ethanol myths

Discussion in 'Alternative Fuel Forum' started by msportbiker6666, Feb 9, 2015.

  1. msportbiker6666

    msportbiker6666 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 88

    I live in north nj and learned early on about fuel stabilizers for storage. I rarely use them now because I I don't have any real long term storage needs. unleaded gas in our region is a 10 or 15 % from nov to april. recently, ive heard from a couple of mechanic friends that Stabil and similar products are not comptatible with winter blends. apparently, and correct me if im wrong, the additive does not miix properly wiith ethanol blends, therefore, its sits on top in the tank and is useless. if thisn is correct, than using non blend gas for long term stg is better. like I said earlier, I am just curious and trying to clear my internal 'cache' of bad info.
    side note: the 110 octane Powermist used on my racebikes warns of fuel degradation if additives are used.
    Any thoughts?
  2. Erik1981

    Erik1981 LawnSite Member
    from MN
    Messages: 179

    We only use Non-oxygenated fuel (no ethenol). This goes for all our equipment, including trucks. It cost a bit more but the mechanics at my dealer say I am saving myself downtime and repairs because of the gumming and deposits caused by ethanol. We also do not use stabil, sea foam or anything like that. I do start and run everything occasionally throughout the winter months but it is more for piece of mind. A few years ago I bought an old aerator on ebay and used some Amsoil Quikshot to bring it back to life. This is a fuel additive that does some amazing stuff so I always have some on hand. In the spring we run the Quikshot through the first tank of fuel on every piece of equipment as well.
    I spent 13 years in the military as a Jet Engine Mechanic so I know what a properly maintained engine should look like and run like, the above process has worked for us to keep things running smooth with no downtime for engine problems.
  3. WenzelOSLLC

    WenzelOSLLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    Stabil is supposed to float on top. If keeps things from evaporating from your fuel and causing it to gum up. So I don't think it matters if it's blended or not. I was unaware of this until a mechanic friend of mine told me about it.

    I will also say that going Unoxygenated is the best regardless of what you do to it, as was said.
  4. rlitman

    rlitman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,863

    An old painters trick to keep an opened can of oil based paint staying fresh for longer was to add a little linseed oil to the can. It would float on top of the paint, forming a slick that kept the paint from skinning over.

    Stabil has several components, and I would expect that one of those does the same thing. Floating on top of the gas might slow evaporation, but would also greatly stop exposure to the air, preventing oxidation.
    But they also claim it has additives that specifically mix with ethanol blended gas to prevent corrosion.

    No additive will prevent ethanol from attacking rubber parts though.

    The difference between winter and summer blends has nothing to do with ethanol. Winter blends have a higher vapor pressure. They often contain up to 15% butane for example. If you store winter blend in a plastic can over the summer, that explains why the can will appear to bulge from the pressure.
  5. billythekid

    billythekid LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 439

    I use Star-Tron Fuel Stabilizer in pretty much every tank of gas after labor day. In the spring growth i don't worry about it because my mowers go through so much gas it's not worth stabilizing.

    Real world example, my dad has an el camino that sat for 6 years. I got it running by buying a can of 93 mixing it heavy with Star-Tron and put it in the tank. Let it sit about 5 days and it ran after about 10 pumps and 45 seconds of cranking.

    Is it a placebo? I don't believe so but i can treat 500+ gallons for less than $35.

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