In light of the current ongoing pandemic, businesses and personnel have been forced to shut down their operations. This includes the equipment that they use in these operations. A lot of this equipment runs on gasoline that is going to sit idle for an undetermined amount of time. Gasoline does not last long when it isn’t properly treated. By using these techniques discussed below, your equipment will be ready to run with no issues when the time comes.
First you have to understand that there are a lot of issues with modern gasoline that we get at the local gas station. The government started mandating that Ethanol, which is a renewable fuel source, be added to all over-the-road gasoline. Ethanol is a combustible alcohol that is derived from vegetables, mainly corn. Ethanol is an alcohol that is very dry and absorbs moisture readily out of the atmosphere. This becomes a huge problem when you have fuel with ethanol that sits for even short periods of time. Especially if that fuel system is what they call “Open Vented” like those found on boats, motorcycles, ATV’s, lawnmowers and other small engines. Just think about a boat, sitting on the water with hot days and cold evenings…ethanol fuel becomes a huge issue. For this reason, marinas are one of the last places you can find gasoline that is still ethanol-free. Unfortunately going to a marina and filling up a bunch of gas cans for use at your home or business is not a great of option for most people. Now there are plenty of products available that claim to handle water that is absorbed in the ethanol fuel. In my honest opinion, the best one is K100 G+. This product was originally designed for the marine industry and as the slogan states, “We Make Water Burn”, and it does. This product does the best at dispersing the water in the fuel and allowing it to burn without issue. If you have equipment or tanks with gasoline already in it, I would pick-up some K100 G+.
Now, helping control water build-up is one issue but storing fuel over long periods of time is a whole other issue. Regular fuel will degrade over time causing a varnish/gum to build-up, crystallization of paraffin wax and the loss of volatility. Once again, there are a lot of additives available that claim to prolong the fuels useful life or stabilize the fuel. In the past, I have always used a product called Sta-Bil in all my fuel cans. I can’t say for sure how good it actually works to stabilize the fuel but it has been around for a long time. With that being said, I tested Sta-Bil mixed with a little water and it didn’t do anything for the water. If you do buy regular pump gas, you need to use some type of fuel storage additive (which can be expensive) to stabilize your fuel or it will go bad.
There is an even better option that doesn’t require the addition of any additives at all in your fuel. You can purchase “High Performance Fuel”. I’m not talking about High Octane Fuel you get at the pump. Higher octane actually does nothing to stabilize your fuel. I’m talking about High Performance Fuels that are made with no ethanol, include stabilizers and can have the benefit of higher octane ratings that you can get at the pump. You are probably starting to notice gallon and quart cans of these types of fuels in home stores. When it comes to high performance fuels, I trust no company more than Sunoco Racing Fuels. They have a product called Sunoco Optima 95. It is a high-performance, 95 octane, ethanol-free gasoline that requires no additional additives and can be stored up to 3 years. This can also be pre-blended with synthetic 2 stroke motor oil for 2 stroke engine applications. Additionally, it can be purchased online in quarts, gallons, pails and drums and delivered right to your door. So, if you want the perfect fuel for stored equipment like boats, generators, vintage cars and lawn equipment, you should consider investing in High Performance Gasoline.
Whichever way you choose to best prepare your gasoline for storage, there are some simple things you can do to lessen the detrimental effects on your fuel system during storage. First off, I hate to leave gasoline sit in the carburetor. Varnish and wax crystals build-up in the carb that will later clog the jets. For the ultimate way to lay-up your gas engine, clear out the carburetor of gasoline by running your fuel tank completely dry or by turning off the fuel to the carburetor and run it till the engine stops. Follow this up by spraying MotorStor which is a Vapor Corrosion Inhibitor in the oil fill opening and the air intake while turning the engine over a couple of times without ignition (pull the wires on the spark plugs). VCI products create a vapor or fog of rust inhibitors that spread throughout the engine voids and neutralize the corrosion-causing tendency of moisture present in the air. These products work above the oil line and the vapor is continually active in closed systems. They also form a strong bond to all the metal surfaces.
Now you can rest assured that you properly stored your Fuel and Equipment and it will be ready to go right back into service when you are.