Do you ever worry about old gas in your car’s tank? Is old gas affecting your car’s performance? The effects of an old gas can be found in your car’s tank.
If you haven’t driven your car in a while, you might be wondering if the gas in the tank is still ok, or if it needs to be removed and fresh gas added. Here is your answer.
Is Old Gas Bad for Your Car?
Old gas is not an issue in most cases. The gas that sits does not always go well.
Fresh gas can be redeemed even for a few months if you top off the tank with it. The motor will work properly when the fresh gas mixes with the older gas.
According to John Ibbotson, chief mechanic at Consumer Reports, the new gas will mix with what’s already in your tank, and any variation in the octane will be adjusted automatically by your car’s engine computer.
What Happens When Your Gas Becomes Old?
It degrades in a couple of ways if gas sits. In time, gas will lose its octane.
The better the air-fuel mixture and the better the combustion in the cylinders, the higher the octane rating.
As it ages, old gas loses its volatile qualities. Residues and water from gas burning can build up in the engine and gas as it sits as a result of the decrease in volatility.
These do not bode well for the engine function.
How Old Is Too Old for Gas?
Most gas stays fresh for a month or two, even though it degrades from the get-go. It’s okay to use gas that’s been more than two months old with only slight decreases in performance.
Issues like engine knocking and sputtering can be caused by gas that is older than a year.
Bad gas can be drained from the tank to prevent damage to the engine. There’s no way of knowing how old the gas is when you first pump it into the car.
What to Do to Protect the Car If You Store It?
Ronald Montoya, the senior consumer advice editor at Edmunds, suggests topping off the engine to prevent water from getting into it and adding a fuel stabilizer to slow the breakdown of the gas.
The life of gas can be extended by up to 15 months. You should add the stabilizer to the fresh gas. If you can’t keep the car inside, cover it with an all-weather cover.
How To Identify Bad Fuel?
The chemical properties of gasoline change as it gets older. The engine can’t process the fuel correctly because of that.
If the gas in your car is bad, there are several indicators to look out for. The simplest light is your check engine light.
If the car is running well and the engine has oil, the light may have been triggered by gasoline that is burning badly.
If you want to investigate, take your car to a certified mechanic.
If the car suffers from operational problems, that is a sign that fuel has gone bad.
That could mean failure to start, a hesitant ignition, a rough-sounding idling, or even a loss of power while driving.
The look and smell of gasoline can be used to determine the state of the fuel. Bad fuel will have an appearance that is darker or muddier.
It will have a sour or disagreeable smell, which is not typical of normal fuel. Some people may describe the smell of gasoline as being spoiled.
It’s necessary to remove the bad fuel from the tank.
Not only because the vehicle will not operate as it should, but also because bad gasoline can cause damage to the internal engine components as well as produce a gummy substance that could cause problems in the fuel line.
The tank and fuel system can be affected by bad fuel and water vapor. It can be costly to repair damage if it is left for a long time.
How To Keep Gas Fresh?
There are things you can do to keep your fuel from degrading. The first thing to do is make time to drive.
This will keep the fuel from getting stagnant even if it is only for a short time. Every month or two you will have to fill up with fresh fuel.
It’s a good idea to top off your tank when you fill it because fuel will degrade over time. This will leave less room for water in the tank, which can cause water pollution.
A full tank limits the amount of oxygen in the tank, which the gasoline is prone to evaporate into.
If you want to combat fuel breakdown, you can try a fuel stabilizer. It is mixed into a full tank of gas to make it last longer.
Many people are driving less these days and this is a good option for them.
If you are going to store excess gasoline, you should keep it in a cool, low-humidity, low-oxygen environment. There should be no more than three to five gallons in the containers.
Truck driver by profession, automotive lover by heart. Ricky is the main publisher and editor at Truckile.com sharing his life-long knowledge and experience in the auto industry and truck driving!