Which is better with todays gas for winter storage? Sta bil or drain to carb?
When I lived in Connecticut and couldn't drive my show cars for three months during the winter, I used Sta-Bil and it worked out fine for me.
On my Model T, I close my fuel shutoff at the carb elbow and drain the bowl every time I put the car away after a drive.
Now that I live in the St. Louis area, there are usually enough clear days during the winter that I'm able to drive the cars often enough to make Sta-Bil unnecessary.
I drain my lawn mower for the winter and my snow blower for the summer, so they don't need Sta-Bil.
Drain. Period. If it ran when you parked it for the winter & drained it I guarantee it'll start when you re-fill it for the summer. Just as Mark says above the same goes for all your seasonal gas powered equipment. The main effect of stabil is it lightens that folded piece of dead cow in your back pocket. Says right on the stabil bottle "add to fresh fuel". Really? So what are you telling me? "I've used it for years and never had a problem". OK, what's happening there is your using the machine before the fuel goes bad. Which it will. Take snow blowers: I've repaired dozens and dozens of them that were left with stabil in the tanks. People think you add it and forget it. Ain't happenin' bro. Stuff does nothing.
Drain it and use in the modern cars.
I mix Bel Ray 2 cycle oil at a 100 to 1 rate for anything that is going to be parked over the winter, I did not have good luck with Sta bil the one time I used it. the Belray oil has kept gas fresh for up to 4 years for me. I have 9 vehicles and several generators and air compressors as well as a welder that get limited use in the year, and they are left fueled with the 2 cycle oil. I have not had a single carburetor problem in the 13 years that I have been doing this compared to multiple problems each year before. The up side is the T is always ready to start if a nice day comes along.
I am a firm believer in Sta-Bil, now I use the ethanol formula for obvious reasons. We occasionally get a mild day or two or more here in Ohio, and I like to fire 'em up on said days, maybe even a quick jaunt down the road if they're dry and salt free. After running the engine, I do shut off the fuel, let it run till it dies, and drain the bowl. I also add 25% more Sta-Bil than the recommended doseage,mainly 'cause it just makes me feel better. Never any fuel problems come spring. I load up the '94 T-bird same way, as it's quarantined all winter in the barn. Before using Sta-Bil in it, always had trouble until I got that first tank of gas burned out, including the "check engine light" coming on. Not any more. Just my 2 cents.
I have no opinion on Stabil but, I figure it is for modern cars that are difficult to drain. With the high off the ground T with petcock on the bottom, draining is too easy. You don't even have to crank a fuel pump when you put the fuel back in, just pour it in and it goes straight to the carb. I would drain.
Well I can shed a different angle on this.I get ask to get small engines running all the time that have sat for a while. Over the winter or 2 years until needed.
Alot of times people will say,"It should run I drained the gas out,but it pours gas now when I fill it up".
Draining the gas is a good idea but it does not relieve you of all issues.
I find that the dab of gas left in the carb will stick to the float and hold it down.When fresh gas is poured in, the float cant shut off the fuel.
So It goes everywhere.
So if a gasket is handy, and you have a few minutes, I would remove the bowl and clean it out before storage.
I will have to deal with this issue myself as my little pickup has sat for months untouched.
It is my understanding that what used to allow gas to last a few months has been removed under the guise of emissions reduction but it really helps prevent folks from stock pileing it for hard times.
Sta bil is only good for 6 months. As I found out the hard way on my Sa200 Lincoln welder.Gas has turned to goo.
Star tron is what I suggest people use because of the alcohol corn starch problem I find alot. White powder and corrosion in aluminum carbs.That stuff claims to be good for 2 years.
Unless lab studys are done and the stuff printed,it is hard for any of us to know Exactly the right answer. But the best answer to me is to start the cars once in a while and bundle up on a cold but sunny day and drive them to prevent troubles if at all possible.
OK, here's my story. Just this weekend I gave my Model A a long overdue radiator flush and refill. This is a car that hardly ever gets driven.
The last time I put gas in the car had to be at least a year ago. Probably more like two years.
Car started right up and ran fine. No stuck float, no smoke, just ran like always. In the course of the day I added 4 gallons of fresh gas and it "might" have run a little smoother. Maybe it was my imagination.
So, why doesn't my gas go bad ? I do live in a moderate climate, so maybe that helps. But this is California, home of strange gas.
No, I don't use Stabil. I do usually put a bit of Marvel Oil in the gas in hopes it will reduce valve sticking. Maybe it really does help preserve the fuel. Not making any claims here, just speculating.
The BP station in Town has a pump off to the side that is marked "RECREATIONAL GAS". It supposedly does not have alcohol in it. However, I would guess that the EPA and or NHTSA would require some form of oxygenate in it. I wonder what that is and what destructive properties it may have. Unable to go down and read the "fine print" at the moment, as I am visiting my daughter in Sweden.
Ethonal is a big industry produced from many millions of tons of corn. Since tetraethyl lead was discontinued in most fuels (still in aircraft fuel) alcohol was introduced to prevent/reduce detonation. Most low RPM and limited load engines do not have a detonation issue ethonal free fuel is ideal for these engines. The downside of ethonal is it can cause non compatible rubber parts to fail prematurely. Some aluminum and magnesium carburetors can be affected by the effects of ethonal. In the early 20s before TEL alcohol was used as an anti knock additive and was very effective. In a Model T if the engine started to detonate the operator would retard the spark until it stopped. In modern engines to day the computer dose the same thing it detects the detonations and automatically retards the spark. Ethanol in a T is right back where it started. TEL was only invented because it could be patented by General Motors and alcohol couldn't. TEL was only required to be used on vehicles driven on government roads. Off road vehicles,forklifts and stationary engines did not require TEL. As cat converters came on the scene TEL had to go because it would destroy the cats. During the transition many vehicles were fitted with EGR devices to combat detonation today many vehicles discontinued with EGRs the alcohol combined with anti knock sensors eliminated their use on most vehicles. As time progresses on and the vehicles and small equipment are fitted with alcohol resistant parts alcohol in the fuel will be the standard. Alcohol can destroy small non compatible rubber parts very quickly. Alcohol isn't really a bad thing to strive to look for non-alcohol fuel is of no advantage if you have alcohol compatible parts. In the 20s and 30s with the advent of automatic vacuum and centrifugal spark advance detonation was uncontrolable and had to be controlled with the addition of TEL. This is the way I see it
Regardless of the season, if your car is going to be inactive for any significant length of time, you need to protect the gasoline in the tankónot the car, the gasoline. -Because modern, alcohol-infused gasoline is such garbage, it starts to go stale in a couple of months, so go out and buy a bottle of Star-Tron Enzyme Fuel Treatment. -In my opinion, this stuff is way better than Stabil. -In fact, even during the driving season, Iíll pour 1/3 of a bottle of Star-Tron into the tank at every other fill-up because it inhibits carbon formation in the engine's cylinders. -For about five bucks per bottle at Walmart, itís ridiculously cheap insurance (and no, I don't hold stock in the company).
For over the winter, I do neither one and have never had trouble.
Same here Jerry. Dave
Same as Dick, Jerry and David. No issue. My '30 Town Sedan has (unfortunately) not been driven in nearly two years. Started right up last weekend.
This must be STA-BIL day on the forum.
I JUST posted that in another thread >>> I had an Avery tractor I didn't run for two years but had STA-BIL in the gas.
When I got around to wanting to run it again the first thing I did was smell the gas........and it smelled pretty good considering how long it had been in the tank.
I, naturally, used FRESH gas for priming so it started on the second compression but never skipped a beat.
Don't be like my Dad was who was from the "If a little is good more is better" school.......(damn I miss him)........follow the directions.
I never drain a tank. I want gas in it to keep it from rusting though I do run carbs dry where it's practical to do so.
I don't add anything to car fuel (except MMO for, hopefully, upper cylinder and valve lubrication) as they stand only 5 months max.
I drain mine... easy to do, and I usually need to fill a gas can for the snowblower about the same time anyway.
Alcohol Is a good race gas but poor for cars.It takes a lot more alcohol that gas for the same miles driven. We use twice as much in the dragsters that gas. It does make more power. But we can not grow enough corn to run the USA. And look at food prices because using up so much of the food for people and animals. Feed cost are way up now. Wait till we use all the corn for fuel. Scott
Are you really sure about the price of corn and food prices? Recently corn was under 3.00 and i just bought corn for my winter heat at 3.40! I have yet to have any trouble keeping gas but i try and burn it.Bud.
Thanks for the info here guys. I'm leaning towards not draining and not adding anything. I think a little gas in tank makes sense to help with rust prevention.
This will be my first winter with her so I'm hoping can fire her up a few times a month when weather is not to cold.
Mr Thompson, if you are not adding anything or draining, make sure that you have gasoline that does not have alcohol in the gas. The new blend of gas with alcohol will spoil in a very short time, as little as a month in some conditions.
Kenneth is right, the price of corn is in the toilet now. The price directly impacts me, and I would like to see reasonable prices, but alcohol in modern gas is a very bad thing, it reduces the power of the tank by about 10% just what is added. 40 years ago, the alcohol improved the gas, but not with the new type of gas being produced.
Here is a web site that list where to buy alcohol free gas in the US and Canada
I'm with Bob on this one. I use Star Tron and am a former Sta-Bil user.