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Fuel Stabilizer Experiment #5381670 03/20/20 09:01 PM
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Avery4 Offline OP
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Hello everyone, I have started an experiment to see if fuel stabilizers actually work. I have wondered this for years and from what I could find no one seems to have actually done a study on this, so I am comparing pure gasoline to red Sta-Bil treated fuel and Star-Tron treated fuel. I have added both produces at the recommended dose to stabilize fuel for 2 years. Star-Tron claims that one ounce of their product in 6 gallons of gasoline will keep fuel fresh for 2 years and Sta-Bil claims that 2 ounces of their red stabilizer in 2.5 gallons of fuel will keep fuel fresh for up to 2 years as well, so those are the doses I used to keep things fair.

For this experiment, I have used Shell 93 octane fuel purchased from the same pump at the same station on the same day. Also, I filled my gas cans after filling my car in case any fuel of another grade was present in the pump or hose in order to ensure a fair test. I chose Shell 93 octane fuel because it is what I use in my car and small engines and because it is generally believed by me as well as many others to be the best gasoline that can be purchased at the pump.

I am going to be providing monthly updates on the color and smell of each of these fuels as well as if there is any visible differences, such as if one of the fuels is starting to gum up or something. I am also going to be trying each of these fuels in a small engine in a year to see if to see if these fuels are still usable. I am using clean 2 liter soda bottles for this test because they have tightly sealing caps and because they can handle a lot of pressure. As you can see in the picture, each bottle has the same amount of fuel in it.

Here is where I need your help making a decision. Where should I store these bottles? I could either store these bottles in my garage where the temp is less extreme and more stable or I could store these bottles outside where temperatures are more extreme and less stable to speed up degradation. Also, if I store these bottles outside, should I store them in a plastic bin to shield them from sunlight? I'm thinking since exposure to sunlight isn't realistic in most situations I will keep the bottles outside in a black plastic bin where they are exposed to temperature variations but not sunlight, but on the other hand I want to see results already! Does sunlight even degrade gasoline? What would you suggest?

bottles of fuel.jpeg
Re: Fuel Stabilizer Experiment [Re: Avery4] #5381677 03/20/20 09:06 PM
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Imp4 Online Content
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Originally Posted by Avery4
Hello everyone, I have started an experiment to see if fuel stabilizers actually work.

Why would you do this?
We already know they work.

Cheers!!!
cheers


2001 Mitsubishi Galant 2.4 - 165k+
Grandma's creampuff...
Re: Fuel Stabilizer Experiment [Re: Imp4] #5381682 03/20/20 09:13 PM
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Avery4 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Imp4
Originally Posted by Avery4
Hello everyone, I have started an experiment to see if fuel stabilizers actually work.

Why would you do this?
We already know they work.

Cheers!!!
cheers

How do we know? No one has done a side by side comparison like this that I could find, people only say "I use X product and my equipment always runs well" etc, and others use the same product and have problems. How do we know that they wouldn't have the same experience if they used no additives? I personally use Sta-Bil before storing my equipment and don't have carburetor problems, but how do I know that I would have problems if I didn't since I have never stored equipment without stabilizer in the fuel? There are a lot of unanswered questions in my opinion.

Last edited by Avery4; 03/20/20 09:14 PM.
Re: Fuel Stabilizer Experiment [Re: Avery4] #5381709 03/20/20 10:44 PM
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rubberchicken Offline
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I would get 3 more bottles, store 3 inside the garage, 3 outside. I like your testing methodology as you seem to have thought this through. Certainly avoid sunlight exposure, since in the real world they would not be exposed to direct sunlight.

Re: Fuel Stabilizer Experiment [Re: Avery4] #5381717 03/20/20 11:19 PM
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The_Nuke Offline
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I think your experiment would be better served if you were using 87 octane from a local Top-Tier (and always busy) gas station.

Around here, Shell gasoline is the most expensive brand you can buy, and their 93 octane is borderline outrageous in terms of its price per gallon. Given those two strikes against it, I would not be surprised if I get stale gasoline any time I purchase Shell 93, as so few people buy it, it likely sits in the storage tanks for several months before needing a refill.

Some place that is always busy, like a QuikTrip or Valero, may be selling so much regular grade gasoline that they have fuel trucks refilling their 87 octane every other day. Not much chance of getting stale gas in that scenario.


2012 Charger Pursuit aka "The Bacon Hauler"
- 5.7L + NAG1 (A5) + 3.07 (215mm)
Re: Fuel Stabilizer Experiment [Re: Imp4] #5381721 03/20/20 11:24 PM
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caprice_2nv Offline
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Originally Posted by Imp4
Originally Posted by Avery4
Hello everyone, I have started an experiment to see if fuel stabilizers actually work.

Why would you do this?
We already know they work.

Cheers!!!
cheers

Project farm did an experiment like this and they didn't do much at all. E0 stayed good without stabilizer and e10 even with stabilizer went bad.


84 Olds Cutlass - 350 Olds
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05 Silverado 1500 4wd - 4.8/4L60E
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Re: Fuel Stabilizer Experiment [Re: caprice_2nv] #5381724 03/20/20 11:35 PM
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Avery4 Offline OP
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Originally Posted by caprice_2nv
Originally Posted by Imp4
Originally Posted by Avery4
Hello everyone, I have started an experiment to see if fuel stabilizers actually work.

Why would you do this?
We already know they work.

Cheers!!!
cheers

Project farm did an experiment like this and they didn't do much at all. E0 stayed good without stabilizer and e10 even with stabilizer went bad.

That’s true, I saw that video. However, he tested Lucas fuel stabilizer, and in my opinion if it’s anything like the rest of the products Lucas makes it’s probably overpriced crap. Also, he did his experiment in unsealed containers (jars with loose lids), so a lot of the gasoline evaporated. I understand why he left the lids on the jars loose, but in my opinion testing the products in hermetically sealed containers would be better so the gasoline can’t evaporate. No additive is going to stop the fuel from evaporating in an unsealed container and gasoline simply won’t burn right once the volatile components evaporate off.

Re: Fuel Stabilizer Experiment [Re: Avery4] #5381837 03/21/20 07:37 AM
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atikovi Online Content
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I predict the gas will melt through those plastic bottles in a few months.

Re: Fuel Stabilizer Experiment [Re: atikovi] #5381889 03/21/20 08:27 AM
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wings&wheels Offline
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Originally Posted by atikovi
I predict the gas will melt through those plastic bottles in a few months.


this...I like and appreciate you experiment, but I would switch to glass or known fuel resistant containers. Thanks!


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Re: Fuel Stabilizer Experiment [Re: Avery4] #5381890 03/21/20 08:27 AM
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eljefino Offline
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I think you should fill your containers to near-the-brim. Oxygen, well, oxidizes fuel.

Windshield wash containers are made from the same plastic as gas cans (PETE?) as they have to hold VOCs.

If you tested a gallon, you could then do an experiment where you put it in your car with 1/2 tank of normal gas and see if you notice any knock retard or other driveability issues.

I like this experiment, as well as the oil undercoating ones. Good luck!

Re: Fuel Stabilizer Experiment [Re: caprice_2nv] #5381893 03/21/20 08:30 AM
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JHZR2 Offline
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Originally Posted by caprice_2nv
Originally Posted by Imp4
Originally Posted by Avery4
Hello everyone, I have started an experiment to see if fuel stabilizers actually work.

Why would you do this?
We already know they work.

Cheers!!!
cheers

Project farm did an experiment like this and they didn't do much at all. E0 stayed good without stabilizer and e10 even with stabilizer went bad.


Which itself is curious because some of us run e10 in low use machines and it lasts for years.

I had gas sitting in my Honda mini tiller from at least 3-4 years ago. It was dark colored. Diluted by about 25%, primed, and it started just fine and ran for what we needed.

My stihl stick edger sits forever too.

I’m not sure color is a good indicator, frankly I’m not sure how such a small amount will result in an objective result. But it will be interesting to watch all the same!

At minimum keep those bottles on a foil containment tray in case they fail.

Re: Fuel Stabilizer Experiment [Re: eljefino] #5381894 03/21/20 08:36 AM
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spasm3 Offline
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Originally Posted by eljefino
I think you should fill your containers to near-the-brim. Oxygen, well, oxidizes fuel.



I like that there is air in there. Fuel cans are not usually full to the brim. Should mimic typical storage. If anything it will speed up the experiment and not take as long.

Last edited by spasm3; 03/21/20 08:36 AM.

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Re: Fuel Stabilizer Experiment [Re: Avery4] #5381899 03/21/20 08:42 AM
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walterjay Offline
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I would use mason jars.

Re: Fuel Stabilizer Experiment [Re: Avery4] #5381900 03/21/20 08:43 AM
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caprice_2nv Offline
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Originally Posted by Avery4
Originally Posted by caprice_2nv
Originally Posted by Imp4
Originally Posted by Avery4
Hello everyone, I have started an experiment to see if fuel stabilizers actually work.

Why would you do this?
We already know they work.

Cheers!!!
cheers

Project farm did an experiment like this and they didn't do much at all. E0 stayed good without stabilizer and e10 even with stabilizer went bad.

That’s true, I saw that video. However, he tested Lucas fuel stabilizer, and in my opinion if it’s anything like the rest of the products Lucas makes it’s probably overpriced crap. Also, he did his experiment in unsealed containers (jars with loose lids), so a lot of the gasoline evaporated. I understand why he left the lids on the jars loose, but in my opinion testing the products in hermetically sealed containers would be better so the gasoline can’t evaporate. No additive is going to stop the fuel from evaporating in an unsealed container and gasoline simply won’t burn right once the volatile components evaporate off.


I was hoping he would test different stabilizers eventually, maybe the Lucas one is bad. I figured the worst thing they make is their oil "stabilizers" I assumed their fuel stabilizer would be more similar to other brands, they've been making the stuff forever.

I might do my own test.

I don't believe the fuel system in my old cars or lawn equipment is as sealed as on modern cars.


84 Olds Cutlass - 350 Olds
83 Chevy Caprice - 305 Sbc
05 Silverado 1500 4wd - 4.8/4L60E
79 Honda CX500
Re: Fuel Stabilizer Experiment [Re: JHZR2] #5381903 03/21/20 08:46 AM
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Originally Posted by JHZR2
Originally Posted by caprice_2nv
Originally Posted by Imp4
Originally Posted by Avery4
Hello everyone, I have started an experiment to see if fuel stabilizers actually work.

Why would you do this?
We already know they work.

Cheers!!!
cheers

Project farm did an experiment like this and they didn't do much at all. E0 stayed good without stabilizer and e10 even with stabilizer went bad.


Which itself is curious because some of us run e10 in low use machines and it lasts for years.

I had gas sitting in my Honda mini tiller from at least 3-4 years ago. It was dark colored. Diluted by about 25%, primed, and it started just fine and ran for what we needed.

My stihl stick edger sits forever too.

I’m not sure color is a good indicator, frankly I’m not sure how such a small amount will result in an objective result. But it will be interesting to watch all the same!

At minimum keep those bottles on a foil containment tray in case they fail.


Around here that's rare, everyone is slowly learning they can't leave e10 sitting around. Most people don't know what e10 even means they just know that their lawnmowers and other power equipment stops working after sitting for winter a couple times.


84 Olds Cutlass - 350 Olds
83 Chevy Caprice - 305 Sbc
05 Silverado 1500 4wd - 4.8/4L60E
79 Honda CX500
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