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Old fuel in stored vehicle? #5348121 02/12/20 01:02 PM
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rkpatt Offline OP
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I recently acquired a vehicle that has had the same fuel sitting in it for 10 months at about 1/2 tank. It took it in for a GA emissions test and the tech mentioned a bad smell (stale gas I presume). It passed the emission test (gas cap ok and computer test). He recommended draining the tank and filling it with premium fuel for the next couple tanks. The vehicle runs fine. Do I really need to drain the tank vs just filling it (and maybe use some kind of additive like Techron Concentrate, Royal Purple Max-Clean Fuel System Cleaner and Stabilizer, Startron or something else etc ?

Re: Old fuelin stored vehicle? [Re: rkpatt] #5348135 02/12/20 01:13 PM
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1WildPig Offline
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If it runs fine now, just fill it with premium fuel, add a cleaner (I prefer Marvel Mystery Oil) and drive it out ... that is, if you can use up the whole tank in the next month... if you can't drive it out in the next month, then consider siphoning out most of the fuel that's in it now and then refilling with premium fuel and MMO... and follow on from there...

Re: Old fuelin stored vehicle? [Re: rkpatt] #5348138 02/12/20 01:17 PM
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2010Civic Offline
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If it runs fine don't worry about it. Next time you fill up you'll have fresh gas.


2010 Honda Civic LX
Valvoline SynPower 5w-20 - Napa Gold oil filter
59,992 miles
Re: Old fuelin stored vehicle? [Re: rkpatt] #5348178 02/12/20 01:58 PM
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blufeb95 Online Content
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There's no reason to use premium fuel in a vehicle that doesn't need it. But if you wish I guess you could get a 32 oz bottle of techron, Put half in the current tank and try to run it out, then run the rest in the next tank.

Re: Old fuelin stored vehicle? [Re: rkpatt] #5348238 02/12/20 03:18 PM
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1WildPig Offline
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Not knowing whether the vehicle requires higher octane or not, I recommended premium fuel to bring up the octane level of whatever is in the tank now as it's evidently old and may have degraded... especially if he's going to drive it out... and in the follow up tank due to some premium fuels having higher detergent levels than their regular fuel... again, not knowing what brand of fuel the OP will be using... so no harm, but potential benefit...

Re: Old fuelin stored vehicle? [Re: rkpatt] #5348312 02/12/20 04:22 PM
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eljefino Offline
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I'd drive it as is, gently, to get down to 1/8-1/4 then refill with fresh.

When you mix a gallon of fresh milk with a gallon of sour milk, you get two gallons of sour milk. LOL

When you refill, do a mix of 87 and high-test. The 87 will be fresher due to turnover and the high test will take care of any low-octane stale fuel remaining.

Re: Old fuelin stored vehicle? [Re: rkpatt] #5348333 02/12/20 04:40 PM
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Rmay635703 Offline
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I had a car sit with 3/4 tank sit 3 years

Started right up, topped off with fresh e free and drove, no cel no issues

Modern cars have far fewer issues sitting as the tank and other components are sealed up well.

Last edited by Rmay635703; 02/12/20 04:41 PM.
Re: Old fuelin stored vehicle? [Re: rkpatt] #5348393 02/12/20 05:58 PM
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Mad_Hatter Offline
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I'd throw a bottle of Stabil Red in there now just in case you have any water then run a can of Berryman's on a full tank once it's empty to address any gum that may have formed in the system. Be on the lookout for poor mileages and any misfiring. Of course dumping it all isn't a totally horrible notion but it may not be needed.. thing is you won't know until you drive it some more. I would try and run that fuel asap too..who knows if corrosion has started, whereas fresh fuel will help stop/combat any.

Last edited by Mad_Hatter; 02/12/20 06:00 PM.
Re: Old fuelin stored vehicle? [Re: rkpatt] #5348447 02/12/20 06:39 PM
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atikovi Offline
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Originally Posted by rkpatt
I recently acquired a vehicle that has had the same fuel sitting in it for 10 months at about 1/2 tank.


10 months is nothing. Don't worry about it. Drive it like you filled up last week. I've had cars with up to 8 year old gas run fine.

Re: Old fuelin stored vehicle? [Re: rkpatt] #5348518 02/12/20 08:08 PM
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Chris142 Offline
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Fill it with gas. Run that tank out and go on with life.


02 Wrangler Napa high milage 10w40
87 F250 Valvoline 15w40
07 fjcruiser Car lube plus 10w30
Z400 castrol T 10w40
Can am Maveric edge 5w40
57 case tractor Chevron sae30
Re: Old fuelin stored vehicle? [Re: rkpatt] #5349511 02/14/20 12:35 AM
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y_p_w Offline
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Modern cars with sealed fueled systems don't really have too many problems with stale gas. The biggest problem from fuel storage is water contamination if it's vented, as well as oxidation. That's not much of a problem with modern cars because the tank is pressurized with fuel vapor, which I believe should form a vacuum when it cools.

My wife's car was sitting in our driveway barely driven for about 9 months after the transmission died. I did limp it (it might work for 1/4-1/2 mile at a time before I had to shut it down for a few minutes) to a guy who diagnosed and replaced it. But the engine was fine with the gas.

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