Stale Petrol ? Myth? I reckon so.

Submitted: Tuesday, Apr 06, 2010 at 20:32
ThreadID: 77503 Views:6794 Replies:11 FollowUps:4
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Just back from our Easter Camping Trip and used the Kipor Generator to charge the battery each arvo after the solar stopped working.

The fuel in it and the Jerry was at least 18 months old and she purred like a beaut. Fired first or second pull each time.

The little Talon chainsaw was also run on the same old fuel, performed as well as ever.


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Reply By: Members Paul and Melissa (VIC) - Tuesday, Apr 06, 2010 at 20:48

Tuesday, Apr 06, 2010 at 20:48
i do believe unleaded in a fuel tank of a vehicle does go off,in a sealed container it survives for much longer. i once bought a statesman from the auctions which had been sitting for some extended period of time, when we got it going it ran like a pig. we thought it may have been low fuel pressure. we removed the line at the injectiion rail and run the pump and found it had plenty of pressure but it was a dark brown colour and smelt odd. we drained it,refilled with fresh fuel and it ran fine. i was talking to a mechanic friend of mine about it and he says he has seen this before with cars sitting for some time. yet in a container at home the unleaded looked fine and still in the mowers and chainsaws it ran them OK but also we are mixing oil with them so that also may make some difference.
AnswerID: 411874

Follow Up By: Fiona & Paul - Tuesday, Apr 06, 2010 at 22:16

Tuesday, Apr 06, 2010 at 22:16
Well I reckon the fuel does go off, I couldn't start the Victa for the first mowing of the year a couple of years back and the mower mechanic indicated it was 'bad' fuel, it smelt quite different at the time but I had no idea.

The 5 litre can was about half full and had sat for months, so now at the beginning of each mowing season I pour all the left over mower fuel into the Commodore and fill it to the brim with a fresh tank. No more clunky lawn mower.

The gennie and chain saw haven't given me any problems but that is probably because the gennie is always empty and the chain saw only holds a cupful.

Regards Fiona & Paul
Paul H
OZ Downunder

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Reply By: Rosss- Tuesday, Apr 06, 2010 at 21:05

Tuesday, Apr 06, 2010 at 21:05
Surprised the Kipor started at all. Had 2 of them, never again, one of the biggest pieces of junk to be ever called a Generator.
AnswerID: 411875

Reply By: Member - Uncle (NSW) - Tuesday, Apr 06, 2010 at 21:15

Tuesday, Apr 06, 2010 at 21:15
Hi Jim,

while on our trip in WA in 2008, we were camped out at Hawks Nest outside Laverton. We had the opposite happen, I fired up the Kipor (1000w) after no sun for a few days, and ran like a hairy goat.( The fuel in it had been in there for ages too), whacked in some new fuel and bingo, all well again...go figure?

cheers ....Unc
AnswerID: 411877

Reply By: Nargun51 - Tuesday, Apr 06, 2010 at 21:48

Tuesday, Apr 06, 2010 at 21:48
If it was stored in am airtight container which was almost full in a cool shaded area its quite possible.

If it was not sealed the more volitile fractions could evaporate in warm temperatures; if well sealed the more volitile fractions evaporating would raise the pressure in the container stopping more evaporation.

In a petrol tank of a car, my experience is about 5 months before the fuel has all the oompf of a tank of diesel and you have to empty about half to top it up with enough fresh fuel to get it to run in an almost normal manner
AnswerID: 411882

Reply By: Member - Graham H (QLD) - Tuesday, Apr 06, 2010 at 22:09

Tuesday, Apr 06, 2010 at 22:09
We used to have the same with unleaded in NZ
My wifes car had gas as well and she never remembered to change it to petrol every week or so.

Result it stuffed a $600 fuel pump in a Toyota Corona.

Fuel turned into varnish in about 4 months.

Lots of other LPG users had similar problems.

In the finish I removed the single point injector so it couldnt try to suck the stuff back up

AnswerID: 411885

Reply By: warfer69 - Tuesday, Apr 06, 2010 at 22:25

Tuesday, Apr 06, 2010 at 22:25
With the small amount of fuel these jiggas take i refill with fresh fuel all the time...Although i go months without using them too. (Honda Gen,Stihl Chainsaw etc etc

AnswerID: 411888

Reply By: john&thejayco - Wednesday, Apr 07, 2010 at 07:26

Wednesday, Apr 07, 2010 at 07:26
Best off Road,
make the most of your stale unleaded, because recently i read an article from trailer boat magazine saying that as of July this year we will only be able to buy premium and E10,some great plan of the government.The worst part is apparently E10 only takes about 3 weeks to start to separate and then the ethanol which is heavier sinks to the bottom of the tank and when you go to start it you are running it on straight ethanol, and that's the end of that.Apparently some boat motor companies are warning against it's use as it will void the warranty on their motors.
AnswerID: 411906

Follow Up By: Member - Beatit (QLD) - Wednesday, Apr 07, 2010 at 08:25

Wednesday, Apr 07, 2010 at 08:25
G'day John,

I read the same article and it also said that when the fuel and alcohol seperate the the alcohol will suck up any available moisure so you end up with an alcohol water mix right at the fuel line pick up - this can't be good for any motor. I presume that where I use a fuel can for my luggable outboard and I don't have a filter in between I have a greater risk. I am considering a filter setup for the tinnie to try a reduce the possibility sucking crap into the motor.

I believe the article suggested that the lighter (butane???) components evaporate leaving the heavier components and this can also play havoc with fuel pumps as well - they were suggesting that these pumps can/are calibrated using density.

Sounded to me that there is some risk in using stale fuel.

Kind regards
FollowupID: 681918

Follow Up By: Shaker - Wednesday, Apr 07, 2010 at 09:38

Wednesday, Apr 07, 2010 at 09:38
Engine manufacturers have already said that they will be very tough on warranty claims due to this separation.
FollowupID: 681922

Reply By: Member - Sigmund (VIC) - Wednesday, Apr 07, 2010 at 08:57

Wednesday, Apr 07, 2010 at 08:57
In motorbikes, the additives in Shell juice can cause gelling as metal tanks heat up in the sun.
AnswerID: 411912

Reply By: Baz&Pud (Tassie) - Wednesday, Apr 07, 2010 at 09:04

Wednesday, Apr 07, 2010 at 09:04
About 12 months ago went to start the outboard, which hadn't been started for some 18 months, and nothing happened, called in the mechanic and after some time we decided that the petrol was no good, put some fresh in and bingo.

Go caravaning, life is so much shorter than death.

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AnswerID: 411914

Reply By: Fab72 - Wednesday, Apr 07, 2010 at 10:00

Wednesday, Apr 07, 2010 at 10:00
Well....just to buck the trend. Had 3 year old fuel sitting in my old EH wagon. Threw in a battery and she fired first time and ran like a dream. Example 1.

Example 2. Had a near death motorbike accident last year (bloody dirt bikes) and so the Softail didn't even get started for 9 months. Charged up the battery, started her up and she didn't miss a beat.

Might add that in both cases, the fuel was BP premium.

On the flip side...I once put Caltex Vortex or whatever they call their premium fuel in the Harley, and she'd stall at every set of lights (EFI too mind you), down on power and ran like a dog.

AnswerID: 411920

Follow Up By: Steve Ellis - Wednesday, Apr 07, 2010 at 20:01

Wednesday, Apr 07, 2010 at 20:01
Harleys have a habit of doing just that. May or may not be fuel, may be anything, or nothing, who knows? Have owned Harley Davidson since 1932. Worst bike ever built, cant help myself, keep riding. Probably born silly. Cant think of any other reason.
FollowupID: 682011

Reply By: Mike DiD - Thursday, Apr 08, 2010 at 13:18

Thursday, Apr 08, 2010 at 13:18
NSW Fire Brigade provide Fire Pumps to Community Fire Units. These pumps may sit unused for years between fires if they don't do pump training.

It's absolutely essential that these pumps start when needed.

Never once have the trainers suggested that fuel needs to be drained or changed to make sure the pump will start when needed.
AnswerID: 412118

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