Does FUEL STABILIZER actually hurt your small engines? Kill motorcycle engines?

Melensdad

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This is an interesting video. It's looking specifically at motorcycle engines but one could probably apply this logic to any sophisticated small engine like used in a Side-by-Side or even a Generator.

Worth watching. What are your thoughts after seeing it?

Ryan from FortNine has put together a YouTube clip with some actual science on this, not just the opinionated stuff that used to grace the back-pages technical columns of the print mags. Under close scrutiny, the stabilizers don’t actually perform so well. My personal conclusion is, it’s far more important to put ethanol-free gas in your bike or other small engine—but if you live in a place that winterization is necessary, you should watch the rest of the video to see the breakdown on all the stabilizers.

Years ago I stopped using STA-BIL and simply fill the tanks of my small vehicles, lawn mowers, etc with PREMIUM grade fuel in the fall.

 

FrancSevin

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I have used Sea-Foam stabilizer for decades. Never had an issue. Even in small engines not started for years.
Before ethanol, one could start a tractor left in the field all winter without worry. But back then , engines, seals, gaskets and fuels were much different. My personal take is that fuel stabilizers aren't the problem. Ethanol is.
 

mla2ofus

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I totally agree with franc on ethanol. I've seen too many small carbs all gummed up from ethanol gas sitting in them for a few months without use. Fortunately one of our 3 gas stations has ethanol free gas. Spendy but worth every penny.
 

EastTexFrank

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I've used Stab-il for many years without it causing a problem that I know about.

I know Franc is right about the ethanol. I have a small Efco chain saw, that I absolutely loved, be ruined because all the fuel lines and rubber parts turned to a spongy mess because of the ethanol.
 

FrancSevin

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I've used Stab-il for many years without it causing a problem that I know about.

I know Franc is right about the ethanol. I have a small Efco chain saw, that I absolutely loved, be ruined because all the fuel lines and rubber parts turned to a spongy mess because of the ethanol.
Same thing happened to my favorite McCullough.

The manuals that come with virtually every small engine you buy today says NOT to use Ethanol fuels. WTF?
 
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FrancSevin

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I think a lot of folks use ethanol gas out of ignorance or just don't want to pay the extra for non ethanol gas.
I agree, Yes. The thread relates to motorcycle engines. I'm betting older models have issues. My 185 Suzuki carbureted 2cycle likely would suffer winter storage. Except I rode it all year.

Modern units likely do not suffer as most are fuel injected. No float bowl for sediment to form and clog up lines and needle valves. Older engines had seals and adhesives that suffered from the ethanol making those component failures frequent and often disastrous. But I'm betting the motor cycle crowd travels around but seldom looks for ethanol free fuel any more than Toyota Celica drivers. I have not, as yet, heard any of my friends complain.
 
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Doc

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I think a lot of folks use ethanol gas out of ignorance or just don't want to pay the extra for non ethanol gas.
i believe you are right for a lot of folks but another factor is availability to non ethanol fuel. Finally, just last fall we had a local mom and pop store bought out by Par Mar. Par Mar added Rec 90, which is non ethanol and perfect for the boating community here. There is another place across the state line in WV about 25 miles away that sells non ethanol fuel but the pumps there do not lend themselves for pulling in an gassing up a boat. Not designed for that at all. So I used to have to buy ethanol gas and treat it and hope that helped. Now I can buy the 'rec 90 at $3.45 a gallon and save my equipment and boat.
 

bczoom

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Although I'd love to use non-ethanol gas, it's problematic for me.

As mentioned by others, there's not many places around here to get it. The closest place to me is probably 15 miles away. Where they do have it, it's priced at $1.00 per gallon more than E10 gas.

Our E10 gas is currently about $2.45/gallon at the pump. Through store perks, I get fuel at a constant of 1/3 off of the pump price so I'm only paying about $1.63/gallon.

For bulk storage, I use Sta-Bil (just because I have a bunch of it on a shelf). For my smaller engine fuel stabilizer, I use SeaFoam. If/when an engine does have problems, I use "Mechanic in a bottle". Dose the fuel, let it sit overnight and the engine is cleaned up and running the next day.
 

MNwr786

Member
Hot ethanol is acidic enough to be corrosive to aluminum as well. I am surprised none of the tests in the video assessed the stabilizers ability to prevent polymerization of the fuel (varnish). Just like recycling plastic, we need a sustainability lie (ethanol) to keep us happy. E85 is disappearing for a reason.

As for octane number, most people have no clue what it represents. Octane, a straight chain alkane, it is this alkane that serves as a baseline to compare other fuels to with respect to pre-ignition that leads to engine pinging/knock. Because these new vehicles are all computer controlled making adjustments on the fly, most cars prefer drinking the better fuel because when the computer is continuously adjusting the timing and ratios to match an unpredictable system, performance takes a hit. As for horsepower and MPG, 91 offers a negligible increase as long as you drive a real car built before the EPA got involved. Sure, small single-cylinder engines will run better with a more consistent ignition, but for anything else I own, its 87. The road salt will get my vehicle before the octane rating does. I cannot afford non ethanol fuel. Patiently waiting for ethanol fuels to disappear.
 

FrancSevin

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Hot ethanol is acidic enough to be corrosive to aluminum as well. I am surprised none of the tests in the video assessed the stabilizers ability to prevent polymerization of the fuel (varnish). Just like recycling plastic, we need a sustainability lie (ethanol) to keep us happy. E85 is disappearing for a reason.

As for octane number, most people have no clue what it represents. Octane, a straight chain alkane, it is this alkane that serves as a baseline to compare other fuels to with respect to pre-ignition that leads to engine pinging/knock. Because these new vehicles are all computer controlled making adjustments on the fly, most cars prefer drinking the better fuel because when the computer is continuously adjusting the timing and ratios to match an unpredictable system, performance takes a hit. As for horsepower and MPG, 91 offers a negligible increase as long as you drive a real car built before the EPA got involved. Sure, small single-cylinder engines will run better with a more consistent ignition, but for anything else I own, its 87. The road salt will get my vehicle before the octane rating does. I cannot afford non ethanol fuel. Patiently waiting for ethanol fuels to disappear.
Ethanol fuels will be with us until humanity realizes the immorality of burning food in our cars.
 

MNwr786

Member
I do like corn bread, especially the famous daves mix made in a cast iron pan! Corn on the cob if crisp and sweet isn't bad either. But at the end of the day, all deliciously unfulfilling foods aside, the only significant thing corn is good for is whiskey, not food or fuel! It is a shame they destroy it by adding gasoline to it.
 

300 H and H

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Ethanol is in our fuel to help clean up the exhaust. It replaced MTBE a proven carcinogen that has ruined drinking water wells
in many Western states. It was found to be the most economical way to replace MTBE. Both are oxygenators, meaning they have free oxygen
to promote complete combustion.
Find a better cheaper oxygenator, and solve the problem. Warning millions of $$$ have already been spent to find an alternative.
Ethanol does have draw backs for sure. Replacing it with some thing else has been the target of the petroleum refiners for over a decade.
SO, do not hold your breath waiting for a replacement.

Regards, Kirk
 
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