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Thread: Does gas really go bad?

  1. #21
    DonTom
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    Re: Does gas really go bad?

    verything in the literature says gas begns to break down much sooner than that;

    I realize that, at least in theory, (but not in practice as based on my own experience), but what fuel stabilizer does any good after more than a year?

    -Don-

  2. #22
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Does gas really go bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom
    verything in the literature says gas begns to break down much sooner than that;

    I realize that, at least in theory, (but not in practice as based on my own experience), but what fuel stabilizer does any good after more than a year?

    -Don-
    The stabilizer keeps the fuel fresh for up to about a year (12-15 months); it does nothing to "freshen" old gas.

    Gas begins to break down after it's refined; the rate, of course varies - and who knows how "fresh" the fuel you just bought actually is?

    But if you know a vehicle (or can of fuel) is going to be sitting around for a few months unused, pouring the stabilizer in strikes me as cheap insurance.

  3. #23
    mrblanche
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    Re: Does gas really go bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom
    And BTW, do you believe engine oils made for motorcycles are better in motorcycles than normal oils made for cars?

    -Don-[/color]
    I believe (and can prove) that there may be perfectly acceptable automotive oils that will work in motorcycles, but you should read the label if you have a wet clutch in order to avoid oils with "economy-improving friction modifiers."

  4. #24
    DonTom
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    Re: Does gas really go bad?

    "The stabilizer keeps the fuel fresh for up to about a year (12-15 months); it does nothing to "freshen" old gas."

    I realize that and you do not understand my point.

    You put in FRESH gasoline in a motorcycle. You know you will not ride it for a very long time so you add the fuel stabilizer.

    Now, years pass. Say at least three years. Now you try to start the bike. Would you have been better off with or without the fuel stabilizer that was added three years ago?

    Perhaps when the fuel stabilizer gets too old it increases the problems. It just another chemical to break down. Can you say it does not?

    So if I have had no problems with two and three year old gasoline, why add what says right on the bottle is no good after a year, even if added when the gasoline was fresh?

    -Don-


  5. #25
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Does gas really go bad?

    "You put in FRESH gasoline in a motorcycle. You know you will not ride it for a very long time so you add the fuel stabilizer."

    If you're not going to use the vehicle for years, then the best thing to do is drain the gas tank/fuel system completely prior to storage.

  6. #26
    DonTom
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    Re: Does gas really go bad?

    "If you're not going to use the vehicle for years, then the best thing to do is drain the gas tank/fuel system completely prior to storage."

    Which can dry out & ruin seals.

    But still, nobody is answering my question, because I assume nobody knows.

    The question is if one is better off with or without adding the fuel stabilizer (when the gasoline is fresh) if it won't be used for years.

    I would not waste my time using fuel stabilizer to gasoline that I know I would use within a year. I know from experience that year old gasoline causes no problems in lawn mowers, weed eaters, boats, cars and motorcycles. I know this from experience. I don't doubt it's not as "good" as fresh gasoline and it has begun to break down. But if I cannot find the slightest symptom or problem with gasoline more than a year old with no fuel stabilizer, it all falls under "I could not care less" if the gasoline has begun to break down or not.

    -Don-

  7. #27
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Does gas really go bad?

    Argh!

    I have been trying to answer, apparently without much success...

    Fuel stabilizer is useful if the vehicle (or gas container, etc.) is going to be "sitting there" for up to about a year or so. It will maintain volatility and reduce problems associated with oxidation, as explained in the articles I posted. If, on the other hand, anticipated storage is going to be considerably longer, then the tank should be drained. Yes, gaskets may dry out and so on. But that is preferable to the many serious and expensive problems that can result from jelled-up/fouled fuel sitting in a tank (and in fuel lines/filters/carbs/injectors) for several years.

    Read up on long term storage; what the experts say. It's not just my opinion....




  8. #28
    DonTom
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    Re: Does gas really go bad?

    "Fuel stabilizer is useful if the vehicle (or gas container, etc.) is going to be "sitting there" for up to about a year or so."

    And that proves to me that fuel stabilizer is totally useless as I have never had even the slightest problem with gasoline that sit there "for a year or so" and I have done such countless times.

    So I have to assume that "fuel stabilizer" is just another one of the countless products made for cars that do nothing at all.

    -Skeptic Don



  9. #29
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Does gas really go bad?

    "And that proves to me that fuel stabilizer is totally useless as I have never had even the slightest problem with gasoline that sit there "for a year or so" and I have done such countless times."

    It proves you've been lucky... .

    The facts are that gas does deteriorate over time; it loses volatility and it suffers chemical changes in composition that lead to varnish/gum, etc. These can and do cause fuel system problems. The process may begin in a matter of weeks, or it may be months. But there's no dispute that it does happen - and the "better safe than sorry" recommendation is to use fuel stabilzer for just that reason.

    Why would you choose to ignore an almost universal recommendation? Do you also feel it's wise to use cheap oil without the recommended API service labels? Is that, too, just a "scam"?




  10. #30
    DonTom
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    Re: Does gas really go bad?

    "Do you also feel it's wise to use cheap oil without the recommended API service labels? Is that, too, just a "scam"?

    But who's testing fuel stabilizers? The same place that tests Slick 50, the Tornado and the "total engine rebuild" pellets in a can?

    I do believe the independent studies done on motor oils.

    There are some interesting laws that apply to engine oils. For an example, for a vehicle manufacturer to say a certain motor oil BRAND must be used, then by law, they must supply the oil for free during their warranty period. That's why owner's manuals do not try to claim that only their own brand of engine oil should be used.

    -Don-



  11. #31
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Does gas really go bad?

    "But who's testing fuel stabilizers? The same place that tests Slick 50, the Tornado and the "total engine rebuild" pellets in a can? "


    Not one automaker (or engine manufacturer I'm aware of) recommends Slick 50 or any of those devices you mention. However, most of them do, explicitly, recommend fuel stabilizer.

    What does that tell you?

    Do you suppose they (the automakers and engine manufacturers) have fallen for the "PR" of the fuel stabilizer companies? Or is it more likely the stuff does provide a benefit - and works as advertised?


  12. #32
    DonTom
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    Re: Does gas really go bad?


    Yes, perhaps I have been lucky to not use fuel stabilizer. But will I be as lucky if I did?

    "Do you suppose they (the automakers and engine manufacturers) have fallen for the "PR" of the fuel stabilizer companies?"

    If they have not done their own testing, I would say yes, they have been fooled too. Who has tested and compared the fuel stabilizers to none, other than the companies who make them?

    This world runs on BS and :


    "A lie told often enough becomes the truth."
    - Vladimir Lenin


    -Skeptic Don Quoteman

  13. #33
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Does gas really go bad?

    If they have not done their own testing, I would say yes, they have been fooled too."

    Do you really suppose they have not done such testing? And that they would strongly recommend its use otherwise?


  14. #34
    mrblanche
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    Re: Does gas really go bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    If they have not done their own testing, I would say yes, they have been fooled too."

    Do you really suppose they have not done such testing? And that they would strongly recommend its use otherwise?

    Engine manufacturers continually test various oils, additives, gasolines, fuels, fuel additives, etc. They don't usually tell you what they discover, but if you know an insider, you can get some very interesting information.

    If they recommend something, it will be like the recommendation to take one baby aspirin per day. That study was so conclusive very early on that the study was halted and a recommendation put out. If a manufacturer makes a recommendation, it's something they have discovered to be overwhelmingly convincing and liability proof.

  15. #35
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Does gas really go bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by mrblanche
    Quote Originally Posted by Eric
    If they have not done their own testing, I would say yes, they have been fooled too."

    Do you really suppose they have not done such testing? And that they would strongly recommend its use otherwise?

    Engine manufacturers continually test various oils, additives, gasolines, fuels, fuel additives, etc. They don't usually tell you what they discover, but if you know an insider, you can get some very interesting information.

    If they recommend something, it will be like the recommendation to take one baby aspirin per day. That study was so conclusive very early on that the study was halted and a recommendation put out. If a manufacturer makes a recommendation, it's something they have discovered to be overwhelmingly convincing and liability proof.
    Tell it to Don!

  16. #36
    DonTom
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    Re: Does gas really go bad?

    "If they recommend something",

    But have you seen any automotive manufacturer recommend fuel stabilizer under any conditions?

    -Don-


  17. #37
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Does gas really go bad?

    Quote Originally Posted by DonTom
    "If they recommend something",

    But have you seen any automotive manufacturer recommend fuel stabilizer under any conditions?

    -Don-

    "any conditions" is generic and thus pretty meaningless.

    Automakers (and engine MFGRs) do, on the other hand, routinely recommend fuel stablizer under some specific conditions - for example, if the vehicle (or fuel) is going to be stored/left unused over the winter months.

    The nut of it is:

    If your car, lawn mower (or can of fuel) is going to sit for a few months, use the stabilizer per recommendations to avoid problems related to loss of volatility/oxidation and so on. Ignoring the recommendation because you think, based on anecdotal experience, the automakers and engine MFGRs are "selling a bill of goods," etc. in order to save the $5 or so it costs for the fuel stabilizer strikes me as being unwise - and no different than ignoring an automaker or engine MFGRs' recommendations re octane ratings for fuel, or service ratings for oil, etc.

    And if your car, lawn mower (or other power equipment) is not going to be used for longer than a year, then you should prepare the vehicle for long term storage - by (among other things) draining the fuel tank/lines and carbs, etc.



  18. #38
    DonTom
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    Re: Does gas really go bad?

    "Automakers (and engine MFGRs) do, on the other hand, routinely recommend fuel stabilizer under some specific conditions"

    Can you name a car where it says so in the owner's manual?

    BTW, I have several unopened bottles of Sta-Bil here in Reno. I almost used them in my RV. But when I read about "up to a year", I said to myself "why bother?"

    BTW, there are some that even say they can be added to old gasoline. Check this out:


    http://www.survivalunlimited.com/fuelstorage/faq.htm

    Q: I have fuel that has been sitting in storage for several years. Will PRI-G help make this fuel better?

    A: Yes. When thoroughly blended with fuel, PRI-G will restore even the most degraded fuels to a refinery-fresh, usable condition - provided the stored fuel does not contain metals or foreign chemistries not compatible with refined fuel. Although the fuel will be restored to usable specification, PRI-G does not restore the fuel to original color.


    -Don- (in hot Cold Springs Valley, NV )

  19. #39
    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: Does gas really go bad?

    "Can you name a car where it says so in the owner's manual?"

    At the moment, I don't have access to multiple car owner's manuals so I can't quote chapter and verse. But here's what the owner's manual for my generator says:

    "Engines stored over 30 days need to be protected or drained of fuel to prevent gum from forming in the fuel system or in essential carburetor parts... we recommend use of fuel stabilizer..." etc.

    Such recommendations are more "up front" when you're dealing with a piece of equipment that, by nature, is not used regularly (or often stored for months at a time). But the same principle is equally applicable to car engines put into storage - unless you believe there's some inherent difference that makes a car engine invulnerable to fuel system problems caused by degraded gas that afflict other four-stroke (or two-stroke) gas-burning engines.




  20. #40
    DonTom
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    Re: Does gas really go bad?

    "But here's what the owner's manual for my generator says: "

    I known generators say that and some even give you a sample of Sta-Bil with the purchase of the generator. But I want to know what automobile owner's manuals say. I believe they are much more careful and would not recommend a product on hearsay.

    BTW, you did not mention if you believe the claim from Pri-G that their fuel stabilizer can put old gasoline right back to refinery specs. Seems their fuel stabilizer is MUCH better than Sta-Bil, so why would anybody buy Sta-Bil?

    -Don-


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