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Do fuel "stabilizers" work?


EliasMcDaniel's Avatar
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10-24-16, 03:59 AM   #1  
Do fuel "stabilizers" work?

Additives like Sta-Bil, etc.

For things like my generator, which can go 6 months without being needed, or as my tractor sits over the winter... Is this helpful? I've never had a problem with either one not starting after a long period of time. Have I been lucky, or should I be doing this?

 
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marksr's Avatar
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10-24-16, 04:13 AM   #2  
If I expect an engine to set unused for a long period of time I add Sta-bil to the last tank and have never had any gas related problems. Not sure how long it takes gas to start 'varnishing' up in the tank/carb but I've had to clean up from it before and it's no picnic.


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Norm201's Avatar
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10-24-16, 04:59 AM   #3  
It's best to keep you tank and carb empty if not going to be in use for a couple of months or more. To answer your question, yes they do work, but don't abuse the option. I used treated gas in my lawn mower and just emptied it for winter storage. It drained out a golden yellow. Not good. The gas was about a month out and treated when I bought it. I've had to have two machines professionally serviced due to extreme varnish build up in the carbs. Both used treated gas.

There are two schools of thought when storing winter/summer equipment. Drain all the gas and run engine until carb is empty. Or fill carb and tank to brim level with treated gas and don't allow air to spoil it. I've tried both and both work, but I prefer the empty tank method.

 
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10-24-16, 06:00 AM   #4  
I've never had a problem keeping treated gas in the tank between seasons but only did so by mistake. Repairs are so expensive that I try to always drain the tank as part of storage preparation.

 
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10-24-16, 07:27 AM   #5  
On seasonal equipment like a mower I usually add sta-bil to the last tank of gas and then run it out. That way any gas left in the carb is also protected. Probably not needed but I'd rather be safe than sorry.


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EliasMcDaniel's Avatar
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10-25-16, 06:13 AM   #6  
OK, let's add this to the conversation;

While picking up my generator - with a new carburetor - from the mower shop yesterday, they said I should run the engine until it runs out of gas. Then store "Generator Gas" in a separate can. And refill the can every 30 days to keep the fuel fresh.

This sounds a bit extreme.

I have kept untreated gas in the generator tank for a year before with no problem. (I know - carburetor replacement is a "problem" - but it was 12 years old. Who's to say it wouldn't have needed to be replaced after that long even with Sta-Billed gas?)

Are all these recommended extra steps necessary?

 
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10-25-16, 06:29 AM   #7  
I think refilling the gas can every 30 days is a bit extreme. While I've used up a jug of chainsaw gas in a week or less, I've also took several months to use one up with never any issues. IMO there is very little likelihood of a jug of gas going bad in less than 6 months. Sounds like me that the boys at that shop are just trying to cover their butt. Doing as they suggest would pretty much guarantee there would be no gas issues.


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10-25-16, 01:47 PM   #8  
IMO there is very little likelihood of a jug of gas going bad in less than 6 months.
I dunno. The bright yellow color of gas that's only 4 to 6 weeks old is defiantly not good. And I would not like to store that gas for six months. The two carbs I had to have redone was by my "hillibilly" engine guy who has no need of more business or want of customers. He highly recommends draining all gas for equipment storage. Like I said I've done both but I think the draining is a better. Besides I think gas is not as stable as it was years ago. Another thing to consider is the gas treatment for the area and season. If stored or used beyond that seasonal time cannot be a good.

I have noticed that a car can handle stored gas (Siting in the tank for maybe 8 weeks between fill ups) better than most small engines.

 
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10-25-16, 02:25 PM   #9  
I keep gas on hand for my chainsaws [2 cycle] small 4cyl engines and my tractor. While it's rare for any of those jugs to go more than 2-3 months before refilling - I've never has any issues with the gas in the jugs.


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jhn9840's Avatar
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11-03-16, 07:02 AM   #10  
I run Sta-bil in all of my equipment year round and drain the tanks dry in the lesser used or end of season stuff. Never had any of the issues with our modern fuel that we hear so much about. Got a couple of brother in laws on the other hand that don't do anything to their stuff and I've replaced many fuel lines and a couple of carbs on their equipment.

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