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How long does Sta-Bil or SeaFoam Last?

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I'm in the middle of performing a carburetor cleaning, the petcock was closed from last ride and I ran the bike until it died however I forgot to open the carb plug and drain it so here I am and I don't want to be here again with the same problem.

From what I've been reading, if I were to just treat my fill up can with some fuel stabilizer this wouldn't be an issue.  Which brings me to my actual question:

 

Do fuel stabilizers go bad rapidly once opened, or is it a non issue?  i.e., can it be used 6-12 months down the road to treat new gas cans or do you need to use it or lose it?
 

Thanks as usual,

Mike

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A bottle of Stabil will last for years. Though I go through a lot as I use it for my riding lawn mower, tiller, pressure washer, hand mover, chipper and who knows what else.

Treated fuel is safe for about six months. Though I treat my bikes, I still run  them once a month and then come riding time, I drain the fuel, dump it in my truck and put fresh fuel in the bikes. Either drain the bike COMPLETELY or keep it full. Even treated fuel evaporates and left alone for too long, will cause problems. Stabilzer just slows down fuel degradation. So you'll still want to run the bike regularly so 'fresh fuel' is in the carb.

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I haven't had to worry about it as I was cycling tanks often enough, but then life happened in the last 6 months so here I am.  The fuel I drained smelled wrong and I think was beginning to get thicker.  This at least will give me some breathing room and I won't have to date the stabilizer as well.

Thank you, I appreciate your advice.

EDIT: I drained the tank, the carb is apart now.  Do you think just cleaning it up with carb cleaner will satisfy?  Think the tank needs a "rinse" with new gas or does it matter after it's drained?  I live in an apartment and don't have ready access to a part washer at the moment.

Mike

Edited by Mike Vaughan

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Crazy idea but read the label. The time info is on the label/bottle/can of both products. I think the safe range is 12 months. I have used nine month pre-mix after an illness with zero issues. Today I finished off some five month stuff. I always use SeaFoam and occasionally Stabil.

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I always have fuel on hand for emergencys. When hurricanes come i don't have to worry about filling up. 

 

 For the mower,cart and cars ive used up to 14 month old fuel with stabil. Metal cans keep much better. 

 I keep my offroad vehicles much fresher but my wifes atv will sit for months without issue. 

 

 

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5 hours ago, Mike Vaughan said:

EDIT: I drained the tank, the carb is apart now.  Do you think just cleaning it up with carb cleaner will satisfy?  Think the tank needs a "rinse" with new gas or does it matter after it's drained?  I live in an apartment and don't have ready access to a part washer at the moment.

Mike

Yes, the carb cleaner for the carb will suffice. No need to flush the drained tank, just fill it with fresh fuel. The big issue with keeping the tank partially full is condensation. With no air space, no condensation. With no fuel in there, no fuel to react with the air, so no issue.

Both my KTM and my son's Honda specify premium fuel. I prefer to use non-ethanol in all of my small engines. I use the non-ethanol premium for the bikes, and non-ethanol regular for the mower, weed eaters, chain saws and generators, as the duty cycle of these engines varies, and I don't want the ethanol sitting in there. It costs more, but worth it IMO.

I always treat the gas with Stabil for all small intermittently used engines. If it calls for premium, use it. Is the ethanol vs. non-ethanol critical, as long as it is treated, maybe not, as long as it is used regularly. I don't like ethanol for engines that sit, but I suppose that is true for straight gasoline as well? Anyway, treated fuel in the carb, no varnish, no stale fuel, no issues. As far as RTFM, the Stabil label says is good for 24 months after opening (spot to write date on label provided), and 24 month protection of fuel after treated. I used to think that the Marine formula Stabil was needed for gas with ethanol. I now know that the label on the regular red Stabil states that is is good to treat ethanol blended fuels including E-10 through E-85, so no need for the marine version of Stabil.

Tis the season for desert riding, rock on dudes!

 

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Thanks for the full run down on the carb and sta-bil. I've got my plan of action now and am happy I don't need to remove the carb completely plus I needed to try some different JD jets anyway.

I see harbor freight in my future as well. The bolts on the carb are torture to get at with my current harbor tool mix.

See you in the desert!

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I use Stabil in all my fuels, even my truck, model a, firebird that sit more than they should. Here in Colorado I cannot find ethanol free gas and our octanes are lower. Airport gas here is very dirty. I have never and will never use SeaFoam you might as well pour mineral spirits in your tank.

I do not drain any of my carbs all winter and they are showroom new inside. I have found draining them, condensation builds up and they get a lot of orange corrosion type looking spots inside. Plastic tanks are ok half full. I run everything I own to full temp once a month.

I cannot get it through my riding buddies heads, they call me all the time, "my bike wont start". "Did you put the pink stuff in the tank, it is $8 at walmart?". "No". Idiots. I have never had to clean a carb since I started using Stabil.

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I have a buddy who lets his boat sit for many months at a time and refuses to add stabilizer. He is constantly adding special filters with little glass bowls and all kinds of other stuff and still has misery every time he wants to go fishing. I quit going with him years ago since I don't like paddling or waiting on a tow. Some people are just stupid.

Edited by YHGEORGE
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On 11/6/2017 at 1:21 PM, YHGEORGE said:

I have a buddy who lets his boat sit for many months at a time and refuses to add stabilizer. He is constantly adding special filters with little glass bowls and all kinds of other stuff and still has misery every time he wants to go fishing. I quit going with him years ago since I don't like paddling or waiting on a tow. Some people are just stupid.

You cant fix stupid! I put 1/3 can of sea foam to 5 gallons of gas,use it in everything,xr400,snowblower,iawnmower,generator,no issues. First time i pulled my lawnmower out in spring after using sea foam previous fill up,it had sat for about 6 months in garage. Pulled rope and it started immediately,almost gave me a heart attack,lol,it never started easy like that! I dont worry any more,its cheap insurance. The generator was kind of forgotten for a couple seasons,had a big storm coming,was about zero degrees out. Tried to start it,nothing,but couldnt pull it over real fast as cold as it was. I pulled air cleaner cover off,sprayed some starting fluid in,started right up. Ran a little rough for 10 seconds or so,then purred,didnt have to pull bowl to clean carb,just ran it. Guess i should put new gas in it soon,but sea foam saves me a lot of grief! A pal with a sailboat told me about it,uses it in his little diesel motor which is down in bottom of hull on boat. He says its always a little damp in there,but had had no issues since he switched from stabil to sea foam.

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