Drat...maybe that wasn't gas after all. - Fuelly Forums

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Old 07-03-2009, 02:36 PM   #1
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Unhappy Drat...maybe that wasn't gas after all.

What a mess...

My last tank was ok. I ran it down to a few gallons then put in a bottle of Techron, which I had hanging around. I figured it's never gotten any fuel cleaner in 184,000 miles so it deserves something. Then I drove it to E, added 2 gallons, then drove it to E again to get the Techron through in concentrated form.

If I had known what I was going to do next I would have waited or skipped it entirely.

So today I was consolidating the various cans of old gas in my yard and trying to decide what to do with it. I decided I'd put it in the truck along with a full tank of gas. Bad idea. I put in nearly 4 gallons of old gas, some of which I'm not not sure was gas at all. Then I topped it off with 18.3 gallons of fresh stuff.

A few seconds after starting the truck, it started shaking badly. I didn't want to sit there idling like that but the traffic was awful (everyone was out doing stuff because we finally got a day off from the rain). I stumbled across the street to WalMart, where I bought a bottle each of Heet, Stabil, and SuperTech gas additive. Driving home, I found that above 2500 rpm it runs smooth. Under 2000 it stumbled and misfired (throwing a P0300 and making the Service Engine Soon light flash) and had no power. So, I kept it in 2nd and 3rd to keep it running smooth.

After ~5 miles, as I was almost home, it smoothed out and seemed to run normally even at idle. I figure the additives worked but took that long to mix in thoroughly and get to the engine.

Lesson learned...even if there's a whole 4 gallons of old gas, find a place to properly dispose of it instead of trying to use it, or just use it in very small increments.

If it resumes running bad, I'll have to find out how to drain the gas tank. At least I've now got enough empty, clean gas cans to hold all 24 gallons. You can bet I won't be discarding that much gas, but I won't try to run it all at once either.
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Old 07-03-2009, 07:15 PM   #2
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I am such a cheapskate that I did the same thing a month ago. All for 2 gallons of stale gas that I thought smelled marginal.

I used the dilution method as well- the resulting aggravation wasn't worth the $5 I thought I was saving.
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Old 07-04-2009, 09:36 AM   #3
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I put (wild guess) 5-8 gallons of gas at least a year old in my truck and it was ok. BUT it was premium from a car that was parted out. I had the car a year before putting the gas in my truck and who knows how old it was before that.

possibly the not-gas parts were the real culprits or it was a lot worse than mine.
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Old 07-04-2009, 04:59 PM   #4
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I always dump Isopropyl alcohol in any gas that's been sitting around before using it.

Worst gas I had recently was when I was short for my mower at the beginning of spring, and I had a can sitting around with 3 or 4 years worth of fuel filter drainings in it... this stuff was yellow, looked like a cross between light machine oil and pee... in it went... gah... didn't start too well, in goes 4 oz of methanol (I was out of IPA) and I shake it up some, get her started, do the front and back lawns, and was trying to hack down an overgrown bed and stalled it, couldn't get it going again... maybe just maybe I should have fresh gas in there... gave up for the day.... so a week later I drained the half jar of milky syrup that was left, and put fresh gas in, and she fired up fine.
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Old 07-07-2009, 10:44 PM   #5
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I had an interesting experience with bad gas about a week ago. I took our 4-stroke weed eater down off its hanger on the garage wall, carried it outside and started messing with the coupler on the boom so I could take off the blower attachment. I look down, and the damn thing is peeing on my foot. I set it down and take a closer look... At first glance, it appears the fuel return line had pulled out of its hole in the fuel tank. I grab the line to try to push it back into the hole, only to discover that the line barely reaches the tank. As I'm trying to figure out what's going on, the fuel line disintegrates in my hand!
Long story short, the gas had gone south over the winter, gummed up the carb a little and somehow turned corrosive enough to attack and break down the fuel lines. I must have brushed against the return line when carrying the trimmer outside, severing it where it passed into the tank. I had to take the whole thing apart, clean out the old gas (which now smelled like paint thinner) and fuel line fragments in the tank and go scour the local hardware stores to find lines that would fit. I'm putting stabil in the power equipment gas from now on.
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Old 07-08-2009, 06:22 AM   #6
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Dad doesn't use Stabil, before storing any power equipment for an extended period of time he always just let it sit and idle in the driveway until it ran out of gas.
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Old 07-08-2009, 07:32 AM   #7
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I have a generator powered by a Honda 8hp engine that I never use but I try to remember to run it once a month in the summer so it doesn't rot. I shut it off by turning off the fuel supply valve and letting it run the carburetor bowl dry. I do try to keep semi-fresh gas in it.

It starts easy every time.
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Old 07-11-2009, 10:04 AM   #8
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Well, I let it sit until today. I just went out to start it and it didn't want to start. I had to open the throttle for it to start. Then it put out a puff of smoke when it started and ran rough. I shut it off when it felt like it was going to stall anyway.

Do I try again and hope it gets running smooth after a few miles like last time? Do I siphon the gas out?

There doesn't seem to be a way to drain it. I checked the Haynes manual and I crawled under, the only way in to the gas tank is at the top. I could take off the bed and remove the fuel pump or filler hose, I guess.
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Old 07-11-2009, 11:26 AM   #9
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Just siphon it out...
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Old 07-11-2009, 11:31 AM   #10
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That's what I was afraid of. That's a nasty, messy job, unless I get something nice for it. I have a hose with a hand-pump primer for siphoning but I'm not sure it will reach into the tank, and I'm pretty sure it won't empty the tank as much as I want -- I could end up in the same bind if there's 5 gallons left.
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