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How to Keep Good Gas from Going Bad this Winter

transportation, tanking, people and vehicle concept - close up of man with fuel hose nozzle tanking car

Like a wine without a cork, gas can go bad when it sits around mingling with air. Fuel actually starts to turn nasty after 30 days. Since your car’s fuel system is not an airtight container, precautions have to be taken for long-term storage. The easy solution is an additive called a fuel stabilizer.

 

What is this magic tonic stabilizing? It’s trying to prevent oxidation. Gasoline can form gummy deposits and layers of varnish that gunk up any part of the fuel system they can reach. Most gas contains some amount of ethanol, and that spells more trouble; ethanol is hygroscopic, meaning it attracts water from the atmosphere. Water and ethanol are corrosive, which is bad news for older tanks, fuel lines, and carburetors. Ethanol can also do nasty things to rubber seals.

 

A good stabilizer should prevent this badness for up to a year, and they’re beyond simple to use. The hardest part is remembering to do it.

  1. Pour

Per product instructions, pour in the right amount of stabilizer to treat a full tank of fuel. It’s best if the tank is relatively empty, and that the gas inside hasn’t already gone bad, which can happen in as few as 30 days.

  1. Fill

Top the tank off with fuel. This mixes the stabilizer up with nice fresh gas, reduces the amount of the tank that’s exposed, and dilutes whatever bad gas might be still in the tank. Less air space for water to get in, less oxidation and corrosion.

  1. Run

You’re not done yet. Run the engine for the amount of time recommended on the bottle—usually five to 10 minutes. This ensures that the additive has reached all parts of the engine and fuel system, not just the gas tank.

 

Source: RoadAndTrack.com

 

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