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Old 28-03-2012, 07:37   #1
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How Long is Fuel Good ?

Hi everybody...
We have a fuel tank full of gas for an outboard engine (small, 4-stroke , 1-cyl Tohatsu for a 24' sailboat). The boat overwintered for 4.5 months. Is the fuel still good? Should we dispose of it and just replace with new fuel from the gas station. It uses unleaded regular 87 octane. Thanks. -Mike
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Old 28-03-2012, 08:09   #2
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Re: How long is fuel good for?

How much fuel are you talking about? If Ethanol free and under 6+ months, no prob, If E10, and you are talking about a gallon or two I'd replace it.
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Old 28-03-2012, 08:25   #3
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Re: How long is fuel good for?

Thank you for your reply! Not sure if it's ethanol free. About 3 gallons or so. Another question: Where do you (responsibly) dispose of gasoline , if I decide to replace?
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Old 28-03-2012, 09:23   #4
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Re: How long is fuel good for?

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Originally Posted by YankeeD View Post
Thank you for your reply! Not sure if it's ethanol free. About 3 gallons or so. Another question: Where do you (responsibly) dispose of gasoline , if I decide to replace?
Add it to a full tank of gas in your car.
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Old 28-03-2012, 09:35   #5
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Re: How long is fuel good for?

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Originally Posted by YankeeD View Post
Thank you for your reply! Not sure if it's ethanol free. About 3 gallons or so. Another question: Where do you (responsibly) dispose of gasoline , if I decide to replace?
Since you are in Annapolis, I will give a MD-specific answer. The MES (Maryland Environmental Service) collection sites sometimes have tanks for waste gas. Also, most marinas. I have taken gas to the local marina.

Should the MES sites fail you, the MES also runs household haz waste collection days.
Maryland Environmental Service :: Household Hazardous Waste and Electronics Recycling

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However, if the tank (a portable can, I assume) was sealed, 4-5 months is nothing special. Use it. It is vented tanks, exposed to humidity and oxygen, that pose the problem.
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Old 28-03-2012, 09:59   #6
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Re: How long is fuel good for?

fuel mixed for 2 stroke outboards is only good for 2 months. regular gasoline is good for 6 months. diesel lives forever.....
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Old 28-03-2012, 10:05   #7
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Re: How long is fuel good for?

Just a Idea for the future,Only buy Ethanol free gas !!In the long run it will save ya money!! it can sit for a heck of a long time and still be useable in your 4 stroke !! This ethanol addition to our fuel is really bad! at least for 2 strokes!! it will kill a 2 stroke all by it'self !! be careful !!
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Old 28-03-2012, 10:08   #8
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Re: How long is fuel good for?

even non ethanol gas is only good for 2 months when mixed for outboards. i have input from an expert in petrochemical engineer.
ethanol is a killer-- nasty stuff--laws made by non experts means all suffer.... good luck and smooth sailing.
i now row my dink--that engine doesnt suffer ethanol exposure, and is twin turbo'd...
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Old 28-03-2012, 11:05   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zeehag
even non ethanol gas is only good for 2 months when mixed for outboards. i have input from an expert in petrochemical engineer.
ethanol is a killer-- nasty stuff--laws made by non experts means all suffer.... good luck and smooth sailing.
i now row my dink--that engine doesnt suffer ethanol exposure, and is twin turbo'd...
I would dispute this. Before ethanol it was no big deal to have a boat with 100 gallons of pre mixed fuel sit for 4-5months over the winter (with heat or startron) and still work fine in the spring or summer.
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Old 28-03-2012, 11:13   #10
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Re: How long is fuel good for?

when ye have premix sitting for more than 2 months even before ethanol, ye were taking a big chance. the engineers stated 2 months was limit to good fuel. have fun--

i trust this expert--i had to reside with him for many years and he was a prime sales person of petrochemicals to the oil companies for over 15 yrs.
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Old 28-03-2012, 12:22   #11
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Re: How long is fuel good for?

Gee lots of folks down here that use outboards everyday on there work boats that have 200 gal tanks of pre mixed 2 stroke gas sitting for weeks at a time are gonna haft to toss it huh Zee LOL he mite have been good but he should get out in the feild a little more to see the crap fishermen put there stuff thru LOL
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Old 28-03-2012, 12:34   #12
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Re: How long is fuel good for?

gotta love fishermen-- they can make spittle work as fuel for engines....
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Old 03-04-2012, 05:28   #13
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Re: How Long is Fuel Good ?

Different geographic regions often have different fuel blends. The blends also vary between summer and winter.

We routinely leave Ontario summer gas (up to 10% ethanol) in the tank, dosed with TC-W3 oil and with a shot of stabilizer, for 6 to 8 months. Two-stroke outboards from the '70s, '80s and '90s run just fine on this stuff when we fire them up in the spring. I know many folks who usually forget the stabilizer and still run last spring's E10 gas, now 11 months old, in 10hp two-strokes without a problem. (Engines with very small jets or injectors may be a bit more finicky, but that's the case for older non-alcohol fuels as well.)

If your fuel (yes, even E10) is not lasting that long, then it's likely that:
a) You left the tank vents open and moisture got in (you do have to close those vents when you leave), or
b) Your fuel refiner has chosen an inappropriate blend of additives.
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Old 03-04-2012, 07:09   #14
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Re: How long is fuel good for?

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Thank you for your reply! Not sure if it's ethanol free. About 3 gallons or so. Another question: Where do you (responsibly) dispose of gasoline , if I decide to replace?

If you're "not sure" if it's ethanol free, GET RID OF IT and NEVER EVER BUY THAT KIND AGAIN.
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Old 03-04-2012, 07:12   #15
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Re: How long is fuel good for?

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Gee lots of folks down here that use outboards everyday on there work boats that have 200 gal tanks of pre mixed 2 stroke gas sitting for weeks at a time are gonna haft to toss it huh Zee LOL he mite have been good but he should get out in the feild a little more to see the crap fishermen put there stuff thru LOL

There are a lot of myths out there. If you just look around on one given day, nothing looks like trouble.

Then one day you have to get the carbourator rebuilt because you saved a tiny bit amount of money with ethanol fuel.
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