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I read an article that stated it was good practice to add Sta-bil (the marine kind (blue) ) to every tank of gas. My question is if this is good practice when using gasoline that already contains ethanol at the pump?
 

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every tank full?

on diesels that arent used much I have done it

on my old atomic 4 and gas engines I used seafoam anytime I left the boat for more than a few months or if I felt the neeed to a little cleaning

cant remember the last time if the gas had ethanol or not...probably did since it was in california.
 

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I read an article that stated it was good practice to add Sta-bil (the marine kind (blue) ) to every tank of gas. My question is if this is good practice when using gasoline that already contains ethanol at the pump?
I was under the impression that Sta-bil was used to keep the ethanol from breaking down. If you expect the gasoline to sit for a long period (more than 30 days) you add it to the gas.
I could be wrong
 

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Sta-bil to my understanding does nothing to preserve gas. It cleans corrosion. Gas not vented to the air will last 10+ months. I have used Sea foam, great stuff for top end lub for my L head engine. Since the lack of lead in gas I use Marvel Mystery oil in my gas every time I add gas.
 

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yup per moyer marine...works well on other gas engines too not just the atomic 4.


Im a huge fan of seafoam but I will say this everyday use and maintenance is what works best for any engine

sometimes though you cant so I would vote for a splash of seafoam.
 

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Gasoline that is not vented to the air and stored out of sunlight has an indefinite storage life. That includes E10... The US army did research on this, I will see if I can dig up the document.

Personally I think Sta-bil is "Snake-Oil" and does little to nothing to preserve gasoline. This is just my opinion, but I do own a small engine repair shop and repair 100s of engines a year. Many with gummed carbs, lots where Sta-bil was used.

In all my equipment, I don't use any chemicals. Instead I just run the carb dry (turn off fuel valve) and ensure that all vents are closed at the end of my session. This traps the gasoline in a sealed container (the fuel tank) and keeps it from oxidizing or absorbing water. Works for me, I have never had an issue in any or my personal equipment using this process (some equipment stored for over a year). I also routinely burn E10 as I can't find anything else around here.
 

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Personally I think Sta-bil is "Snake-Oil" and does little to nothing to preserve gasoline. This is just my opinion, but I do own a small engine repair shop and repair 100s of engines a year. Many with gummed carbs, lots where Sta-bil was used.
I used to have a cabin in the woods. I didn't use the generator very often but if I didn't put stabil at double the normal dosage in thye gas, the gennie would never start when I needed it.

If I did, it would start like a charm. And it was protected from light and in a sealed air tight tank.

I can not run the lawn mower from November to May, but when I go to start it up, it never fails to start.

Read that as you want.
 

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Sta-bil works and works well(for me). I have used it on stored vehicles for years, especially vehicles with carbs, like my motorcycle, lawn mower and generators. I had issues with my fuel on Alberg and started using it in conjunction with Marvel mystery( recommended by just about every A4 user) and it has definitely helped. My ethanol unleaded would start to go bad in just 3 weeks. After adding Sta-Bil i have gone as much as 4 months. My boat sat up for 4 months while I was in Afghanistan a few years ago. I added Sta-bil to fuel and ran it through carb before leaving, came back 4 months later she started up on first try.
 

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There is a newer formula of Stabil that is designed for the ethanol containing gas. By the way the ethanol is the biggest problem so it more the reason to use it, not the excuse to not use it. I don't really have any experience with it. I don't know of any way to prevent air from mixing with gas as most fuel tanks are vented.
 

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Ethanol attracts moisture in gasoline, that's the main problem with it. A lot of boaters around here won't use ethanol gas because of all the problems everyone seems to have with it, especially four stroke outboards it seems. Stabil helps a lot and I never fill a can without adding it first.
 

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I've had gasoline turn into thick slime that was stored in a gas can in a shed for two years, so indefinite is not valid. In fact, it was more like kerosene than gasoline after two years in a sealed can, and in the dark.

And, every marine engine manufacturer I know of recommends Stabil when the boat will be left sitting for extended periods, such over the winter. They also recommend keeping that tank filled to maximum capacity to prevent condensation forming on the tank walls, which I have witnessed first hand.

Some folks think that just because the tank has a cap on it, no moisture can enter, but this is definitely not the case. Every fuel tank, even underground storage tanks in gas stations, has an outside vent. Marinas, from what I can recall, are required to now have their tanks above ground, therefore, there is significant heating and cooling of the fuel, both gas and diesel. That translates into a lot of expansion and contraction of the product in the tank. That tank vent works both ways, exhausting vapor during the heat of the day, and allowing cool, moist air to enter the tank as the temperature falls. It ain't rocket science - just common sense. That's why we have fuel/water separators.

I really don't believe Stabil is Snake Oil, but instead, a useful product that probably has saved many of a lot of grief over the years. Same with Marvel Mystery Oil. I would not gas up without adding it to my tank, that's for sure.

Gary :cool:
 

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I don't add Sta-bil during the season, as I burn the gas in the dinghy every month or so. Faster on a long cruise where we may use the dink for hours everyday. I do use it during winterization.

I think the real advantage is for long term storage, but I don't believe their is really much it does about ethanol. If E gas is a concern, its best to pay more for straight gas. It can be found. That price difference is really driven by supply and demand, because straight gas can actually be cheaper to produce.

The three problems with E-gas are ethanol's solvent qualities that can dissolve engine and fuel line components, its hydroscopic qualities that allow the fuel to absorb water from the air or otherwise and its lower power per unit than the gas itself.

I don't think Sta-bil helps any of these. To deal with them, if you can't get straight gas, I think these are your best approach.

Solvents? Run your engine dry after each use.

Hydroscopic? Keep tanks full and close vents when appropriate.

Lower power? Write your congressman and ask why we are adding ethanol, intended to reduce petroleum demand, when the lower efficiency of the blend causes us to burn nearly the same amount of petroleum we would if it weren't added. Answer, people make millions off of ethanol production in the name of the environment. We are patsies. Pisses me off.
 

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Hello,

Had nothing but trouble with 4 hp two stroke with ethenal gas (regular). Finally bought staight unleaded for boat and a dab of B12 chemtool, about the same as seafoam and everything is good. Also mowers started running better on it too. So everthing in cans is the straight stuff now. It just wasn't worth the hassle when the outboard ether won't start or would struggle.

Dan
 

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the whole issue of ethanol is unrelated to what stabil or seafoam does in fuel, however the points made are valid...

both stabil and seafoam are hardly snake oils as is marvel mystery oil...

also on some inboard engines a splash of 2 stroke oil in the fuel helps keep the topend lubricated(some aircooled motorcyle engine manufacturers recomend this too)

another little tip.

however somebody is always out there mythbusters style to try to say that nothing works.

btw regarding condensation in tanks...IF you´re a seldom user simply keep your tanks full or as full as you can, it will avoid extreme pressures or condensation forming from too much of an air gap, especially in climates that vary a lot.

also a can of seafoam per tank will have that gas in good condition for 6 months plus no problem

but hey try whatever you like and see for yourself, thats the only real way to see if stuff works or not!

peace
 

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Have trouble with 9.9 outboard for dinghy since new. Just replaced carb. Those pesky 2 carbon fragments are the problem. Do what you want but even if you keep tanks full and use additives the gas in carb and related tubing will absorb water if 10% etoh is used. Believe you get no etoh when in Caribe.Started running carb dry after each use. So far ( knock on wood) no issues. Would note in past got race gas. Boy that stuff works - got up on a plane even with my fat butt in a second- what a hole shot.
Sure miss 2 strokes- better hole shot and would burn anything without fouling.
 

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we have no damn ethanol or whatever down here either and im for sure against 4 stroke outboards, why complicate such a damn simple design and complicate and reduce reliability?

so we have some pluses down here too

running any carbed engine dry(other than old cars, cars for the most part are daily drivers) is a golden standard and has been for a long time

anybody who doesnt no matter what additive they use is asking for trouble, also always shutoff the fuel valve first...even before stopping just for a little while...

dinghy engines bounce from the waves and such so not shutting off the petcock is a recipe for overflowing fuel no matter what.

anywhoo
peace
 

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Gasoline only has a 'shelf life' of 30-60 days after its 'formed' at the refinery, especially when exposed to atmospheric oxygen. Once exposed to the atmosphere, "Sealing" it in air tight containers only slightly prolongs the shelf life.
The additives used to 'prolong' the shelf life are quite similar to the 'chemicals' that are used to retard mineral and edible oils, etc. from turning 'rancid' - polysorbate-80 and similar compounds.

Ethanolated gasoline is a mixture of ethyl alcohol and gasoline. The ethyl alcohol being a mixture of alcohol and WATER as the various chemical formation produces both alcohol AND water as the 'very best' efficiency of those process are 180 'proof' or 90% alcohol and 10% water ... meaning that WATER is already included with the alcohol used in the 'blend'. The accompanying water helps 'dampen' the speed of the flame in the combustion chamber and thus acts in the same manner as other compounds to raise the equivalent 'octane number' of the blend. This would be equivalent to using 100% (heptane) gasoline and simply pissing into the tank to raise the octane number.
This accompanying water through liquid-liquid phase separation eventually settles out of the mixture due to gravity .... such 'additives' prolong this 'settling' but not 'indefinitely'.

So, airtight sealing only retards the settling ... as the water comes from the water/alcohol mixture (90:10 gasoline/alcohol) as made and blended in the refinery. .... the alcohol is 90% alcohol and 10% WATER.

Also, ethanol has a 'heat value' at about 14000 btu/lb. while 100% gasoline has a heat value ~22000-24000 btu/lb. (14000 X .1) + (22000 X.9) = 21000 btu/lb.; 21000/22000= .95, meaning youre being 'shorted' by 5% of the heat value when using ethanolated gasoline which is significantly higher in price/cost.

Additives are used to prolong the shelf life and to retard the phase-separation.
Even if you run your engine to 'dry' to remove the potential of gum/varnish formations in the carburetor (which always has a 'vent to atmosphere' thereby 'always' being an entry point of MORE water and oxygen to be absorbed into 'any' fuel remaining in the carb.), that debased heating value ethanolated fuel is still phase-separating in the tank and droplets of fuel still remaining inside the carburetor.

Rx: in small HP engines and Outboards, etc. using 'ethanolated fuels' only store onboard or in a tank ... ONLY the amount of fuel that you will quickly use (in 1 month !!!!); or, use a stabilizer and with a phase separation retardant to keep the fuel for a few (up to 6+) months longer (temperature dependent).

Stabilizers are not 'snake oil'; its the ethanolated fuels that are the 'snake oils', as you could buy straight 100% gasoline (Gulf of Mexico and SE Atlantic coasts or "aviation gasoline") and simply *piss into the tank* for the same effect ... and at less cost to boot and without ALL the problems of using 'debased' fuel.
 

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I can only speak from my own experience. For the last 40 years I have used Berryman's B-12 Fuel additive in anything/everything that burns gas:

Fuel Additives / Treatments | Berryman Products

Other than the one time I forgot to drain the carb on an outboard for the winter I have not had any fuel related problems. I run my generator once a month. Once a year I drain the fuel & replace it with new. 12 month old fuel starts & runs as well as new fuel in the generator.

I drain my outboards, generator, & snowblower if they not to be used within a week or so. Running them "dry" still leaves a small amount of fuel in the bowl.

Paul T
 

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Shortn-
Traditional Stabil is a fuel stabilizer that has nothing to do with ethanol. It prevents fuel from oxidizing and magically binds together some of the esoteric ingredients to prevent varnish formation. (Which apparently has been a much lesser problem since the EPA changed the rules about gasoline formulations in the 90's.)

Stabil also has a newer formula specifically to keep ethanol from coming out and creating water separation problems, that's green instead of pink. If you turn your fuel over quickly enough, you shouldn't need it. If your fuel tank doesn't get used up and refilled every month of two...by all means. Especially if the fuel is going to sit more then 90 days.

Practical Sailor also did some recent tests using both carbon filters and silica (dehumidifier) filters in tank vent lines, and found that using either one of those will keep out an incredible amount of moisture, so that might be something you'd want to look into if you're having water problems.
 

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There is a newer formula of Stabil that is designed for the ethanol containing gas. By the way the ethanol is the biggest problem so it more the reason to use it, not the excuse to not use it. I don't really have any experience with it. I don't know of any way to prevent air from mixing with gas as most fuel tanks are vented.
Easy, actually.



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