s generally a horrible idea to consume in any fashion because, frankly, it tastes like lighter fluid no matter how much you dilute it.

As such, the Project Farm YouTube channel got many requests to see if Everclear could serve as fuel for an engine. We’ve seen this guy here on JK-Forum before fixing a cylinder head with JB Weld. Frankly, we like the cut of his jib.

The YouTuber gives the alcohol a try in one of his usual test subjects: a haggard old two-stroke lawnmower. The mower’s engine doesn’t feature an adjustable carb, so it struggles to start at first. Eventually, he has to manually “choke” the engine with a piece of tape over the intake.

Lo and behold: the engine runs! Everclear proves volatile enough to burn in an internal combustion engine. He tries it on a second engine, but the teardown of the mower engine proves rather revealing. The burning grain alcohol leaves tons of deposits from just a short run.


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Clearly, running the engine for any length of time or duty cycle on alcohol seems likely to turn it all into a gummed-up mess. Further, he explicitly says he doesn’t recommend you do this in a larger automobile engine. OK, you can unpack the alcohol from the Jeep’s trail toolbox after all. But in a pinch when you need to run the push-mower in a zombie-related emergency, and you’re out of gas, you might be able to raid the liquor cabinet to fire it up and save yourself.

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