View Full Version : Stabilizing fuel for winter?

10-01-2012, 01:58 PM
What are the brands of additives everyone buys to stabilize their fuel? I know there's Sta-bil, but this stuff is expensive. Sta-bil will run me $40 for 64oz to treat my boat's ~140gallons of gas. Is there anything less expensive that works just the same?

Ed K
10-01-2012, 03:01 PM
I use Startron. 8oz bottle treats up to 128 gallons af gas. I get it at the marine section at Wal-Mart for about $8/bottle. Have used it for 4 years. I add it every time I fuel up. It's supposed to prevent phase seperation and moisture problems with ethanol. The regular Stabil they have at Wal-Mart and auto supply places is a 1oz/2.5 gallon ratio. The ships store at my marina has Marine Stabil, which says to use 1oz/10 gallons.


Frantically Relaxing
10-01-2012, 10:12 PM
I have 2005 gasoline in the genny fuel tank in our Party Cruiser, the genny still fires right up. In the 6 years we've owned our houseboat, I've added about 20 gallons a year average to our 125 gallon toy tank, it's still just fine. When we bought the thing in 2006, the last gas put in it was in 2002, and that gas was fine. My father in law fired up the motorhome they lived in for 7 years and drove it 50 miles home. That was 3 years ago and he started and moved it earlier this summer, on the same gas.

I've never had gas go bad, don't know of anyone who has. Why bother with stabilizers?

10-02-2012, 02:35 PM
I buy Sta-Bil at WalMart in the automotive section. They have the best prices I have seen.

10-02-2012, 02:39 PM
Out in the hot Arizona and Nevada desert, we have gasoline evaporate from our carburetors all the time, leaving nothing behind that you would want to run through a carburetor, especially on a fancy little generator. If I don't plan on using my gas for a month or so, I always add fuel stabilizer. Cheap insurance for me! Most of my friends don't bother with it, and they claim to have no problems. Although most of them are having engine problems occasionally, like stalling at idle, and not being able to start. Just thinking...

10-03-2012, 06:22 AM
I run my tanks down below 1/2 full an throw in some of the blue Stabil.

10-03-2012, 07:00 AM
I will throw this out there but I know some of you will balk at it. I was told years and years ago by a retired mechanic that the whole gas stabilizer was bs. Since then I have never used it and have never had a problem with fuel that sits....... for how long you may ask. I had a lawn mower sit for 2 years and it started first pull.
When I pull the small outboards off the fishing boats I bring them into the basement and set them on a stand... nothing else. In the spring I put them on the boat, take the gas tanks out of the garage and they start first... ok some times second pull.
Marketing gimmick is how I feel about it...... not sure about diesel though.

10-03-2012, 03:13 PM
The blue Stabil is also for ethanol abatement. I think a lot of it is hokum. Just like using the manufacturer's oil, changing your oil every 50 hours, topping off your tanks at the end of the year, ... The worst thing I hear is "it is cheap insurance". Oil is not that cheap these days.

Diesel is a different beast. It can sort of de-refine somewhat if left setting. And, microbes can grow in the water/diesel boundary layer.

I think that OHB's answer of drawing all of the crud off of the bottom of the tanks every two years is probably the best advice.

10-03-2012, 03:45 PM
I must not have nearly as good of Karma as you, FR. I had to replace or rebuild several carburetors from bad gas before I started using stabilizer. They were in lawn mowers and tillers, so the lessons I learned were cheap ones. These days, I stabilize all my yard equipment as well as my toys. In my boat, I have been using the Startron stuff that is supposed have the additional benefit of taking the place of fogging. It promises ethanol protection too, but I'm with East TN in thinking that the ethanol scare might be a little overblown. The Startron is a lot cheaper than the blue Stabil even though I buy Startron at my marina and the Stabil is at WalMart.

10-08-2012, 08:14 AM
I researched StarTron and determined I'd try it this year instead of Stabil. I looked around for it and it's not very common on the shelves as Stabil is. I found it at Advance Auto for $10 for the 8oz bottle which treats 48 gallons. I balked at the price and continued shopping around until I found it at Northern Tool Suppy for $8.

For my 140 gallons of gas, I just dumped in 4 bottles for that extra somethin' somethin'. I fired up my Honda 4 strokers and let the fuel run through them for about an hour at idle and I gotta say, my engines were idling much more smoothly by the time I shut them off. Typically we have some plates and glasses in the galley slightly rattling while the boat is idling, but they were not doing it by the 30 minute mark. Pretty cool stuff!