There is no denying just how important gasoline is in today’s age. Even after you go off-grid, you will find it hard to get away from gasoline.
You need to run your vehicle. If you have any gas-powered tools, you need gasoline, unless you are willing to put all your projects on hold.
It is also a good idea to keep some on hand in case you need to run your generator.
The only problem with gasoline is storing it. Gasoline not only breaks down chemically, but it will also lose its potency if it has been stored for too long.
Luckily, there are ways to recondition any stored gas that may have gone bad. Let’s find out how!
How To Tell If You Have Old Gasoline
If you keep careful track of when you last refilled your gas containers, then it can be very easy to tell if your gas is old.
As a general rule, regular gasoline can sit in a container for up to six months before it is considered old. Some simple math can tell you if your gas is old in this case.
However, most of us simply fill up our extra containers and put them in our garage. If someone asks how old this gas is, we simply shrug and say “I don’t know.” We might be able to give the season we refilled it, but that is about it.
So, if you can’t recall when you filled up a container, how can you tell if the gas inside is still good?
The simplest way to tell is to just look at the gas in question. If the gas is darker than normal or even muddy looking, the gas has gone bad.
You may be able to notice a sour smell coming from your container, as well. This is also a good sign that your stored gas is old.
Additionally, if your vehicle or tools are full of gas, but not starting properly, the gas in them may have gone bad.
It is also important to note that if your gas appears cloudy or murky, it is probably not just old; it has probably gone truly bad and is not worth trying to recondition.
Reconditioning Old Gas
By now, you have been able to tell if your gas is simply old, or if it has gone too bad to use. If it is just old, you are in luck.
Related: 7 Survival Uses for Expired Gas
There is a simple, 4-step process to recondition the old gas in order to make it functional once more. It is really so easy that almost anyone can do it. Let’s take a look at this step-by-step:
Add Fresh Gasoline In A 3:1 Or 4:1 Ratio
When gasoline gets old, it begins to break down, and the octane level of the gas will drop.
By mixing in new gas, you are creating a new solution and adding in combustive elements that were lost during the aging process.
It is worth noting that the octane level of the reconditioned gas will be lower than that of the new gas you mixed in.
Keep this in mind when it comes time to use your reconditioned gas.
Shake The Container To Mix Thoroughly
If you are adding new gas directly to a vehicle or lawn mower, you can also rock it.
The effects will be the same, and you will have thoroughly mixed reconditioned gasoline.
Mix In Additives, If Needed Or Desired
It is important to keep in mind that any additives that you may see in stores are meant for use in new gasoline. If you have new gasoline, these additives can extend the shelf life of gasoline by up to 12 months.
They will do nothing to rejuvenate your old gasoline. However, mixing in a detergent additive will help clean any unwanted deposits before they harden.
These deposits can clog components of your engine, so investing in a detergent additive for your reconditioned gas is a great idea!
Try To Start Your Engine
Now that you have made your mixture of old gasoline, new gasoline, and any additives that you deemed necessary, it is time to give it a test drive, literally.
Since your mixture contains old gas, and since your final octane level will be lower than normal, you can expect it to take a few tries before your engine purrs to life.
Will This Work For Diesel Fuel?
If you are asking if diesel can be reconditioned, then the answer is yes. However, the process outlined above will not work for diesel, so please do not try it! There is an entirely different process for reconditioning diesel.
Just like regular gasoline, diesel will go bad, though it does take much longer if it is stored properly. Diesel can be stored for up to two years before it is considered “bad.”
However, the problem with diesel arises when it is stored improperly. When this happens, water contamination can occur.
This will result in bacteria growing in the diesel, which will clog your filters.
Using contaminated diesel for too long can lead to total engine failure.
How To Avoid Old Gas
If most of your stored gas is old, then it may be that you are simply buying too much gas. Having some spare gas is ideal, but make sure to cycle through your containers every so often and then refill them.
Having too much spare gas can easily result in lots of wasted money, and no one likes to waste money.
You may also be interested in long-storage gasoline. Some manufacturers produce gas blends that are optimized for a longer shelf-life than the gas you can get from the gas station.
Keep in mind that this specialized gasoline will need to be picked up from the supplier directly, and it tends to be more expensive than regular gas. However, seeing as this specialized gas can have a shelf life of up to two years, it may be an investment worth making.
In conclusion, reconditioning your old gas is easier than most people think. Keep in mind that this process only works for old gas, not bad gas or diesel. Simply mix in new gasoline, shake it up, and get going.
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