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  1. #1
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    Default How to tell if gasoline with sta-bil is still OK, and what to do if it isn't

    I have two motorcycles that have not been ridden or even turned on in about 14 months. They have just been sitting in the garage (insulated but unheated) while I figure out when and how to sell them. I am about 95% sure that I put Sta-Bil and fresh gasoline in each of them right before I stopped riding them. This evening I opened each bike's gas tank and sniffed, and it smelled pretty much like normal gasoline. I've been told that stale gasoline smells awful, but I don't know its smell from personal experience.

    So, here's the question - given that the gasoline smelled basically normal, and that I think (but am not 100% positive) that each bike had Sta-Bil, is there any other simple way to tell if the gasoline has gone bad or not? I really want to hear it hasn't, so I can just charge their batteries, replace the oil, and start them up. But... if the gasoline is stale, I wonder if I'm better off not starting them and either taking them to a mechanic (pricey BMW with electronic fuel injection) or selling with the disclaimer that the carb might be gummed (less pricey Kawasaki).

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: How to tell if gasoline with sta-bil is still OK, and what to do if it isn't

    If your Sta-Bil is over 2 years old, It is done ( 2 year shelf life ). And if the bikes have been sitting for 14 months, I would remove all the gas and use it to wash parts with and put new gas in and keep your fingers crossed that they will start and run fine. I always drain my carb on a long storage with or without Sta-Bil
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  3. #3
    Elite Member RobJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to tell if gasoline with sta-bil is still OK, and what to do if it isn't

    Same here.
    L2500

  4. #4
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    Default Re: How to tell if gasoline with sta-bil is still OK, and what to do if it isn't

    The gas is probably ok.

    Down south (FL and TX) are hotter than us snow type states. The gas doesn't get stale very fast in the cold. Most of the "stalification" if that's even a word, occurs in the heat of summer. Or the heat of spring and fall down south. Heck, probably in the heat of winter in those states!

    After all, -10F is where you run a deep freeze to preserve things.

    But, if you want to be double sure, dump and replace with fresh (and stabil). Only costs a couple bucks. May want to run some seafoam in there too.

    jb

  5. #5
    Super Star Member Diamondpilot's Avatar
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    Jinma 254/284 Ford 861 Powermaster at work

    Default Re: How to tell if gasoline with sta-bil is still OK, and what to do if it isn't

    I would just dump the tanks by using the shut off, removing the fuel hose and placing it in a bucket, and opening the shut off and let gravity do the work. If that is not possible get a siphon or a fluid mover at the auto parts store for a few buck. The cost of the fuel is not worth the trouble it can cost you. I had a friend let a boat sit for 2 years. Well he took it on vacation to a lake home and had tons of troubles. He went through a half dozen fuel filters, tons of aggravation, and a few tows back to the dock. All said and done he lost 2 days of boating and the tank had to be suck out and refilled then now problems. Drain the tank, put a gallon of fresh fuel in each and run them.

    Chris

  6. #6
    Veteran Member Redbug's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to tell if gasoline with sta-bil is still OK, and what to do if it isn't

    I did not realize that Stabil had a shelf life of only 2 years. I've got some left in the larger size that is at least 2 years old. I will try to use it up and buy the smaller size.

    What is the active ingredient in Stabil and how does it work to make fuel from going stale? Just wondering...
    Dave

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  7. #7
    Veteran Member Tig's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to tell if gasoline with sta-bil is still OK, and what to do if it isn't

    Stale gas smells like turpentine and will not burn if you hold a match to it.
    Dump the tanks, pour a half gallon of high test in and start them up. A bit of carb/injector cleaner migh be a good idea.
    After that you can make a decision about taking them to a dealer.
    From what you have said the old gas is still good enough to use, so dump it in the car. I go through this with the snowmobiles some years.
    Steve

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  8. #8
    Veteran Member Runner's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to tell if gasoline with sta-bil is still OK, and what to do if it isn't

    I've noticed that the color of StaBil changes with age. It's transmission-fluid red when new, but turns brown after a couple of years. That probably means that some of what I have is over-the-hill....

  9. #9
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    Default Re: How to tell if gasoline with sta-bil is still OK, and what to do if it isn't

    Thanks all. I haven't decided what I'll do (depends a lot on how much or little effort will be involved in draining the tanks) but I have a better idea now.

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