You’ve probably walked past the bottle on the store shelf, or you’ve heard someone say they had to stabilize their fuel for storage. Today’s ethanol-blend gasoline degrades over time, whether the bottle sees daylight or it’s stored in a cool dark place. You have to protect your vehicles, lawnmower, motorcycles, and watercraft from fuel going bad and clogging the fuel system. If you’ve never tried a fuel stabilizer, or never understood why you should be using it, we’ll break down what it is and why you need to use it.

How Fast Does Gasoline Go Bad?

Time affects everything, and gasoline is no different. Gasoline starts to break down in as little as 30 days. That breakdown causes the varnish you find in carburetors, and deposits that clog fuel filters and injectors. Old gasoline oxidizes so much that it won’t readily ignite. That may be hard to imagine, but it can change big time if left to the hands of time.

Gasoline is made up of carbon and hydrogen atoms that combine to form hydrocarbons. It’s made from a process turning crude oil into an energy-dense fuel. Heat, pressure, and additional factors form the gasoline molecules.  Refineries add a mixture of ethanol between 10% (E-10) and 85% (E-85) to create the fuel.  However, they do not add stabilizer to protect the fuel from oxidation and breakdown.

Why Ethanol Hurts Gasoline

Your local gas station may not have ethanol-free gasoline, but if it does you will find a group of fuel consumers that will swear by ethanol-free gas.  Ethanol attracts water and will absorb moisture into the gasoline. That moisture won’t cause a lot of damage in a very small quantity but left to absorb a great deal over time it can cause fueling issues in any fuel system. A large amount of moisture mixed with gasoline will cause phase separation. Gasoline and ethanol will separate, much like oil and water, and that separated ethanol can cause a no-start condition in any engine.

Fuel Stabilizer depiction for AMSOIL products.
What is Fuel Stabilizer and What Does it Do?

Storing your gasoline in proper airtight containers will prevent some degradation of gasoline, but it won’t stop it completely. That’s where a quality fuel stabilizer like AMSOIL Gasoline Stabilizer comes to the rescue. Fuel stabilizers prevent the degradation of your gasoline that form varnish and gum buildup in your gas cans and your fuel system. Beyond fuel stabilizers, products like AMSOIL Quickshot®, add the protection of 6-months of stabilization. It can also clean your fuel system and address ethanol-induced fuel problems. Either can protect for 6-months, but the true stabilizer can protect gasoline up to 12-months.

The next time you’re at the store thinking about fuel stabilization or fuel additives, pick up a competitor’s bottle and read the ingredients and claims. We’ll bet you put it back and head to instead. We offer AMSOIL products exclusively in our online store. Amsoil fuel additives and oils include 50% more detergents than some competitors. That cleaning helps to keep vehicles running longer for less money. If you need help with determining a complete maintenance plan for your vehicle, your local AMSOIL dealer at Buy Great Oil is here to help with a complete package of products and hints to make the job easier.

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