Getting to know your gardening equipment can take some trial and error. Do you need to store a gas-powered piece of lawn equipment away for a while and want to add a fuel stabilizer? How much stabilizer is too much? We will cover these questions throughout this article. Let's discuss this below.
If you need to add a fuel stabilizer to gasoline, you should only use around one ounce per 2.5 gallons of gas. Using more than this won't necessarily weaken or harm your gasoline, but it can be wasteful.
Additionally, you don't need to use a fuel stabilizer unless you store a gas-powered piece of equipment away for more than 3-4 weeks.
As we begin, we will cover all things using fuel stabilizers and discuss how much is too much. Whether you are leaving for the winter or haven't tried a stabilizing product before, we're here to assist. With that said, let's dive right into this topic!
What Does Fuel Stabilizer Do?
When you store gasoline for long periods, it tends to go bad. For this reason, there are fuel stabilizing products available, which you can add to your lawn equipment's tank if you need to store it for more than a month or so.
Typically, a fuel stabilizer works well to prevent gasoline with ethanol (E10, E15) from expiring, although it works in all formulas. You want to add a stabilizer to a gas tank before you leave town or the winter hits so you don't lose your fuel when you're ready to use it again.
Another name for fuel stabilizer is 'Dry Gas,' so keep an eye out for those terms while shopping.
Regardless, following the directions on your fuel stabilizing product is essential, as every formula may be slightly different and require more/less to be effective.
When Should You Use Fuel Stabilizer?
You want to use a fuel stabilizer if you don't plan on operating a gas-powered machine for several months. As we mentioned, this may be during an extended vacation, when you leave for your second home, or as the weather gets colder.
Generally, you only need to use a fuel stabilizer if gas is in your equipment's tank. If not, there isn't much reason to waste the product during the time in storage.
Furthermore, many experts recommend using a stabilizer if your gas will sit for more than 1-2 months, so you may not need to add it. Again, this comes down to your schedule and preference.
One of the benefits of using a fuel stabilizer is that it preserves your gasoline. When you're ready to turn on your mower or other equipment, there won't be any issues.
How Much Fuel Stabilizer Should I Add To My Gas?
You want to add around one ounce of stabilizer for every 2.5 gallons of gasoline in a tank. Considering that most garden equipment won't hold more than two or three gallons, you shouldn't need more than an ounce regardless.
With that said, every product is different, so one may require more than one ounce. The best thing to do here is to read the instructions on your stabilizer to avoid wasting it.
For example, the brand STA-BIL recommends one ounce per 2.5 gallons, while its competitor Seafoam recommends one ounce per gallon of fuel.
That could be because the two have different formulas, hence the importance of following instructions.
How Long Does Fuel Stabilizer Keep Gas Fresh?
You can usually expect a fuel stabilizer to keep gas fresh for 1-3 years in storage. Depending on the product, you could see 12 months of usable gas, while premium options will keep it in good shape for up to 36.
Of course, there are other factors to think about. Where are you storing your equipment? Does the outside weather come in contact with your tank of gas?
If you leave a piece of gardening equipment outside during storage, the stabilizer won't be as effective. For that reason, we recommend keeping your items in the garage, a shed, or at least underneath your house.
The Family Handyman states how gas tends to evaporate over time, whether you use a stabilizer or not, so you may need to add more when you use the equipment again.
However, if you have a stabilizer in your gas, you can safely top it off with fresh fuel. That's another reason why purchasing a fuel stabilizer is a good idea.
What Happens If I Add Too Much Fuel Stabilizer To My Gasoline?
As we covered above, using too much fuel stabilizer in your gas won't have any adverse effects. Generally, using more stabilizers than you need will waste product, so that's the only major thing to worry about.
In addition, it's possible to dilute your gasoline with a stabilizer, although you would have to use it a lot. Considering that stabilizer works as a preservative, it's not going to change the consistency/quality of your gas unless abused.
According to Boondocking Needs, many people think adding more stabilizers to their tank will extend their fuel's lifespan. Although that sounds like a correct assumption, it isn't true.
So if you want to extend the life of your gas, using a more stabilizer isn't the way to go. Instead, try purchasing a higher-quality product with a preservation timeline of 2-3 years.
STA-BIL Storage Fuel Stabilizer
This fuel stabilizer keeps gas fresh for up to two years, works for all fuel types, treats up to 80 gallons, and comes in a 32-ounce bottle.
Does Fuel Stabilizer Damage Lawn Equipment?
No, using a fuel stabilizing product in your lawn equipment won't negatively affect your lawn. Like using it in a vehicle, a fuel stabilizer can prevent corrosion and ethanol damage to your lawn mower.
Typically, any stabilizer will work as long as it covers the gas you use to power your mower/machine. Furthermore, a fuel stabilizer can save you money long-term, as it aids in keeping your gas fresh during prolonged storage periods.
So if you want to put your mower or tractor away for the winter, we recommend using a fuel stabilizer.
What Happens If I Use Expired Gas?
If you decide to run a machine with expired gas, expect internal damage to occur. Besides being dangerous, using expired/bad gasoline can damage the internal engine components.
Additionally, a gum residue can start to form inside your equipment's engine, eventually breaking it altogether. If there is ethanol in your fuel, it could attract water vapor into the tank, which will lead to corrosion.
Using a fuel stabilizer will generally keep these things from happening, so having one in your tank is essential. Bad gas is not only less effective but will cost you in the long run.
Engine damage is expensive to repair, but it can also cause your entire machine to stop working.
If you have a lawn care business, that can put you in a bad place, so it's best to spend some money on a high-quality fuel stabilizer instead of winging it.
Is Two-Year-Old Gas Okay To Use?
If you have a tank of fuel that has sat for two years without a stabilizer, throw it away ASAP. Generally, gasoline will degrade after 6-12 months without a fuel stabilizing product, making it unusable.
However, if you have an unopened, properly stored gas container that is two years old, you may be able to use it in your equipment.
You won't usually run into issues if you use older gas, but expect a slight decrease in performance. For example, a fresh tank will power your lawn equipment longer than a slightly degraded two-year-old option, but they will get the job done regardless.
With that said, if your fuel has a strange smell or looks super dark, you want to throw it away. Putting bad gas into your tank will cause issues that can be expensive to fix, so it's not worth it.
How Much Does Fuel Stabilizer Cost?
Typically, a fuel stabilizer will cost around $10-$15. Of course, this can vary by brand and the size of your product, so you may spend a little more or less.
You don't need to use much stabilizer per gas tank, so your product should last a while.
Also, it's worth noting that spending money on a fuel stabilizer now can save you a headache later on, so it's a good investment.
Furthermore, a bottle of fuel stabilizer should stay good for 24 months once opened, which is more than enough time to use it.
Again, it's better to be overprepared than have a significant engine problem to deal with.
Is Using A Fuel Stabilizer Worth It?
If you plan on storing your lawn equipment for more than one or two months at a time, we do think using a fuel stabilizer is worth it.
Adding one to your gasoline is worth it, but it can also mean less waste. With gas prices being so high right now, it's always nice to save as much as possible.
To Wrap It All Up
Whether you need to store away a lawn mower through the winter, or have a summer-long trip out of state, knowing how to use a fuel stabilizer is essential. From what we found, you don't need to use more than an ounce of stabilizer for 2.5 gallons of gas, so keep that in mind.
Furthermore, adding a stabilizing product to your tank can keep the fuel fresh for years. That is perfect for those who travel or live in cold places, so we recommend it.
Regardless, follow the directions on your stabilizer before pouring it into your tank, and inspect your gas before turning on your equipment.
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