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.
Related: The Best Places Where You Can Store Fuels Safely In An Emergency
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.
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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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I am suprised we don’t have articles on the China invasion thats coming…..
but old gas i guess is a good one
Who needs an invasion? China has spies(and willing accomplices) in all our advanced tech companies and public universities. And an over reaching influence in D.C. Also the money to buy “anything” they need , and the people to build it back home. With Russia and China in the East, and the European power brokers in the West we’ll just hand over the keys…. probably like a foreclosure action.
Because they are invading… and will take over in a few years.
Remember, “the mightiest warrior never has to pick up a sword”. Sun Tzu, “The Art Of War”.
Israel spies on the USA and sells the info & data to China for money.
Invade??? They already did that about 50 years ago. They’re just now getting serious about it. They have already got a president in office… And the undying support of the elite… I don’t see how they can go wrong.
Not to mention they own most (if not all) our national parks. How sad.
Any invasion would have to make it past the over 1 million military veterans in this nation. We are almost all armed and have no qualms with fighting any force that threatens our nation we served.
Hahaha it be like mowing grass. That bullshit ship sank a long time ago
Let see we lost every war after ww2. The majority of you don’t shoot , don’t train , can’t move ….
Military is broken with broken equipment
You guys won the revolutionary war with less than 3% of the population. You have way more than that now, now that more folks have been woken up by the covid scamdemic, and are much more aware of the corruption at the highest levels. You also have your Constitution which your leaders have tried so hard, and failed, to undermine and destroy.
It won’t be pretty, but you will win.
Here in Aussie land, I’m not so hopeful. Not only no Constitution to protect us, but we’ve had it easy for way too long and duped into a zombie-like government depenency. I do hope I am wrong though and still working on waking people up. We do have pockets here and there in middle-class areas.
We won our revolutionary war because the French and Dutch either funded or sent in troops.
The mythical 3 percent is funny but you don’t even have that of able bodies. Like I said the false quote of blades of grass is useless was never really said.
The men of that war don’t exist now. You have to many pathetic people these days who would roll over for slavery if you offered them food and safety.
How about all us deer hunters in MN. and other states 30.06 with a scope will do the trick
As for the article, nothing is really earth-shattering, but it is a good lesson in common sense fuel management.
And the best take away is that it informs many that fuel DOES go bad.
did they just delete everyones posts ?
Using old gas in an engine, especially a small engine, is the last thing I would do! I put in double Stabil girl stabilizer before I refill cans. That way, it is good for up to two years (though I try to rotate and empty cans every year. I put a piece of making tape on each can with refill date and how much Stabil i used.
Great idea with the masking tape
I wonder what putting in octane booster would do.
I read somewhere recently that (adding octane boost which isn’t cheap either) while that sounds helpful, it turns out it isn’t. I wondered too.
I put in 5 gallons of premium and 5 to 6 gallons of the old gas when I’m still at a quarter tank. Zero issues, runs great, no smoke out tailpipe. I try to drive right after adding this to mix, and intentionally start/top, gently swerve a little — safely down my empty street.
Never ran across any hazy or cloudy gas yet, thankfully. I installed filters and petcocks in-line to the mower and snow blower, and run em dry when done or at least at the end of the season. I never fill a gas container without treating it first with a few drops or more extra.
The little paper tags on 5 inches of string are 49 cents for a hundred at any office store, or many grocery stores, dollar stores, and that wraps around the tank handle easy, with two sides to date and note contents % grade of fuel.
I don’t know about today’s gasoline but back in the early 70’s my grandfather used 50% ethanol in a vehicle that had set for over a year. He also explained that 70% Isopropyl alcohol would also work. However he knew that before he could even start the vehicle he would have to change the oil due to moisture draw to oil in the engine. Just like improperly stored gas or diesel fuel will collect water.
I always write the date of purchase on the fuel containers with a Sharpie. Acetone easily erases the marker for a new date when replaced. I also use Pri-G stabilizer to keep the gas fresh for a minimum of 3 years. I just have to re-stabilize once a year and mark that date on the container. I use Pri-D to stabilize Diesel fuel. Works like a charm.
On average, I fill six five gallon cans for a year supply of outdoor fuel for mowers, the quad, rototiller, chainsaws and wood splitter. Before I fill the jerry cans I add sta bil, carb/injector cleaner, and heet. I’ve never had any fuel go bad or experienced any degradation. Additives are added per label instructions.
Each new fill up of high octane fuel I add Seafoam immediately, use the gas within the next 6-9 months. Good to go.
Would it be helpful to mix a higher octane new gas with the old?
That’s what I would do!
How about “recreational “ gas that has no ethanol? Ethanol degrades faster than Rec gas.
Another good stabilizer is “Star-tron” (Blue in Color) which is good for two years. I have rotated my fuel every two years and it has worked fine.
I am surprised. I have dealt with bad fuel in both types and there is one rule that follows no matter what the fuel- FILTER IT. A paper air filter is good, but have also used a sock. Then activated charcoal. Laugh all you want, it works. Filter then treat.
I rarely use plastic fuel containers for storage (but for immediate use only). I always use 5 gallon metal safety cans and premium non-ethanol fuel. it seems to last much longer this way.
Jeff, you mean the jerry cans? Yeah, if you can afford them!! They are outrageously expensive!
I’d LOVE to have several, but have only been able to get 1, to put on my Jeep for long drives.
I have done what you said about adding new gas to old. I also bought an airplane engine in a ground power unit that had aircraft gas in it that was several years old, and it was still perfectly like new, very clear with a blueish tint. That would be a good way to get long term gas, but it will be spendy, like you said.
WOOD GAS is the alternative to needing fuel. Well proven during WW2! New designs allow you to just throw wood in without the need to “charcoalise” it. On Facebook there is a “driveonwaste” guy using 15kgs of “waste” to drive 100kms in an old Ford. There is a 30% loss of power using this fuel…but that is a great thing, using a “low power” fuel is such a benefit if we are trying to make engines run in a SHTF scenario and maybe without proper equipment to acheive what we want. But getting back to storing fuel…I always wondered (and Believe) that unleaded fuel can probably be indefinitely stored in propane bottles, fill a propane bottle nearly full and then charge it with Propane as normal. The pressure will prevent any moisture ingress and also stop any evaporation of lighter petroleums. Of course add a fuel stabiliser. The gas bottle might even be a deterent to those hunting for fuel for their car….
Oh sure wood gas…
PRI-G and PRI-D are the very best for long term fuel preservation and stabilization.
I have had gas last seven years and run all as just pumped.
PRI-G for gas PRI-D for diesel
Add every year or a bit less as i do.
Pricey but worth every penny.
Don’t take my word.. check it out on the internet.
And “no” i am not affiliated with them.
Where can we find that two year long life gasoline? Near area code 28714 NC
A specialty gasoline showed up in Wisconsin about 8 years ago, called TRU-FUEL and sold at large Hardware Stores. When it first came out it cost about $18/metal gallon container. Recently I’ve bought it at $8.00 same container. It is guaranteed to stay fresh for 2 years “sitting”. It is a 93 octane, pure gas (no ethanol).
I use it for my 2-cycle and 4 cycle engines, and after I run them “dry” at the end of the seazson. Then I put in a cup of TruFuel and run it for a minute or two, then let it sit in the engine piping holes during the off-season (snowblowers are in off season during lawnmowing time of year; and vice versa–mowers and gas weed eaters are in off-season during winter).
Here was my experience when using 10% ethanol gas. I’d buy a new mower for $300 and run it for almost a full 2 years, but have the carberator act up half way through the 2nd year (harder starting, often quitting when in operation). At the start of the 3rd year I couldn’t get it working (and when at the prior “end of season” I ran it out of gas and left it “dry”). I talked with a mechanic at the Lawn/Garden Center who said, “ethanol” is the problem. It attracts water vapor (humidity) that adds liquid water to the gasoline via absorption. The liquid water in the gasoline then rots out sensitive parts of the engine/carborator, usually requiring a replacement piece (at about $150 plus the time to order the part, or another 75 people brought their machines in before I did, so I had to wait to get mine fixed. Altogether I lost big money for stubborness on my part to pay $150 to get my mower fixed for a 3rd year of use.
To date I “winterize” my 2 and 4 cycle motors with Tru-Fuel at $8/gallon (with a 2 year idle rating for a clean start). and I am still in fine operation.
I only use highest octane in my Honda Civic (it is required/recommended). I get good gas mileage on my 2 fill-up trips spanning 550 miles (driving fast0. I use the same 91 octane pure gas in my small engines, except that I run it out at end of season and pour in a small amount of True-Fuel to protect the engine during its idle “off season”.