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How long before gas goes bad?

Discussion in 'Mechanical & Technical' started by SatansPetFerret, Dec 17, 2008.

  1. Just put Stabil in all the bikes and the car, but I was curious how long it takes before gas goes bad?

    The track bike (carb'd) is having issues starting up, but both FI bikes are fine. Wondering if it could be old gas already (last trackday in September and started a few times since) or if I should be doing anything else to ensure it winterizes well.
  2. Have you thought about putting fuel stabilizer in it to help?

  3. MichelinMan

    MichelinMan Moderator Staff Member

    I believe Stabil keep gas "good" for one year?
  4. R-Steve-R

    R-Steve-R suzukigixxer

    brian the gixxer has a hard time starting when its cold but the ape and bandit fire right up takes quite a bit for fuel to go bad condensation in the tank is the more probable culprit keep your tanks full and add stabil you chould be fine i start my bikes at least once a week in the winter and even run up and down the driveway good luck buddy

  5. Yeah....Something like that. I mean i would HOPE that you wouldn't have to keep that one tank of gas for a year!!! LOL
  6. Never a bad idea to run a good fuel conditioner through ANY fuel system before storage, I personally perfer Marvel's Mystery oil, it's about as good as you can buy on the shelf... Unless you have a parts house (this is very rare) that sells 'Synergyn Lubricants' and that shit is the shit!
  7. Gas only goes bad when allowed to vent.
  8. i have read and been told that the chemicals now used in fuel allows for only a shelf life of 45-50 days before its starts to breakdown. Stabil helps to some extent, and the gas will still be suficient to run the bike past that amount of days, however, it wont run exactly right, and you will think something is wrong till you get it all out and get new stuff in there.
  9. Yup - but it's like asking "how long does it take for steel to rust". There is no pat answer. If you kept a sealed container of un-treated fuel in a climate-controlled environment, it will last lots longer than if you leave it in your float-bowls exposed to atmosphere across such a wide surface-area relative to the volume. Even a sealed container isn't forver though - just like tires lose air, all containers allow some molecules to pass through, and there is a time limit no matter what.

    ...unless maybe you could devise a "nitrogen blanket" sort of container?
  10. pjd

    pjd Moderator Staff Member

    This is what you're doing on your telecommute/snow day? Sheesh. :roll:
  11. MichelinMan

    MichelinMan Moderator Staff Member

    Whatcha talkin' about Willis? I'm at work... :nana
  12. That's what Stabil is.

    This is what I've heard too, which is why I asked.

    I needed a break from reviewing censored: telecom invoices. I am documenting all phone lines in NA. Trade ya :thefinge:

    At least sk8rgrl is going to make a boatload of cookies when she gets off her conference call. Mmmm cookies.
  13. apparently I missed that part :) Whoops!
  14. tophyr

    tophyr Forum Cripple


    what's goin down for new years this time around
  15. You can to my new years party in 05/06 didn't you???
  16. tophyr

    tophyr Forum Cripple

    i see i made a huge impression
  17. Weren't there like 35+ people...Trashed might I ad. I do remember :) just took me half a second!! Hot tubbing and drinking and more drinking and drinkin!
  18. Inspector

    Inspector NightRider

    Does gasoline really go "bad" if you leave it unused for a period of time? Some people are convinced this is just another urban legend, and that people who worry about "old gas" and spend money on fuel stabilizer are wasting psychic energy as well as cash.

    But in fact, gasoline can degrade over time. That can lead to a number of problems, ranging from hard starting, to rough running, to no starting at all.

    Here's Why
    Unlike crude oil, gasoline is a highly refined product brewed to a certain chemical composition with very specific characteristics. One characteristic of gas is volatility, a term used to describe how easily and under what conditions the gas vaporizes so it can be efficiently burned in your car's engine.

    " The most
    highly volatile components in gasoline also tend to evaporate over time. "
    The most highly volatile components in gasoline also tend to evaporate over time. As they do, the remaining fuel's volatility and ability to combust properly degrades. The less volatile the fuel, the less effectively it burns in your engine. The result is diminished engine performance. Your engine may still start and run, but it probably won't run as well.

    The good news is, once the old gas has been consumed and the tank is topped off with fresh fuel, the problem should cure itself. Evaporation of volatile compounds can be limited by making sure the gas cap is secured tightly. For the same reason, be sure all portable gas containers are sealed tightly as well.

    A More Serious Problem: Oxidation
    Hydrocarbons in the gas react with oxygen to produce new compounds that eventually change the chemical composition of the fuel. This leads to gum and varnish deposits in the fuel system.

    These deposits and impurities can clog up gas lines and filters, as well the small orifices in a carburetor and the even smaller orifices in a fuel injector. Removing these deposits can be expensive and your vehicle may not run at all or run very poorly until they are removed.

    Water Contamination
    Condensation can form inside your gas tank and lines from heat cycling. Fuels such as E85, which have a high concentration of ethanol alcohol, may be even more susceptible to water contamination, as ethanol likes to draw moisture out of the surrounding air.

    Water contamination can be a problem at gas stations with light traffic due to a slightly different kind of heat cycling. The underground storage tanks experience increases and decreases in temperature. This can cause moisture to form and contaminate the fuel. When you fill up at such a station, you're pumping in the water along with the gas. Such low-traffic stations may also have other contaminants in their underground storage tanks, such as rust. They are best avoided when possible.

    Water, of course, does not work too well as a fuel in an internal combustion engine. It will cause hard starting and rough running until it's purged from the system. It can also contribute to internal rusting of the gas lines and tank. The resultant scale and small particles can create a true nightmare, sometimes requiring the replacement of the gas lines and tank at considerable expense.

    " Oxidized fuel often turns darker over time and may even smell sour. "
    You can reduce the chances of water contamination by keeping your car's gas tank as close to full as possible, especially if the vehicle is going to be left idle for an extended period.

    How Do You Identify Bad Gas?
    One way is to eyeball it. Oxidized fuel often turns darker over time and may even smell sour. You can check stored gasoline by pouring some into a clear glass container and comparing it side-by-side with known fresh gasoline. If your old sample looks noticeably darker than the fresh gas, you have strong evidence the gas has gone bad.

    How Long Does it Take for Gas to Go Bad?
    That depends on a number of factors. For one, it's hard to know how old the gas you just bought actually is. It may be fresh from the refinery, or it may be a month old already by the time you top off your tank. Some gasoline is mixed with better or more oxidation inhibitors than others.

    It's a good rule of thumb to avoid leaving gas in your tank or a storage container for more than a coupe of months, if you can avoid it.

    And if You Can't?
    If you know gas will sit in your tank or a storage container for a couple months, then it's a wise move to buy some fuel system stabilizer and mix it in with the gasoline. Do it before you put the vehicle into long-term storage or before leaving your lawn equipment fuel containers sitting for the winter. The stabilizer helps prevent oxidation, the biggie that can turn gas into garbage that gunks up your system and leads to expensive repair work.

    Using fuel system stabilizer for extended storage is preferable to draining the tank and leaving the system dry. This can cause rubber hoses, gaskets and seals to dry-rot and crack, possibly leading to leaks and even a fire. In addition, a dry system can expose the insides of metal fuel lines and your gas tank to air and moisture, which can lead to or accelerate the formation of rust.

    Fuel system stabilizer is not a cure-all and it doesn't last forever. It must be mixed with fresh gas before the vehicle is stored, not added to already old gas. It can slow down the oxidation process and keep gas fresh for as long as 12 to15 months. If you're going to leave the vehicle parked for longer than that, you may want to drain the tank and refill with fresh fuel before returning the vehicle to service.
  19. :shock::shock::shock:
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