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NatKelley (Petroleum) (OP)
22 Mar 11 15:21
Has anyone had successful experience using old gasoline?  Possibly mixed with new gasoline or something to make it usable in a vehicle or lawnmower??

I found a thread with responses from user rmw that led me to join this forum.  I do not know how to look for users.

I have ALOT of old fuel that I'd rather use if I can, instead of calling an oil recycler to come pick it up. If anyone has any ideas, please let me know.
ivymike (Mechanical)
22 Mar 11 15:26
when I have a little bit, I mix it with new fuel and feed it to my lawnmower.  I'm not sure what to do with lots of it.  

do you have a very large bonfire scheduled in the near future?
Helpful Member!  MikeHalloran (Mechanical)
22 Mar 11 15:52
My lawnmowers have never really liked old gasoline.
I feed it to my cars, a few gallons per tank.


Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

SomptingGuy (Automotive)
22 Mar 11 16:20
Why would someone have "ALOT" of old gasoline?  Hoarding perhaps?  When we had fuel protests in the UK a few years back, which cut supply to the gas stations, people started hoarding gasoline in unfit containers on their property.

- Steve

dgallup (Automotive)
22 Mar 11 16:54
How old is old?  What grade was it to begin with?  Any alcohol or MBTE?  What sort of engines do you want to run it in?  Without some idea of what you have to start with it is impossible to give any kind of meaningful answers.
izzmus (Automotive)
22 Mar 11 19:45
Carbureted Wankels are perfectly happy to run on poorly stored, decade-old fuel.  I wouldn't try it in a fuel injected engine with any decent compression, though.
patprimmer (Publican)
22 Mar 11 19:48
Also, was it stored in a well sealed container.

Generally I would say if it has no oil mixed with it and is stored in an airtight container it is OK.

I never use old 2 stroke blend as the lighter fractions evaporate off and leave only the heavier fractions and the oil kills the octane rating over time.

I would blend it of at no more than 10% in a lower performance car, but not in something where the new fuel was of marginal octane for the engine and I would still be concerned that the 2 stroke oil might damage the catalytic converter.


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rmw (Mechanical)
22 Mar 11 19:51

Thanks for the mention.

I hadn't run my chainsaw since Hurricane Ike just over 2 years ago and had begun to worry about the gasoline I left in it.  Not leaving any was worrysome because when I got it out after Ike the gaskets in the Carb had dried and it poured gasoline for a while until they swelled up again.  (it still cut the heck out of some mighty big trees and created a bad case of "chain saw envy" in the neighborhood - it is a large McCullough no longer made.)

I don't know what the threshold is, but with the new gasoline I mixed in to do the trimming of stuff killed by the recent cold weather, I think I must be good for another couple of years again.

RossABQ (Mechanical)
22 Mar 11 20:34
I've bought two Porsche 944's that had each sat for 7+ years.  One had 10 gallons in it, the other had a full tank of 15 gallons.  Both tankfuls stunk to high heaven, but obviously I didn't want to dump that much gas on the ground or pay to have it disposed of ($$).  

The first time I put all the gas in my '88 Chevy pickup, which had TBI.  I figured it might be more forgiving than a car with MPFI.  It also had a 34 gallon tank, and was about half full, so it was diluted.  It ran fine but smelled really bad (exhaust).

The second time I put half of the old gas in my '52 Ford, which burned it off just fine and without any smell.  I put the rest in the Chevy truck, which again had no trouble burning it off.

Bottom line, I'd use the gas, diluted maybe 50%, in something that uses a lot of gas, not some fuel-sipping econocar.
TheBlacksmith (Mechanical)
23 Mar 11 13:31
I've dumped up to 20% (most of a 5 gallon can) into my 1999 F-150 with a 4.6 fuel injected engine and never noticed any ill effects.  Of course I didn't do it when climbing mountains through PA or pulling a 6,000 lb trailer.
evelrod (Automotive)
23 Mar 11 13:45
I had a few gallons of leaded 110 in a fuelcell for five years or so.  I started the engine up just to warm it up before loading on a transporter to it's new owner back east.  Seemed ok. No smell or anything.  New owner added new racing fuel and all was normal.

I have some of the same fuel in an 8gal cell that's been there for about 14 years...
Naw! That would be pressing my luck...I'll dump it next time I take my oil cans in to the dump.

Never thought too much about it...Will the oil recycle place take old gasoline?

TheBlacksmith (Mechanical)
23 Mar 11 13:52
Evelrod - At least in Illinois NO.  We had to recycle some oil out of a training facility there and they sniffed our cans with a chemical detector for large amounts of aromatics such as gas or paint thinner.  A little from engine blowby was okay, but not pure gas.  And Kalifornia is usually way ahead of the othr 49 on pollution control.
evelrod (Automotive)
23 Mar 11 13:57
I'll ask when I take this batch of used Red Line synthetic, about 20 gallons.  They won't take but five gal at a time so I must hit four places.  If not, I know a gopher who will just LOVE the stuff!

patprimmer (Publican)
23 Mar 11 19:31

If you are going to bury it, just leave it in an open dish for a day or two, or better still, add it to the solvent in your parts washer, so long as you don't breath the fumes or put your hands in it to much.

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evelrod (Automotive)
23 Mar 11 19:58
Pat, somehow I survived (at least, so far) my first 30 years of washing parts in leaded gasoline...I'll be 71 in a couple days...I think I'll just feed it to the gopher! tongue

patprimmer (Publican)
23 Mar 11 20:14
I also have survived washing parts in avgas for the nice dry slippery coating it as it dried.

So far no physical side effects. Some may atribute personality traits to the fumes tough.  winky smile

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TheBlacksmith (Mechanical)
24 Mar 11 7:49
I use Chevron Techron when when of my fuel injected vehicles starts acting up and it usually clears it up.  I used it on the old throttle body injection systems where you could observe the spray pattern and the before and after difference was impressive.  No flow testing, just Mark 1, Mod 0 eyeball.
RossABQ (Mechanical)
24 Mar 11 12:10
Ditto on Techron.

On my long-sitting Porsches, most of the injectors were stuck.  I hot-wired the fuel pump and used jumpers to pulse the injectors with 2 gallons of fresh gas and a bottle of Techron circulating.  After 5 - 10 pulses I could hear them start clicking.  Used that mix to start the engine, have had no problems since.
MiketheEngineer (Structural)
24 Mar 11 13:40
I use STABIL when I know gas may be leftover from year to year.  Seems to work.

Old gas in hand started equipment may just get you a sore shoulder unless you mix it with some hi-octane stuff or warm the engine up before introducing it.
evelrod (Automotive)
24 Mar 11 14:30
Ah, here we go..."warm the engine up before..."

Florance, Colorado, winter 1964...starting an old six cylinder Lincoln welder...Oxy-acetylene torch to 'warm 'er up' a bit.  Well, let's add a little of the mix to the aircleaner to give it a boost.  Hit the starter button...BOOOOOOOOOOM...exit about half the cylinder head, stage left!!!
No worries, mate!  Boss hated that POS welder anyway.  Whew!tongue

NatKelley (Petroleum) (OP)
25 Mar 11 11:21
Sorry for the slow reply guys....Thanks for all your suggestions.  

I bought an old general store/gas station,converted it into a cafe, & recently found the old tanks in the ground need to be emptied and removed.  1000 gallons of gas in there since 2000.  The state guy that came to check it says, there is no water in it- but it smells old.

Maybe I can bottle it and sell it as parts cleaner to mechanics??? =)
drwebb (Automotive)
25 Mar 11 11:39
A lot of waste oil goes to burner fuel.  Might be worth gauging any interest among your local dealers.  That may be where whomever remediates the tanks would send it.
1gibson (Mechanical)
25 Mar 11 15:17
Would everyone still agree with their comments considering ethanol content of gasoline in the past few years? Ethanol being more prone to water absorption?
evelrod (Automotive)
25 Mar 11 15:27
The problem with "old fuel" is not so much water contamination as  evaporation.  The major problem of any fuel not stored in a sealed, light proof container.  Not one of the current crop of red or white plastic jugs.  Sealed metal containers can keep fuel, in my case, racing fuel viable for quite a while.

Evaporation of oxygenating additives such as ethanol or MTBE can happen at a pretty surprising rate leaving "base stock", more or less...The 'bad smell'.

I would still try to avoid using fuel that has been in undetermined storage for anything save, feeding my gophers.

swall (Materials)
25 Mar 11 15:29
You bring up a good point. I have heard a rule of thumb for E10 fuel storage of 90 days max. Some of the fuel stabilizer products now claim to be suitable for ethanol blends.
TheBlacksmith (Mechanical)
25 Mar 11 15:33
If ethanol didn't mix with water my scotch and water would taste funny!  Plus pure ethanol will absorb moisture out of the air, which is why you don't see 200 proof everclear.  I remember an old backyard boater's test for ethanol (the alcohol would dissolve old time marine fuel hose!).  Add exactly 100 ml of the fuel under test to a graduated container, add exactly 100 ml of pure water.  Cap and shake the container.  Let settle for 30 minutes.  If there is now a line at 110 ml between the "scotch and water" and the gasoline, the gasoline had 10% ethanol in it.
berkshire (Aeronautics)
25 Mar 11 16:54
So we are looking at 1000 gallons of 11 year old Gasoline. Stored in an underground tank, which your state inspector says, is water free.
  If it is that old, it most likely was not formulated with any Ethanol. It might have MBTE, but that's not bad, however it might have tetraethyl lead that's bad.
 Try it in an older car without a catalytic converter first...
rmw (Mechanical)
25 Mar 11 17:33
Wasn't leaded gas a thing of memory by Y2K?

I'd be suspicious of the report that it has NO water in it especially if it is that old.  One reason that the gas is 'old' is what can have evaporated off has evaporated off.  It is gasoline's high vapor pressure that keeps it from having a tendency to collect water.  I have my doubts about the vapor pressure on the top of that gasoline is what it was in 2000.  At least with an underground tank it had less tendency to "breathe" as ambient temperatures fluctuate.

If it were mine, I'd mix it in smaller quantities with good fresh gas and have 1000 gallons less of gas to have to buy in the upcoming months.  The question is; can you pump it in such a manner so as to be able to mix it in with your good gasoline little by little over time.

If so, your gopher will live longer too.  If not, the gasoline won't kill him, it will drown him.

evelrod (Automotive)
26 Mar 11 15:16
If I was still back home, I'm so cheap that I probably would try to save that much fuel.  Mix it with 'new' and use it in the summer.  Those hot West Texas summers would help.  My father in law kept a 250 gal tank full on his Lubbock area farm for years, 'just in case'.  I'm pretty sure that after he died "someone" must have used it...never heard any family bitching about bad fuel.

Don't worry about that gopher...I shot that sucker several years ago. ["It's a joke, son"!...Foghorn Leghorn.]


RossABQ (Mechanical)
28 Mar 11 12:13
I'd sell the gas!  Guaranteed if you put it up for sale at $2/gallon and are completely up-front about its history, you'll have a line of people in F-350's around the block!
Compositepro (Chemical)
28 Mar 11 12:51
You have to be very careful with the quality of the fuel you put into modern diesel engines. Repairing clogged injectors is very expensive. They are not like the old diesels that would run on crude or used motor oil.
MikeHalloran (Mechanical)
28 Mar 11 13:48
All Diesels run like crap on gasoline, whether fresh or old, the current subject of discussion.

Mike Halloran
Pembroke Pines, FL, USA

rmw (Mechanical)
28 Mar 11 21:44
I actually think they'd run a little better on old gasoline than fresh because of it having less volatile matter, but that is just a guess.  Agreed that they run like crap on gasoline.  Learnt that the hard way - let the wife drive one of my diesel vehicles.  That is when I started adding motor oil as fast as it would take it..

But how did that get into this thread?


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