Join Date: Sep 2002
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Old fuel and stabilizers.
Old diesel fuel and fuel stabilizers. I believe that any fuel left in the tank over winter and added to in the summer needs to be occasionally changed only because of the incidences of gunk I've cleaned out over the years in gas powered lawn mowers and air compressors left standing over the winter. However, a boat lying in active waters for the season should stir the liquid enough to keep the bacteria (i.e. gunk, dirt etc.) suspended and moving toward the fuel filter. Three years ago at the beginning of the season I had the remaining 8-10 gallons of diesel fuel pumped out of the tank in our 20 year old sailboat boat thinking this act set the stage for another 20 years of reliable service. Most fellow sailors eschewed this precaution as inconsequential to reliable engine performance but, unlike the tankfulls of gas in your car that are replaced weekly or sooner, diesel fuel doesn't seem to be so refined a liquid that it rejuvenates itself by the introduction of a few gallons of newer fuel each spring.
This brings up the subject of fuel stabilizers. Each year I buy a new $8-$13 bottle of diesel fuel stabilizer because I haven't done my homework to confirm that the remaining 90% in last years' bottle will still be effective. To further erode my certainty about the integrity of the stabilizer even more, last week when I went to my local West Marine store for a bottle of stabilizer the clerk assured me their supply of Biobar Diesel Stabilizer "just arrived today". Not one of the newly arrived Biobar bottles was sealed. Only a free-wheeling top protected the elements from being some-how contaminated. Other manufacturers tops were sealed however I never see an expiration date so are they last years leftovers or "just arrived". Does anyone know the shelf life of these stabilizers and can you just keep adding stabilizer to the treated fuel remaining in hte tank? Thanks