Fuel Stabiliser for Honda EU20i?

Submitted: Saturday, Apr 19, 2014 at 17:45
ThreadID: 107365 Views:5172 Replies:9 FollowUps:20
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Hey guys,

This is my first post on this forum :) Just ordered myself a Honda EU20i generator for home power backup (fridge and fans) and will be great for camping.

As I wont be using this all the time, whats a good fuel stabiliser I should use for the fuel I will store for it? I have read a lot about Seafoam on the american forums but the only thing I can seem to find online available in Aus is red STA-BIL. Also, will it be OK to run fuel through the generator when it is new if it has stabiliser in it?
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Reply By: yarda - Saturday, Apr 19, 2014 at 17:55

Saturday, Apr 19, 2014 at 17:55
First up, use premium fuel only, this is the only way to avoid ethanol content. Ethanol has no storage stability and sucks up water causing micro biological contamination.

No commercial fuels in Aus have storage stability as part of the spec, there are some products that give some stability and some products that just dissolve your money. The ADF has one product only that passed rigour for unleaded - Castrol Fuel Doctor.

Regardless, you should turn over that fuel every quarterr or so with fresh juice. Freshen up the removed fuel via dilution into a working vehicle and burn it off.
AnswerID: 530869

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Sunday, Apr 20, 2014 at 15:37

Sunday, Apr 20, 2014 at 15:37
Um sorry that is bunkum.....contrary to what is written in some aftermarket service manuals and put forward as a wives tale, in Australia ethanol content in fuel has to be declared.

In countries where undeclared ethanol is permitted in fuel, it is just as likley to be found in the higher grades as it is used as an octain improver.

There is no ethanol content in standard unleaded in Australia.

Further more, many small engines with fixed tuning will not run well on high octain fuel.

In particular they will be hard to start and fail to idle.....I know I learned this the hard way.

In engines with fixed tuning ( not run by and ECU that varies the timing and mixture) run the grade of fuel they where designed for.

for most small engines that is standard unleaded.

As for fuel doctor.....it is a diesel product and a very good one.

The tank life of standard unleaded fuel is 60 to 90 days....and that asumes a sealed tank....with exposure to air it can be way less...fuel in a carburetta is exposed to air..

Add two stroke to the fuel and the shelf life also drops, considerably.

The single overriding reason for modern petrol failing to keep is the absence of lead.

In small engines it is best to drain the tank and run out the carby for long term storage.

Or run at least one full tank thru the machine each month.

There are some fuel stabilisers that work.....but thay only extend the shelf life of the fuel..so it becosmes a case of how long your piece of string is.

FollowupID: 813905

Follow Up By: Dogga85 - Sunday, Apr 20, 2014 at 17:03

Sunday, Apr 20, 2014 at 17:03
Hi Bantam,

I always thought that if fuel contained Ethanol that Shell service stations would advise of this on the sign (e.g 'Unleaded with Ethanol' or "Unleaded E10'). Also, the guy at the shop did advise only to run the generator on normal 91 octane unleaded.
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Follow Up By: yarda - Sunday, Apr 20, 2014 at 19:06

Sunday, Apr 20, 2014 at 19:06
Well bugger me, Eddie the expert is in town - is there anything you are not the all-opinionated expert on Bantam?

Ethanol in standard grades of unleaded is NOT a de minimis specification, low percentages are allowed, it is NOT E10 as this is a separate product with its own spec and labelling requirements, state biofuel mandates drive ethanol use and blending - so you can and do get ethanol content in standard unleaded petrol. Premium unleaded is exempt from the mandates and is the only way to avoid Ethanol when buying from the pump. If loading bulk at the terminal, and the fuel (petrol and dieso) is destined for low-turnover or long term storage then you are also exempt from the biofuel mandates. The refiners do not like bio content, it is kept separate from the rest of the supply chain for various reasons ( the most important being FAME contamination of jet fuel) and is only splash blended as the truck is loaded.

As for Fuel Doctor - LOL did you or have you bothered to read the product data sheet? I even provided a link for you, read and learn. The ADF through due diligence and it's POL additive policy approved it for petrol use.

I worked for a long time in fuel and lubricants engineering and quality control, the comment I provide is the practical realisation of all the policies and requirements, enough said.
FollowupID: 813921

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Sunday, Apr 20, 2014 at 22:08

Sunday, Apr 20, 2014 at 22:08
Yeh eddie the expert IS in town.

Show me documents to the contray..... that show a particular companies standard unleaded actually contains ethanol.

There was a bretty big to do over the whole ethanol thing just after ethanol fuel came in.....if my memory serves me correctly it was resolved that ethanol would not be used in unleaded fuel unless declared as so....from memory the ACCC got involved.

I remember a couple of the fuel companies specifically declaring that they did not have any ethanol in their normal unleaded fuels.

There have been some pretty solid threads on the matter on a couple of other forums in the past with some pretty well researched and documented posts.

As for fuel doctor......I have looked at the product in the past and read all the documentation and history of the product....Which was more than is on the current web site.....I do from time to time use the product.

While it may be sold for use in petrol and it may work in petrol....its primary purpose is as a diesel additive, that is what it was developed for and it is primarly aimed at...... supressing bilogical contamination of and emulsifying water in diesel.
I have seen clear claims that it disolves varnish and that it cleans injectors..and that it may increse fuel economy ( everybody claims that their additive may improve fuel economy)

I have not seen any specific claims that it is a fuel stabiliser and significantly extends the storage life of petrol.

I have not seen any claims that is slows the oxidisation or reduces evaporation of the more aromatic portions of the fuel...and that is the primary mechanism for degradation of unleaded

FollowupID: 813938

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Sunday, Apr 20, 2014 at 22:16

Sunday, Apr 20, 2014 at 22:16
OH BTW I can tell you for certain that many small engines resent being run on high octain fuel.

Some time ago I tried it...because I thaught that it might be a good idea.

I have several small engines arround here that I use regularly....ALL of them exhibited similar problems like being hard to start and failing to idle.....all these problems went away when I put these machines back onto the fuel they where designed and tuned for..standard unleaded fuel.

Since then I have noticed a few people I know having the same problems.....their problems went away when they went back to standard unleaded too.

FollowupID: 813939

Follow Up By: yarda - Sunday, Apr 20, 2014 at 23:02

Sunday, Apr 20, 2014 at 23:02
Hmmm as I tried to say above it's all in the specifications and definitions.
Seeing as you come back in the manner you do, I remembered another definition " In addition to being generally small, bantams are known for being very bold and assertive. Bantam roosters especially tend to strut around as thought they are full sized, which can be quite a comical sight, and in many regions of the world “bantam” or “banty” is used as a slang term to describe someone with a puffed up, aggressive ego"
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Follow Up By: The Bantam - Sunday, Apr 20, 2014 at 23:37

Sunday, Apr 20, 2014 at 23:37
Yes there may be specifications and definitions......there is also reality what is actually being supplied.

SO....tell me do you have any documentation that shows undeclared ethanol being supplied in unleaded fuel.

so are you going to cough up with some actual information or will you persist with personal insults because that is all you have.

so how about some specifications and definitions.

From the Fuel Quality Information standard ( Ethanol) Determination 2003


In this Determination:

ethanol blend means petrol that, as tested in accordance with the Fuel Standard (Petrol) Determination 2001, contains more than 1% ethanol.

service station means premises at which petrol is sold by retail from a petrol pump.

4 Service stations

(1) The fuel quality information standard for the supply of ethanol blend from a service station is that one of the following appears, clearly displayed, on any petrol pump at the station dispensing ethanol blend:

(a) the words ‘Contains up to x% ethanol’, where x is no less than the percentage of ethanol in the ethanol blend;

(b) the words ‘Contains y% ethanol’, where y is the percentage of ethanol in the ethanol blend.

(2) For paragraph (1) (b), if the percentage is not a whole number, it may be rounded to the nearest whole percentage, a multiple of 0.5 % being rounded up.

So it is a leagl requirement that fuel with more than 1%, that is 1 part in 100 must be labled at the pump....one part in 100 is hardly going to cause anybody any problems.

further, the bruhar at the time that triggered the framing of this determination resulted in some of the fuel companies comming out and specifically saying their fuel contained no undeclared ethanol.

FollowupID: 813947

Follow Up By: yarda - Monday, Apr 21, 2014 at 00:27

Monday, Apr 21, 2014 at 00:27
1% isn't going to cause problems - yep, in the buy and burn scenario you are right.

But you keep missing the point, it's about storage. The fuel supply chain, specs and biofuel mandates are all based around refine to burn in a short timeframe. There's only one group who take on fuels for long term storage and I can guarantee they know a whole lot more than you about management, stability, contamination, remediation and off spec product deliveries.

I'll stick with what I know, you stick with whatever you want, I don't get payed for this anymore and I'm bored and out.
FollowupID: 813949

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Monday, Apr 21, 2014 at 08:48

Monday, Apr 21, 2014 at 08:48
remember diesel and petrol are two completely different products with completely different problems.

Diesel is a naturally long shelf life product with a shelf life if stored properly measured in years....the primary cause of deterioation in storage being bioligical contamination......diesel bug

Fuel doctor will treat that effectivly.

Unleaded fuel the primary cause of deterioration is decay of the more aromatic portions of the fuel, mostly by reaction, oxidisation and evaporation.

If stored inappropriately this deterioration can cause problems in weeks regardless of the grade of fuel.

I do not see that fuel doctor claims to address these issues.

The in tank life of unleaded petrol of any grade in typical domestic and industrial machines should be thaught of in weeks.

It IS a buy and burn product.

FollowupID: 813951

Follow Up By: kiwicol - Monday, Apr 21, 2014 at 11:51

Monday, Apr 21, 2014 at 11:51
Hi Bantam,
Fuel doctor is designed for all fuels and engines. I run a variety of diesel and petrol engines and have used this product for several years. I can state that it improves fuel economy in both fuelled vehicles. I put a one only hit into my partners 06 camry, without telling her. A couple of months later a conversation came up about fuel economy and my partner said she had noticed an improvement that was noticeable without being aware that the additive had been added. I also run it in my 1973 triumph stag, diesel patrol, truck, lawn mowers 2 stroke whipper sniper and blower. I gave some to a friend who flys model planes and he adds it to his fuel and has noticed a big increase of power

FollowupID: 813964

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Monday, Apr 21, 2014 at 15:50

Monday, Apr 21, 2014 at 15:50
Claims of improved fuel economy and power are very hard to prove, even more so the reasons for the improvement in fuel economy.

The point being....I do not see any claims that it extends shelf life of unleaded fuel.

It is a product developed, intended and sold for dealing with fuel contamination.

If anybody can show me documentation showing that it increases shelf life of unleaded fuel I'd be only too pleased to see it.

FollowupID: 813976

Follow Up By: Dogga85 - Tuesday, Apr 22, 2014 at 15:02

Tuesday, Apr 22, 2014 at 15:02
Hey guys, for what its worth I contacted Shell and they advised that their Regular 91 octane unleaded does not contain any ethanol, they also sent me the MSDS for both Regular unleaded (which did not list Ethanol under chemical properties) and Unleaded E10 (which states Ethanol 0-10% under chemical properties). From this info I am going to use Shell regular unleaded with STA-BIL
FollowupID: 814038

Reply By: Dogga85 - Saturday, Apr 19, 2014 at 18:27

Saturday, Apr 19, 2014 at 18:27
Thanks for the reply mate. I found some of that fuel doctor on Super Cheap Auto website. It's hard to see what it actually does, so does it help 'keep the fuel fresher for longer'?
AnswerID: 530874

Follow Up By: yarda - Saturday, Apr 19, 2014 at 20:14

Saturday, Apr 19, 2014 at 20:14
Here's the tech data sheet, happy reading.

FollowupID: 813873

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Sunday, Apr 20, 2014 at 22:24

Sunday, Apr 20, 2014 at 22:24
Check the fuel doctor web site....unfortunetly it is not as detailed as it was pre castrol buy out.

check the spec sheet linked above.

Fuel doctor treats fuel contamination...and very effectivly..so effectivly it shamed castrol into dropping their own ineffective product and selling a rebranded fuel doctor....that is not on the web site any more........then later buying the product outright........I don't see any claims that it extends shelf life of petrol.

FollowupID: 813940

Reply By: Slow one - Saturday, Apr 19, 2014 at 18:42

Saturday, Apr 19, 2014 at 18:42
I have the same issue, the same genset is used for times when power goes out and for travelling.

I just drain the fuel as per Hondas service book and leave the engine on the compression stroke. This has worked fine for the last 6 years.

I do believe you can use fuel conditioner, which will extend the life of the fuel up to 18 months, but for such a little amount of fuel I just drain it and the fuel in the jerry cans goes into our car.
AnswerID: 530876

Follow Up By: Jarse - Monday, Apr 21, 2014 at 10:06

Monday, Apr 21, 2014 at 10:06
^^^^ That would have to be the most sensible and practical answer I've seen so far :)

I do the same as Slow One: Empty the tank. I then run the genny till it stops (a couple of minutes) then, then drain the carby of the teaspoon or so of fuel left in the float bowl.

Then I don't have to worry about it or the life of the fuel.

My Honda manual specifically states to avoid ethanol in its fuel. I run mine on 95 premium (lowest I can get), and have had no operating problems. However, I don't have a 'lower' octane, ethanol free fuel available in NSW to compare it to.
FollowupID: 813957

Follow Up By: Slow one - Monday, Apr 21, 2014 at 12:54

Monday, Apr 21, 2014 at 12:54
Yes mate I also use 95 in the genset, mower and whipper snipper. We are lucky to still have ethanol free 91 here but I don't know for how long.
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Reply By: Member - Frank P (NSW) - Saturday, Apr 19, 2014 at 18:51

Saturday, Apr 19, 2014 at 18:51
G'day Dogga, welcome

I think the Honda manual says to drain the fuel if storing for a long time. How long is a long time? Good question.

As far as running stabilised fuel when it is new, I can't see that it would make any difference if you use a reputable product - the stabiliser is designed to be burned with the fuel.


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AnswerID: 530877

Reply By: Dogga85 - Saturday, Apr 19, 2014 at 18:58

Saturday, Apr 19, 2014 at 18:58
Thanks for all the replies and welcome guys it is much appreciated. I definitely plan on draining the fuel from the genny, i was thinking of storing fuel in a jerry can 10-20L as a 'just-in-case' as you never know when the power can go off lol. This is what I mainly wanted to add something to try prolong the shelf-life of it. I do also plan on running the generator every month just to maintain it.

I suppose what I could also do is slowly use this fuel for the mower so that the jerry can is getting refreshed every so often.
AnswerID: 530878

Follow Up By: The Bantam - Sunday, Apr 20, 2014 at 15:43

Sunday, Apr 20, 2014 at 15:43
If you must keep fuel on hand...and many of us do.

the best option is to keep it fresh by ( yes) either running it thru your mower or but putting it in your car and refilling the container.

best to keep 10 liter containers, as full as permitted tightly capped.

that way you can keep a partricular container as full as possible and used up if it is not.

There is no substitute for fresh petrol.

FollowupID: 813906

Reply By: WBS - Saturday, Apr 19, 2014 at 21:20

Saturday, Apr 19, 2014 at 21:20
I recently bought a Honda E20i and was given a bottle of Fuel Stabiliser and rust inhibitor. This what I was given. The instruction are on the bottle.
Pro - Honda Fuel stabiliser[/url]
AnswerID: 530891

Follow Up By: WBS - Saturday, Apr 19, 2014 at 21:22

Saturday, Apr 19, 2014 at 21:22
OK so that link didn't work so I'll try again.

Copy and paste this.

I'm not suggesting you buy from these people I'm just trying to show you the product I was advised to use.
FollowupID: 813876

Reply By: Dogga85 - Saturday, Apr 19, 2014 at 21:37

Saturday, Apr 19, 2014 at 21:37
Thanks WBS. I notice on the label it says "By the makers of STA-BIL". How have you found this product? How long do you let your fuel sit?
AnswerID: 530893

Follow Up By: WBS - Sunday, Apr 20, 2014 at 08:07

Sunday, Apr 20, 2014 at 08:07
I'm new to the product and generators. I got it as part of the package when I bought my generator at the Melbourne caravan show in March this year. I've now added it to my petrol container. How well it works I don't yet know. I do know my Honda lawn mowers runs ok with it in the mix. I haven't cranked up the generator yet. I was advised to use it by the sellers of the generators. There are instructions on the bottle for how much to add to a container as follows:

For storage for up to 1 year, 1 oz to 5 gal. (I assume US measures not imperial)
For every day use, 1oz to 10 gallon.
Over dosing will not cause any detrimental effects according to the bottle's instructions.


FollowupID: 813883

Follow Up By: Dogga85 - Sunday, Apr 20, 2014 at 08:22

Sunday, Apr 20, 2014 at 08:22
Thanks :) I cant seem to find anywhere I can buy that from in Aus. Seeing aa its made by STA-BIL its probably the same product. So ill have to chise between that or Fuel Doctor
FollowupID: 813884

Reply By: hazo - Sunday, Apr 20, 2014 at 15:33

Sunday, Apr 20, 2014 at 15:33
Don't know about the honda, but I use Sta-Bil in my Yamaha 2-0i and in my BMW motorbike I have in storage while we travel full time.

I asked the BMW mechanic last time I had it serviced re leaving with fuel stabilizer and he said fine but do not fill with premium fuel to store as it deteriorates quicker than the standard unleaded.

I have done this for 2 years now with no ill effects to either machine. I do return to run the bike every 4-6 months and run the genny every month or so just to keep internals oiled etc.
AnswerID: 530925

Reply By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Thursday, Apr 24, 2014 at 20:20

Thursday, Apr 24, 2014 at 20:20
I've had my Honda over 9 years and have just run it dry after each trip. This seems to work OK. Just one little thing that got me last trip is that there is a filter in the cap breather, now this cap filter was all gunked up and tiny. The filter kit I purchased did not include this filter. My dear bride said it sounds like you have the cap in the closed position as the motor sounded like it was starving - so I pulled it apart and was quite surprised to find this tiny filter so removed it and the machine was happy again.

Just a tip for you to watch this filter.

Kind regards
AnswerID: 531134

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