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Will fuel stabilizers help or hurt your tank?


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It's ALL snake oil............and I would NEVER use it. But I do admit to being a fan........I make lots of money fixing cars that have bad gas with the miracle additive in them. 

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40 minutes ago, edinmass said:

It's ALL snake oil............and I would NEVER use it. But I do admit to being a fan........I make lots of money fixing cars that have bad gas with the miracle additive in them. 

+1 

After 4 decades into this nearly full time hobby-turned-profession of vintage cars, I believe the best (& only ?) way to prevent fuel related problems in them is frequent (exercise?) use & maintenance.
And this of course applies to most of their mechanical components & systems.

 

*At least 1-2 times a month and driving at least an hour or more every time it’s started. Anything  less shouldn’t be considered good stewardship. 
Large collections/museums are often filled with sad examples inadequately owned/maintained vintage cars.
Periodically starting and running them briefly in the garage or driveway for few minutes often creates more long term, underlying problems than most realize.

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1 minute ago, TTR said:

+1 

After 4 decades into this nearly full time hobby-turned-profession of vintage cars, I believe the best (& only ?) way to prevent fuel related problems in them is frequent (exercise?) use & maintenance.
And this of course applies to most of their mechanical components & systems.

 

*At least 1-2 times a month and driving at least an hour or more every time it’s started. Anything  less shouldn’t be considered good stewardship. 
Large collections/museums are often filled with sad examples inadequately owned/maintained vintage cars.
Periodically starting and running them briefly in the garage or driveway for few minutes often creates more long term, underlying problems than most realize.


 

100 percent correct........I would just add.........use a fuel like VP for long term storage...........

 

Driving a car 20 miles every 45-60 days is the absolute best way to keep them without any problems. In New England, I usually put them to sleep in late November or early December and then would get them out in early March. Did it for forty years without issues.....but also exercised each car every 45-60 days. Never had an issue. 

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A couple years ago had a stuck valve after a long winters nap. Added some Marvel Mystery Oil and a few minutes later it was fine the problem was solved.

I do not believe in gas stabilizer as mentioned above as I see it also as snake oil. It is equal to the stuff they sell at a carnival side show off the back of a wagon.  

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I've been using Stabul for 25 years now with no ill effects! It must work because Walmart was sold out of the stuff! I start and run my car for 20 minutes once every month over the winter! Starts right up every time! The first year I had it, I went by the book! Drained the tank, pulled the battery, and left it covered at a storage facility! Four months later I went up with the battery to start it and found the cover soaked! After I put the battery in, I cranked and cranked and all it did was backfire! The choke was stuck! Never again! I keep it home with a full tank of treated gas and start it every month! The battery is never dead and the car always starts after a few pumps of the pedal!

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10 hours ago, edinmass said:


 

100 percent correct........I would just add.........use a fuel like VP for long term storage...........

 

Driving a car 20 miles every 45-60 days is the absolute best way to keep them without any problems. In New England, I usually put them to sleep in late November or early December and then would get them out in early March. Did it for forty years without issues.....but also exercised each car every 45-60 days. Never had an issue. 

 

Ed, do you have thoughts on the minimum drive to take?  I take each of my cars out around once a week for a drive in a residential neighborhood for about 20 minutes, roughly 5 miles or so.  Maybe once a month or so I'll make it 10 miles instead of 5.  2-3 times a year I'll go on a 40-50 mile drive, usually to or from a car show. Curious if I need to be driving for longer periods, in your view.

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Once a year a fifty mile drive. Every other time, just till you reach full operational temperature to push out water vapor from the exhaust and crankcase. Five to ten mile trips are perfect. I usually let the car warm up at idle for ten minutes. Just before the louvre doors open.

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3 minutes ago, edinmass said:

Once a year a fifty mile drive. Every other time, just till you reach full operational temperature to push out water vapor from the exhaust and crankcase. Five to ten mile trips are perfect. I usually let the car warm up at idle for ten minutes. Just before the louvre doors open.

 

Thanks, Ed!  Good to know.  

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About 5 years ago they started offering alcohol free fuel in MN again, it is all I use, fill the tank up in the fall, it starts right up in the spring.  As far as I am concerned anything with a carburetor should only use only alcohol free fuel. 

 

It has been a great summer for driving, it is going to be hard to put them away this year.

 

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Our region had a guest speaker from a major oil company last year. His comment  on fuel stabilizer was he did not know what good it did if any and did not recommend the use of it. He also commented that running your engine in the winter is not recommended as most do not get it hot enough before shutting it down creating condensation.   

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1 hour ago, Joe in Canada said:

Our region had a guest speaker from a major oil company last year. His comment  on fuel stabilizer was he did not know what good it did if any and did not recommend the use of it. He also commented that running your engine in the winter is not recommended as most do not get it hot enough before shutting it down creating condensation.   

While I tend to agree with this "guest speaker from a major oil company" , did he offer any considerable (personal) experience on the subject or was he just another company PR spokesperson ?

Just (mildly) curious.

Edited by TTR (see edit history)
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I one was good friends with a fuel engineer for Sun Oil and Morton Thiokol ....yup, he made fuel for NASA and cars. Interesting guy.......smartest engineer I ever met, and he would explain fuel verbally while working out the carbon chain and reactions in math. Math, that I could not understand. There I no such thing as fuel stabilizer.........fuel additives will not prevent any problems of long term storage.......they will drain your wallet, nothing else. Put your car away with no alcohol in the fuel, full tank of gas, and if possible, store it with a speciality fuel like VP C-9, basically it's plain old high test gas.............and it's chemical make up is stable for 6 years plus. I have been using it for years in cars that are not often driven.......nothing better. 

 

If one doesn't understand stoichiometry then one can not understand fuel. Burning fuel is a chemical reaction.......nothing more, nothing less. Understanding hydro carbons and the carbon chain of the fuel is the subject of the gods & the twilight zone. 

Edited by edinmass (see edit history)
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Reminds me what a lubrication engineer told me about STP in a race car: "can't hurt". Feel that way about StaBil.

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After nine years of just pumping fuel and driving it through I became scared that the Monsontites had colonized in my carb. It began to idle roughly and stall at stops. After reading the stories I imagined the inside of the carb looked like my right ventricle. Full of woe and ready to change my lifestyle, I removed the air horn....and found nothing.

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It was a recently installed new condenser that failed. Luckily the old one from nine years before was still on the bench. Must be 20 years old now.

 

I don't hibernate any cars and drive in winter if the roads are dry. It's not like I was 30 years old and planning to keep the cars THAT long.

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