Fuel Management

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Aug 30, 2004
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For those of us with extra vehicles, the current "situation" has resulted in fewer miles being driven and it is taking longer for the gasoline to be used up.

Most of us live in areas where gas is E10 (and possibly E15). Ethanol blended fuels have a limited storage life.

What are some best practices that should be followed to prevent long-term fuel system issues? I am considering the following options:

- Only keep enough fuel in the tank to be used in a 30 day period.
- Adding fuel stabilizer to the tank with each fill-up.

Thoughts?
 
Last edited:
Joined
Dec 23, 2006
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Canuck - moved to —> California —> Texas —> ???
Personally I would not worry about it as fuel injection is not really affected by stale gas unlike carburetors. The gas really has to be nasty to cause problems. So you're looking at 6 month to a year without any stabilizers.
If you can top up once a moth or so, there is really nothing to worry about. No need for special treatment or stabilizers IMO.
 

JHZR2

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Personally I would not worry about it as fuel injection is not really affected by stale gas unlike carburetors. The gas really has to be nasty to cause problems. So you're looking at 6 month to a year without any stabilizers.
If you can top up once a moth or so, there is really nothing to worry about. No need for special treatment or stabilizers IMO.

My thought process has moved in that direction. Unlike say, a boat or OPE, the tank on a vehicle is pretty well sealed and controlled.

I have in the past used 2 cycle oil and/or stabilizer on my seldom used vehicles. Some vehicles I drive dont get more than a tank every 6 months, and in recent years, less than that. No worse for wear, and no issues.

I think that stabilizer is a good feel good option. If one is so inclined, for DI engines, Id run some stabil, for non-DI, Id run TCW-3. Reason for that is that Ive seen higher levels of deposits on the tailpipe when running TCW-3 in DI applications. Years ago MMO was all the rage, and might be useful too in some applications, again, if one is so inclined. But Im less and less convinced that it is necessary to manage the quality of the fuel itself. Other advantages may be gained from the MMO or TCW-3 treatment in non-DI engines though...
 
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For those of us with extra vehicles, the current "situation" has resulted in fewer miles being driven and it is taking longer for the gasoline to be used up.

Most of us live in areas where gas is E10 (and possibly E15). Ethanol blended fuels have a limited storage life.

What are some best practices that should be followed to prevent long-term fuel system issues? I am considering the following options:

- Only keep enough fuel in the tank to be used in a 30 day period.
- Adding fuel stabilizer to the tank with each fill-up.

Thoughts?
How long are you thinking about?
 
Joined
Sep 16, 2004
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Santa Barbara, CA
Stabil.
/thread

Seriously, we're talking vehicles and not OPE. If you think it will sit for long enough, add stabilizer to a full tank and you should be fine for many, many months.
 
Joined
Dec 23, 2006
Messages
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Canuck - moved to —> California —> Texas —> ???
My thought process has moved in that direction. Unlike say, a boat or OPE, the tank on a vehicle is pretty well sealed and controlled.

I have in the past used 2 cycle oil and/or stabilizer on my seldom used vehicles. Some vehicles I drive dont get more than a tank every 6 months, and in recent years, less than that. No worse for wear, and no issues.

I think that stabilizer is a good feel good option. If one is so inclined, for DI engines, Id run some stabil, for non-DI, Id run TCW-3. Reason for that is that Ive seen higher levels of deposits on the tailpipe when running TCW-3 in DI applications. Years ago MMO was all the rage, and might be useful too in some applications, again, if one is so inclined. But Im less and less convinced that it is necessary to manage the quality of the fuel itself. Other advantages may be gained from the MMO or TCW-3 treatment in non-DI engines though...
Yeah, I also came to a realization that fuel stabilizer is not as effective as it is made out to be. My current OPE 2 stroke mix is almost two years old without any stabilizer and it works just fine. I do shake the can once in a while though.
 
Joined
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I am rotating vehicles. Keeping less in those and fueling more often. I do keep one car filled all the time as I am on call and may make multiple trips at night or wee hours. I avoid stopping for fuel at night/ odd hours for safety reasons.
 
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Pacific Northwest
This. We mostly drive the wife's car these days, but I cycle through the rest of them for errands. I've been making a point to wait until they are close to empty to gas up to use up the old stuff in the tank.
 
Joined
Nov 9, 2008
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18,647
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NH
That's my thought, they are really well sealed, not getting a lot of moisture in there.

I would think filling up at say quarter tank and then only filling to say half would cause more problems--more opportunity to get air in there. Maybe that's over-thinking it (as air has to go in somehow as the tank is emptied out).

Anyhow. Mine seem to be getting enough miles to get filled up every other month at least. No worries. Although one apparently cannot go 2 weeks sitting, either it has a bad battery or something is loading it down. For now I just come up with about any excuse to run to Home Depot, just to get out, and that's a nice 40 to 50 mile round trip, so that helps.
 
Joined
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My truck, when my father still owned it, went over a year on a single tank of fuel. He never drove it. Only once a year to get it inspected. He'd run it to the dealer in April to get it inspected, then drive it back home and at least once, it sat a literal year before he did it again the next year. Sat with a solar battery maintainer. Started right up!

It's infrequently used. Just like fiance's leaseon. I use ethanol free gas in both of them just because they sit to often and I'd like them to continue running well. The Subaru gets daily driven so that doesn't need ethanol free fuel. Jeep ... I only put 100 miles on it this last year but a few tanks of gas. It doesn't need to run top shape any more.
 
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Northern Ontario, Canada
We have used vehicles on the lot that may sit for 180 days. And are not driven much, say less than 50 miles.
I have yet to see a fuel related problem with these, some dead batteries for sure, but no fuel issues
And they do get 10% ethanol fuel.
 
Joined
Aug 21, 2013
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Central Maryland
I am rotating vehicles. Keeping less in those and fueling more often. I do keep one car filled all the time as I am on call and may make multiple trips at night or wee hours. I avoid stopping for fuel at night/ odd hours for safety reasons.
This. I rotate vehicles and make sure they all get out at least once every 2 weeks. If I don't have a full vehicle, I have enough gas around to top one off. Or use for my generator, etc. That spare gas gets Stabil.

During damp weather I put in a dry gas, as condensation in E10 is more of a hazard than stale gas.

During the tightest part of the lockdown, I got the Governor's orders, printed out a copy, read it carefully, and proceeded to drive to a local rail trail and go bicycling. I had no trouble. You can drive across the state for "essential reasons" during the tightest lockdowns if you want to. "My child has special dietary needs, I'm going to X to get Y." Boom, done.
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2015
Messages
6,910
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New England
For those of us with extra vehicles, the current "situation" has resulted in fewer miles being driven and it is taking longer for the gasoline to be used up.

Most of us live in areas where gas is E10 (and possibly E15). Ethanol blended fuels have a limited storage life.

What are some best practices that should be followed to prevent long-term fuel system issues? I am considering the following options:

- Only keep enough fuel in the tank to be used in a 30 day period.
- Adding fuel stabilizer to the tank with each fill-up.

Thoughts?
 
Joined
Jul 11, 2015
Messages
6,910
Location
New England
my parents have a low two vehicles (2000 Forester 200k , 2001 V8 Tundra 130k) in the last years driven about 1-3K/year . They do NOTHING to fuel and they keep working fine.

The tundra sits in barn from first snowfall thru spring late April.

Their main ride is a 2015 Outback.
 
Joined
Apr 27, 2010
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8,298
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Suburban Washington DC
We have used vehicles on the lot that may sit for 180 days. And are not driven much, say less than 50 miles.
I have yet to see a fuel related problem with these, some dead batteries for sure, but no fuel issues
And they do get 10% ethanol fuel.
180 days? That's nothing. Have had some in storage 4, 6, even 8 years and at the end of storage they get back on the road like I put them away last month. Runs fine on the old gas. I do start them up every few months to keep injectors and the fuel pump from seizing.
 
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