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Author Topic: Maintenance Monday: Shelf life of gasoline Back to Topics
PD

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2010 12:02:52 PM

There's bound to be a few of us who are curious how long the shelf life of gasoline is- whether you have a vehicle in storage, let your boat sit all winter, or if you have lawnmower gasoline that's been sitting a while.

There's not a magical sell by date for gasoline like there is for other products, but gasoline will slowly deteriorate over time and eventually be worthless. I'll go over a few ways to keep gasoline for years.

First, don't expect gasoline to last long in an open air container, such as a 5 gallon gasoline container. Unless you've sealed your red container, the air will slowly suck the life out of the gasoline. Like I said, there's no magical date, but after a few months, gasoline will deteriorate to the point...

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fourdezzzz
Champion Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: Jul 17, 2014 11:22:15 PM

Yeah!
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FordFlex09
Rookie Author Orange County

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Message Posted: Jul 16, 2014 1:13:00 PM

if it is going into storage for a long time, is best to drain the fuel tank and run the engine till it stops. after a while the fuel pump gums up and it takes a bit to get it running again, unless you change the pump.
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Trucky3212
Rookie Author Missouri

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Message Posted: Jul 15, 2014 7:58:59 PM

If I plan on keeping too long I will throw in an additive to the mix.
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Raider44
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Message Posted: Jun 21, 2014 12:05:58 AM

stays usable longer than I thought.
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gasmask78
Champion Author Virginia

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Message Posted: Jun 14, 2014 2:02:39 AM

cool
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Tundralimited2009
Champion Author Dallas

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Message Posted: Jun 7, 2014 1:25:16 AM

Good info for everyone
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agrico
Champion Author New Orleans

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Message Posted: Jun 6, 2014 9:20:32 PM

don't own a lawnmower or boat and certainly don't have that issue with my cars
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willp99
Champion Author San Diego

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Message Posted: Jun 6, 2014 10:22:04 AM

I have had that problem and had to rebuild the carburetor on the mower.
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2parrots
Champion Author Massachusetts

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Message Posted: Jun 5, 2014 10:23:14 AM

If your lawnmower has a 4-cycle engine ,you can put any unused gasoline in your car or truck .
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JOHNJOEYJOE
Champion Author Texas

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Message Posted: Jun 5, 2014 6:57:26 AM

Never buy more than you can use in 30 days.
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Raider44
Champion Author Allentown

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Message Posted: May 28, 2014 6:56:15 AM

who stores their gas in open containers?
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Tundralimited2009
Champion Author Dallas

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Message Posted: May 28, 2014 1:21:33 AM

Good useful info..
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Hitnmiss
Champion Author Iowa

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Message Posted: May 27, 2014 5:52:43 PM

I use the additive Stabil that will keep gas fresh for several months.
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Royski
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: May 26, 2014 10:54:33 AM

Useful, if sparse, information.
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dickie989
Rookie Author Kentucky

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Message Posted: May 23, 2014 12:24:41 PM

I have been using Ethanol Defense by Bell Performance they have been in business since 1909 making fuel additives,longer than any other fuel additive on the market so they must be doing something right and making a good additive
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JOHNJOEYJOE
Champion Author Texas

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Message Posted: May 23, 2014 9:39:14 AM

I don't buy in on this. Ethanol gasoline does not have a long life unless you add a stabilizer and the gasoline will still break down. This is more of an advertisement.
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Badjef
Champion Author Florida

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Message Posted: May 23, 2014 8:27:54 AM

Today's fuel is so much more efficient than that of years ago. We had outboards when I was growing up. Over the winter, the gas would "varnish". That is not the case anymore. It takes a lot more time now.
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Rick52
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Message Posted: May 23, 2014 8:08:08 AM

I want old Gas ..Prices..
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txannlady
Rookie Author Dallas

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Message Posted: May 23, 2014 7:05:47 AM

How do you dispose of bad/old gasoline ?
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CapriceWagon
Champion Author Washington

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Message Posted: Oct 11, 2012 2:27:01 PM

My suburban was sitting for about ten years, it smelled nasty when we first started it again... flushed it out with fresh gas and it seems to be alright now
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driveonby1
Champion Author Toledo

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Message Posted: Oct 10, 2012 1:13:47 PM

The gas stored in a new car tank may still run, but products like Stabil, when run through the engine from the tank, are also a preventative to gumming.
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99dakota
Champion Author Providence

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Message Posted: Oct 10, 2012 6:38:05 AM

It lasts longer than you would think.
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Gas4Gore
Champion Author Detroit

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Message Posted: Oct 8, 2012 6:46:55 PM

maybe use Stabil???
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teafortwo
Champion Author Washington

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Message Posted: Oct 8, 2012 2:48:27 PM


Good information that we all need a reminder of now and then.

Especially this time of year.

Thanks PD ;0}
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Donatelo
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Message Posted: Oct 8, 2012 2:32:26 PM

ok
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99dakota
Champion Author Providence

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Message Posted: Oct 4, 2012 5:54:01 PM

My mower gas lasts all winter, no problem.
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DucatiRider
Rookie Author Maryland

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Message Posted: Oct 3, 2012 9:36:56 AM

Yep, I always put stabil in my car because I don't go through more than about 4 tanks of gas a year. (Motorcycles are your friends, 60 MPG on a newer 650 without much effort.)
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clpassenubye
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Message Posted: Oct 2, 2012 4:52:34 PM

interesting
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Snowchoux
Champion Author Missouri

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Message Posted: Oct 2, 2012 12:02:01 PM

The gas I get for my mower, I add fuel injector cleaner to it. It seems to keep my mowers engine clean.
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BigHorne1
Champion Author Missouri

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Message Posted: Oct 1, 2012 10:57:23 AM

If you keep gas that long and is sealed, makes it more combustable. So leave it vented and lose it. guess best thing to do is use it up.
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shstew
All-Star Author British Columbia

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Message Posted: Oct 1, 2012 9:50:15 AM

Another old story
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gasokie
Champion Author Oklahoma

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Message Posted: Sep 28, 2012 7:28:34 PM

I added a little stabol or whatever it is...to my generator's tank but I don't worry about those little red gas cans for my mowers and I don't worry about my boats. Boat motors must be tough as I park my boat in my garage for the season with gas in the tank but burn it out of my engine. I never have any trouble with it. It's not good to let gas just dry up in your small engines either.
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flagtown25
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Message Posted: Sep 28, 2012 8:54:49 AM

Interesting
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VetteBlue
Champion Author San Jose

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Message Posted: Jul 1, 2010 10:00:25 AM

Never had a problem within a year.
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boatcrazyinme
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Message Posted: Jun 28, 2010 9:43:07 PM

i try not to et mine set around long.
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sabob
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Message Posted: Jun 28, 2010 8:41:00 PM

I've known this for years but thanks for the reminder
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POLELANE
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Jun 28, 2010 8:34:39 PM

Say What "Today's ethanol based gasolines" maybe on Mars; I suspect that about eight carbon straight and branched chain hydrocarbons give the OCTANE to today's blends; ethanol based would indicate a majority of the blend is ethanol; or the hydrocarbons are refined from ethanol; just isn't so yet.
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EVBuddy
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Message Posted: Jun 25, 2010 4:38:05 PM

The life od gas depends on how it is stored, it must be airtight. It should also be out of the sun unless you have 100,000 gallons stored in a tank.
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POLELANE
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Jun 21, 2010 9:52:03 PM

good to know; I'm not going to store my gasoline on a shelf which may die.
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Pete12
Champion Author Albany

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Message Posted: Jun 18, 2010 9:06:21 PM

The smaller the engine the more old gas will affect it.
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Martinman
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Message Posted: Jun 16, 2010 10:04:59 AM

bud122ca from california posted...

"Easy way to tell if gas has gone bad is to smell it. good gas and bad gas has very different smels."

.

This is not true any more. Back in the "leaded" days of gasoline this was one way of telling when various compounds within the gasoline began to separate-out. The end-result of the separating, is that some compounds coat the metal parts they come in contact with, creating a hard varnish-like coating.

Today's ethanol based gasolines are good for roughly 30 days. At that point, the ethanol begins to separate from the unleaded gasoline, at which point it begins to absorb water (ethanol is hydrophilic). For fuel injected vehicles that are driven on regular basis, the agitation from driving and turn-over of gasoline in fuel injected systems is sufficient to prevent separation.

Conversely, if you leave gas "sitting" stored without first adding a fuel stabilizer, it will begin to separate and cause problems that include corrosion to steel-based metals within the fuel system, and the degredation of some types of plastics. Aluminum and stainless steel components are not affected, like the low-grade steel found in automotive fuel lines are.

Realize that what is blended into gasoline and when, is done for a reason. Gasoline as refined, is stored as an unblended feedstock stock (look at the description for NYMEX gasoline), before it is sold to the retail stations. Once the fuel is sold and pulled for delivery, ethanol is blended into the gasoline just prior to shipment, to maximize "shelf-life" due to the separation problem. It's not until the fuel is pumped at the retail pump, that brand-specific additives (e.g. Chevron's "Techron") are added to the fuel - again to maximize the shelf-life of both the fuel and additives in your vehicle's tank.

But will it "burn"? Yes. But using "old gas" has long-term effects on the fuel system components - the fuel tank, the fuel pump, the fuel filters, the fuel lines, the fuel injectors, as well as the plastic lines and rubber seals used throughout the system. Using "old gas" can result in chemical deposites in the fuel tank, pump, filter, and lines, as well as the pintel caps that are crucial in controlling the amount of fuel and spray pattern the injectors release into the cylinders. The separating-out of additives can result in the concentration of additives that the plastics and rubber seals are exposed to, chemically damaging the hydrocarbon structure of the plastic/rubber components.

So again, while it may appear to run without problems, burning "old gas" in your car, boat, or even lawn mower will shortern the life of components within the fuel system. This is why EVERY engine manufacturer, whether it be automotive or lawn care maintenance, recommend draining/emptying the fuel system before storage.

[Edited by: Martinman at 6/16/2010 10:09:52 AM EST]
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tomok
Champion Author Portland

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Message Posted: Jun 16, 2010 2:25:26 AM

Use it soon or add a fuel stabilizer. Nothing hard about that!
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Blue48
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Message Posted: Jun 15, 2010 9:49:09 PM

GOOD INFO!
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kelsielee
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Message Posted: Jun 15, 2010 5:08:30 PM

I will start to use a srabilizer for the lawn mower over the winter (which is really only November or December to March). I have never had trouble with the mower, but it doesn't hurt to be careful.
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dlemma
Champion Author Wyoming

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Message Posted: Jun 15, 2010 9:54:47 AM

use up all your gas in the summer and don't have to worry about it
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honda0105
Champion Author Tallahassee

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Message Posted: Jun 15, 2010 5:54:25 AM

the question that was not addressed here is the question on how well does E10 vs. E0 last. What does the EtOH in the E10 do to the shelf life of EtOH?
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honda0105
Champion Author Tallahassee

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Message Posted: Jun 15, 2010 5:52:41 AM

stabilizers work too, if nothing else.
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EcoVore
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Jun 15, 2010 2:26:46 AM

The luxury of storing fuel w/o having to use it immediately, ahhh the life.
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WhiteTreeIndian
Champion Author New Jersey

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Message Posted: Jun 15, 2010 2:05:48 AM

And in both cases the author mentioned they had no trouble using the old gas anyway.
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Ply440GTX
Champion Author Phoenix

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Message Posted: Jun 15, 2010 2:00:00 AM

What's the shelf life of E10 v. E0??? THAT'S what I'd like to know since EtOH is prone to being agroscopic/hygroscopic... This would seem to make E1-10 have a much shorter "shelf life" just sitting around in a container or worse, a fuel tank.
"...the air will slowly suck the life out of..." Thought they were talking about my first marriage!
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