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Old 01-22-2013, 10:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Sta-Bil Fuel additive

One of my cars is to be stored over the winter months, probably for 2-3 months. I am considering adding Sta-Bil to the fuel to keep it from deterriorating - if you buy the add.

I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with this additive. I'm a bit concerned with damaging the catalytic converters, since the catalytic maker Walker warns about fuel additives.
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Old 01-22-2013, 11:10 PM   #2 (permalink)
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For that length of time, I wouldn't worry about it. Try to store it with a minimum amount of gas in the tank and then when you take it out of storage, fill it up before running it any length of time. I would be more concerned about the IMA battery.

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Old 01-23-2013, 06:06 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie Williford View Post
For that length of time, I wouldn't worry about it. Try to store it with a minimum amount of gas in the tank and then when you take it out of storage, fill it up before running it any length of time. I would be more concerned about the IMA battery.

HTH
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Thanks Willie. I have one of Mike Dabrowski's chargers which I intend to have my daughter turn on several times during my trip - on warm days. I'll charge the battery with the standardard, rather conservative default values. That should keep the batter ballanced.
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Old 01-23-2013, 11:26 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Willie Williford View Post
...Try to store it with a minimum amount of gas in the tank and then when you take it out of storage, fill it up before running it any length of time....
My understanding is you do the opposite - store it with a full tank, or at least don't store it with a near empty tank. Two problems with the near-empty tank: 1) any debris, residue in the bottom of the tank can be more easily agitated and contaminate what little gas is in there, and 2) condensation, water can more easily contaminate/dilute the gas...

On Sta-bil, I've used it, a few times in various cars, once in Insight, a couple times in lawn mower, and had no problems -- though I'd never be able to say it prevented any. I think one of the biggest problems with storing is the gas left in gas passages, such as throttle body and jets; it evaporates and gets gummed-up. Back when I had a scooter, a lot of scooter riders used sta-bil, mainly to prevent the gas from gumming up the jets in the carb...
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Old 01-23-2013, 01:34 PM   #5 (permalink)
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eg1 is right about the passages being subject to a varnish buildup in the jets and passages. With a fuel injection system, you probably wouldn't have that problem.
Due to the "winter storage" for that short period of time, I wouldn't have a concern.
You can get a fuel stabilizer at any lawnmower shop.
If you have a concern about moisture, pour in some 100% alchohol in the tank.

Willie
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:00 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have a '95 Honda ST 1100 Pan European which I did not ride for over 2 years; moving house, 2 newborn kids, busy jobs.
Its battery was dead of course (never was much good, so did not mind) but it fired up after a few 5 second tries and ran smooth after the first 10 minutes on the road. New battery, tank cleaner additive just to be sure, no pain. Done 5000 miles on it since. It has carbs by the way.
I did store it with a full tank, as to prevent rust on the inside. An almost empty tank will draw and blow air with the daily change of temperature; moisture in it could cause rust. Or so I'm told. At the very least the lighter components of the gas would evaporate, slowly thickening the rest.

My '11 Insight had just done just 1500 miles in its first year and had probably been stationary for some months before i bought it. It took more than a month and another 1500 miles before the battery came back to full capacity; never showed more than half full in the first 2 weeks.

Would not worry about the fuel, just leave no air (fill it right up). Save that battery.
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I have stored vehicles (cars, trucks, and motorcycles), chain saws , boat motors, and generators for the last 20 years in the woods of Maine. These have been fuel injected, carbureted, and 2 and 4 stroke. I have found that Sta-bil is great if you are storing gas engines for more than 4 or 5 months, but just not necessary if only for 3 months. I only had an issue with carburetor/injector buildup once and that was from the squirrels living in the airfilter.

Fill the tank up and have a bottle of alcohol additive on hand, but only use if you need it upon return and restart. A full tank also helps insure that you have gas in the lines and available to the fuel pump (at least in the other cars I have stored).

Be sure your gas cap is not leaking because that will cause no end of grief, as evaporating VOC's make gasoline rather useless.

I also recommend using the Marine version of sta-bil. I have a generator that is still running on a 5 gallon tank of Sta-bil(ized) gas that has been sitting around for 5 years.

Good luck.
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Id investigate the tank contents of fuel more. I parked my sidekick for 6 months wth a quarter of a tank of gas. It ran rough and stumbled til I had the notion the tank had water from condensation in it. A few bottles of heet and it cleared up.

Use of heet did nothing to improve mpg, it went in the opposite direction.
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:36 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The Insight has a sealed fuel system (tank etc) and a two way valve which tends to keep the tank pressurized. So (hopefully) air won't be drawn into/out of the tank as the ambient temperature changes as it used to with open systems.

I would go with filling the tank up so the air volume in the tank is minimized.

I've read some discussions lately about Exx fuel having the moonshine separate from the gas over time but I have an idea that 2 or 3 months wouldn't cause a problem.

The reason I say that is that my CRX which I've driven for the last 22 years, only got filled up every 3 to 4 months and I've never had any problem with the fuel going bad. It also has the two way valve etc.

You might want to disconnect your 12 volt battery so the residual drain of the radio memory etc won't discharge it as much. Or connect a small solar panel to the battery.

I measured my Insight yesterday and the 12 volt battery is being continuously drained 15 ma with short spikes to about 18 ma or so when the radio LED flashes.
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Old 01-24-2013, 12:08 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Yeah, 2-3 months is not a concern for modern gasoline.
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