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Fuel Stabilizer Doesn't Work
Old 12-09-2009, 03:25 PM   #1
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Fuel Stabilizer Doesn't Work

Fuel stabilizer does not work in open gas tanks.
Like on my snow blower that I had trouble starting today.

Called the dealer to try and figure out why I couldn't get it started and they told me it was bad gas in the carb bowl. Luckily, I was able to flush it out (already filled the tank with fresh gas) by repeated attemped starts.
This makes sense because the Sta-Bil expire in time after you open it.

I was using this stuff so I wouldn't have to drain the lawn mowers etc for the winter. Need to drain and run out of gas to close for the season.

I can't believe that I have gone this far in life with out knowing this!


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Old 12-09-2009, 04:09 PM   #2
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FTC, I don't know what you mean by an "open" gas tank.

I have used Sta-Bil in all sorts of applications, I've never had a problem. Not just using it in a specific application for a few months time, but some long periods of time too (like 6 yr. old gas).

Whenever using Sta-Bil, it is important to mix it with good gas, then run the engine long enough to be sure to get stabilized gas through the carburetor. If it is a dip-tube carb, that's just a brief run time. But a carb with a bowl, you need to run it long enough to totally displace the original non-treated gas in the bowl. And that is displacing by dilution, not by direct displacement, since new gas coming in through the seat just enters the bowl, mixing with gas that was there. And the jet(s) are picking up from the mixture in the bowl.
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Old 12-09-2009, 06:06 PM   #3
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It could be the new higher alcohol content in the gasoline (E85). The alcohol absorbs water, so Stabil isn't enough anymore.

Ethanol may pose storage problems A Global Goring
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Old 12-09-2009, 06:13 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Telly View Post
....I have used Sta-Bil in all sorts of applications, I've never had a problem. Not just using it in a specific application for a few months time, but some long periods of time too (like 6 yr. old gas).

Whenever using Sta-Bil, it is important to mix it with good gas, then run the engine long enough to be sure to get stabilized gas through the carburetor......
+1

I've used it for years with no problems at all. I've always run the engine for a few minutes to get the "Sta-Bil"ized gas through the carb, then shut it off and put the motorized 'whatever' away. In fact, I never know for sure how much gasoline I'm going to use in a normal season, so I 'dose' the fuel cans as soon as I get them home from the gas station. My snow-thrower with 2 year old "Sta-Bil"ized gas in the tank, fired right up this year! I normally keep about 30 gallons of treated gasoline on hand all year for lawn and garden equipment, and for the snow-thrower and generator.

(I've never used it in my car, 'cause I normally have to fuel up at least once a week, so the gas never has much of a chance to go bad.)
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Old 12-10-2009, 08:34 AM   #5
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My experience with Sta-Bil parallels Goonie's in the small engines. It also almost completely cleared up a surging/hesitation problem with the motorcycle. The mechanic at the bike shop said they've had a lot of problems with the alcohol fuel absorbing water and dissolving carburetor seals. Although my bike is fuel-injected the chip controlling it has a problem with the alcohol while the engine is warming up.

The mechanic gave me a bottle of some new stuff - Star Tron enzyme fuel treatment - and asked me to let him know if that cleared up the problem. He said my bike is the only fuel-injected one that has shown the problem.

I also bought a gasohol tester to measure the amount of alcohol in the fuel from Aircraft Spruce & Specialty: GASOHOL TESTER from Aircraft Spruce. Theirs is $6, and I've seen them elsewhere for more than twice that.
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Old 12-10-2009, 09:01 AM   #6
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We have used Sta-Bil for years in the snowblower, lawnmower, rv and rv generator and motorcycles. It has always worked great. As others have mentioned, we run the engines for a while after adding it. We also make sure the gas tank is full at the end of the season.
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Old 12-10-2009, 09:05 AM   #7
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There is a special blend of STA-BIL for higher ethenol blend gas. I got it at Wal-Mart in the boating section. I read that the ethenol erodes some gas lines on some boats, so figured I'd use it for all my gas engines.
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Old 12-10-2009, 09:42 AM   #8
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I've never used any additives, and never had a problem.

But I try to remember to start up the garden tractor once a month in the off-season (probably more like 6 weeks before I think about it), and let it run a while and warm up. That also keeps the battery charged.

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Old 12-10-2009, 10:32 AM   #9
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This article talks about how gas oxidizes and loses volatility over time. Does Gas Go Bad?

Gas stabilizer isn't perfect but I understand that it will substantially slow down the oxidation.
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Old 12-10-2009, 10:57 AM   #10
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All of the good comments on sta-bil...ditto.

In many cases where there was gummed gas in neighbor's mower' carb bowl, my cheap trick was squirt a bunch of carb cleaner into the gas tank, start it up with starting fluid, then keep squirting carb cleaner into the gas tank. Have gotten many a dead mower going and staying that way using this trick. They bought the carb cleaner.

I hate to take apart someone else's carb. I really do not want to "own" the problem. It was either my cheap trick or they take it to the shop.
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Old 12-11-2009, 01:02 PM   #11
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Perhaps the dealer and I are mistaken about the reasons for the snow blower being hard to start. Lots of good info in this thread.

Thanks,

Mark
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