Welcome to the DoItYourself Forums!

To post questions, help other DIYers and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our DIY community. It's free!

Winterizing - empty gas or use stabilizer?

bheron's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 430

12-21-07, 05:50 AM   #1  
Winterizing - empty gas or use stabilizer?

I have all of my winterizing instructions down for each of my pieces of equipment:

1) Lawn Tractor (Briggs & Stratton)
2) Lawn Mower (Honda)
3) Gas Edger (Briggs & Stratton)

The only thing I can't decide is: is it better to drain the tank of all gas or just use a stabilizer? On my tractor, I easily drained the gas via the fuel line.

Does it matter?

Sponsored Links
indypower500's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 118

12-21-07, 06:07 AM   #2  
Here is how I do it:
Metal gas tank: add stabil and isypropel dry gas and leave full. Metal tanks create condensation if empty and will rust the insides of the tank .
Plastic tank: Drain the gas.

I always add isypropel dry gas & stabil. Then I run it for about 5 mins to get the dry gas & stabil thru the carb. Then I shut off the gas shut-off & let the engine run itself out of gas.
And yes, as stated in another thread here, water in the aluminum carb will corrode the inside of the carb.

bheron's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 430

12-21-07, 07:16 AM   #3  
Oh, makes alot of sense! Great.

One question. What is "isypropel dry gas" and where would I get it??

Thanks again!

the_tow_guy's Avatar
Group Moderator

Join Date: Feb 2001
Posts: 11,475

12-21-07, 11:21 AM   #4  
Most common brand is "Heet"; any place that sells auto stuff has it.

Measure it with a micrometer; cut it with an ax.

indypower500's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 118

12-21-07, 04:07 PM   #5  
Isyopropel dry gas will absorb water and melt ice where ethonal dry gas won't. Any auto parts store will have it. Make sure to read the label. It will say isypropel on the label. Heet brand makes both isypropel and ethonal. Isypropel runs about $1-$1.75 per 12oz bottle where the ethonal I have seen for 2 for .99. If you have a NAPA store, theirs is called Thermo-aid
part number 7100.

cheese's Avatar
Forum Topic Moderator

Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 16,569

12-21-07, 04:40 PM   #6  
IF you do drain the gas, make sure you physically drain the carb (not just running it until it dies). When it dies, there is still gas in the carb. Small amounts like this will gum up very fast, and this could cause more problems than not winterizing it at all. I prefer to keep gas in mine and start them up once every few weeks and let 'em run a little while. This also maintains the starting system, cycles the switches, etc...

Take a peek at the winterizing instructions posted as a sticky note near the top of the list of posts here in this forum. There might be something useful for you there?

"Who is John Galt?" - Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)

God bless!

geogrubb's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,333

12-21-07, 09:47 PM   #7  
If you are going to use Isyopropel, which is rubbing alcohol, buy a bottle from Walmart for $.50.
IMHO, it is best to leave gas powered lawn equipment as full as possible with fresh fuel, with or without stabilizer, and then drained at the beginning of the next season. On bowl type carbs, if you run them dry(as they say) there is just the right amout of fuel left in the bowl to evaporate and when gas evaporates it leaves varnish, it's just a matter of time and ta da we get a post. Which makes me feel good when I can help. Happy Holidays to all. OH,and, Have a good one. Geo

bheron's Avatar

Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 430

12-22-07, 08:41 AM   #8  
Ok, thanks everyone. good info. sounds like I will leave them all completely full with the stabilizer in there. just too many bad things can go wrong with an empty tank. got some stabil yesterday. will look for the other stuff. and will check out that stick thanks!

Paul78zephyr's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 62

12-22-07, 07:55 PM   #9  
Ive never drained a tank or tried to run an engine out of gas. I fill the tanks of my lawn tractor and snowblower with fresh stabilized gasoline (I have always used Sta-Bil) and leave them be all winter (or summer as the case may be) and Ive never had a problem with starting in the spring (or fall). In fact since I never really know how long the gasoline I keep in the garage for my small engines may last I stabilize all of it all year round. As soon as I get home from the gas station with a full tank (5 gal) I put the Sta- Bil in it. Sta-Bil is not that expensive for the good that it does.



Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 354

12-23-07, 10:12 AM   #10  
You do not state what part of the country you live in. Here in Wisconsin, it is best to drain your winter fuel from the carb and tank as it will cook out during the summer heat and leave varnish due to the low flash or vaporization requirements. The summer fuel with a little stablizer will hold over during the winter due to the cold temperatures act like putting the higher flash point or vaporization in the freezer. The only problem that we have seen is that the smaller the engine the more your octane rating comes into play and that fuel with or without stablizer looses its octane after 30 days and makes it harder to start. The engine manufactures tell us at their training and update schools here to burn the old fuel up in your vehicle as the multi cylinder engines have less of a problem getting rid of it and always use fresh fuel at the start of a season. Most of the engines that come into the shop that do not start are usually the result of old fuel and upon draining the fuel and putting in fresh the unit will start right up.

moovyz's Avatar

Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 3

03-30-13, 08:53 PM   #11  
Posted in a similar thread here but thought it would help answer this never-ending debate...

I have been riding and working on motorcycles for more than 30 years and I can say from numerous incidents that it is ALWAYS better to use stabilizer, fill the tank and run it for 5 minutes. Never drain a carb and leave it to dry. First of all, the seals and rubber will dry out and crack. Secondly, the gas will turn to varnish (gum) within weeks and then you've got to rebuild and soak to get them back to operation. After the winter is over, it's best to change out the gas because it isn't quite the same as when it was put in, even with the stabilizer but this can get a little expensive. Running it out normally won't hurt the carbs, just might not run as well on older gas. As far as dry gas, NEVER use Heet (Methanol) as it only displaces water and tries to burn it off by increasing octane level. Isopropyl dry gas actually combines water and gas into a burnable mixture. You can skip the auto store expensive brand and get from Walmart as rubbing alcohol, just make sure it's at least 93%.

thomasc's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2013
Posts: 2

07-10-13, 12:15 PM   #12  
Winterizing Tips

Might be an overkill on info, but found this, thought it might help:

Here is a suggestion about caring for your small engine equipment: About 95 percent of the problems which I encounter with lawn and garden equipment that will not start up or run properly is directly related to old gas that was left in the fuel system over the winter. The easiest remedy for this is to use a fuel stabilizer treatment such as Sta-bil, which can be purchased at almost any auto parts store such as Auto Zone, Advanced Auto parts, Pep Boys, or somewhere such as Wal-Mart, Lowes, Home Depot or any other place that sells small engine equipment. I highly recommend using a fuel stabilizer ALL the time! This is partly but primarily because today's gasoline has a very short life span of only about a month do to the ethanol that is mixed in with it. The ethanol has a very short life span and in a period of about two weeks begins to break down. It then corrodes and deteriorates the internal parts of the carburetor. I have read in some literature where it states that gas is only good for approximately two weeks before it starts going bad. Right now the amount of ethanol in our gas is 10 percent. However, the rumor is that they are going to increase to 15 percent. This will cause even more problems.

Last edited by cheese; 07-10-13 at 01:40 PM.
lawrosa's Avatar
Super Moderator

Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 17,607

07-10-13, 02:02 PM   #13  
Thread old... Closed!!!!

Please start new thread .....

Mike NJ

"The problems that exist in the world today cannot be solved by the level of thinking that created them".

- Albert Einstein

Search this Thread