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Old Fuel
31 August 2018, 14:42,
#1
Old Fuel
I am aware that the trendy advice for many years has been the fuel purchased for your vehicle is likely to go bad within 48 hours of placing it in ones tank and "long term" storage beyond a few weeks is likely to prove disastrous.

However, due to situations beyond my control or foresight I have recently had the experience of testing these predictions and the "knowledge" of those that spill their wisdom like a teenager who has consumed too much green beer.

18 months ago I was forced to mothball a vehicle. I took it off the road and parked it in the drive. I had just placed a full tank of fuel in the rig and had no effective means of draining the contents. I added no stabilizers or fuel preservatives to the tank.

There were often gaps of a couple of months between startups of the vehicle and I was constantly awaiting the day when I cranked the engine and the fuel in the tank would have turned into a mass of sticky goo, or the parts of the fuel line had decomposed like dust on a Time Team Special as the prognosticators on all the websites and forums, who obviously are survival geniuses, had predicted.

Two weeks ago I put the vehicle back into daily use. I paid the fees, bolted on the plates fired up the motor and drove out the lane. A week latter I had used up what remained of the fuel in that tank with no ill effects, no startup problems, no misses or jolts, and even got acceptable fuel mileage.

Mind you that this particular vehicle is a race tuned engine and has the reputation of requiring high quality fuel for proper operation.

As I thought about this situation I went to the Jeep and checked the log book for that vehicle. It has had some issues of its own that have interrupted its use and I could not remember how old the fuel in that tank was. The Jeep has an exceptionally large tank and since it is not used much a tank full might last for some time.

To my surprise I discovered that I had filled the tank of the Jeep in April, 2016!

There have been no stabilizers or additives added to that tank either. It works as well today as it did when placed in the tank, after almost 2 1/2 years.

Both vehicles are/were running as if the fuel placed in them was newly purchased.

There is a huge amount of "crap information" that has been floating around for years, and a great deal of worry over many needless things.

SHTF you can use whatever fuel you find for at least the first 2 1/2 years, so far! If someone else says it is rubbish ask them if they have a tank of fuel sitting in their driveway that is 2 1/2 years old and still works? I do and I know the fuel is still usable, since I am using it.

The chances are that the skeptics are repeating what they heard somewhere else or the recommendations of people that sell fuel.

I may just stretch the fuel in the Jeep a few more months just to see if it will still be good at the 3 year mark. I still have just less than a half tank.

Why would this be important?

For one thing in a SHTF situation one would not be using their vehicle daily as we do now. It would remain parked for long periods and only used to fetch materials or make short high speed trips when absolutely necessary. It might be screened or hidden for months without moving. Contrary to popular belief one will not be traipsing about the countryside using up fuel that might never be replaced. Your use might drop from 10K-20K miles a year down to a hundred miles per year, or less.

The gas in your tank might remain in your tank for months, or years, before it is used up. Even then one might be salvaging the fuel from abandoned vehicles with a pint or quart left in the tank after the fuel pump claimed the vehicle was dry. I have pulled fuel tanks in the past, there is always a splash of fuel left to drain when the tank is removed from the vehicle after draining.

One more thing to add to the list of things we have been told to worry about that are not really worth worrying over.
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31 August 2018, 15:23,
#2
RE: Old Fuel
Good point. I've several fuel cans and I've regularly mixed them up and have been unclear about when they are due for refilling. So I know that I have used fuel at least two years old with no issues.
Skean Dhude
-------------------------------
It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change. - Charles Darwin
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31 August 2018, 16:24,
#3
RE: Old Fuel
Same here i have fuel diesel and petrol that are two years old....i have been using the petrol on chainsaw, brush cutter, generator,blower,and hedge trimmer and the car, the diesel in the truck and power washer....NO problems AT ALL .....in WW2 stock piles of fuel were stored and used over long periods ....there are different mixture variations Winter/Summer so i am told but what i have WORKS .
The ability to laugh at yourself while you learn is a great attribute.
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31 August 2018, 19:31,
#4
RE: Old Fuel
Good post, MB.
When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on.
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31 August 2018, 20:53,
#5
RE: Old Fuel
I don’t keep much fuel in stock, i keep some petrol and i always buy what i think is the best i can get, Shell V-Power.

I have not used any additive in the cans, but i do keep some Carlube petrol treatment on the shelf, this will be added only if TSHTF as i change the petrol every three months.

For the camper van (diesel) i keep the tank full, on a run i will fill up often, if TSHTF it will make one run, to our BOL and that will be it, there i will add the can of diesel treatment that is kept in the vehicle, just in case, but i don’t expect to move far from there.

Needless to say i keep to prepper rule of never letting fuel levels fall below 1/2 full, that’s for an emergency reserve.
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31 August 2018, 21:06,
#6
RE: Old Fuel
Excellent post . I was always under the impression fuel was good for about a year before going bad . Which has always caused me some worries regarding long term vehicle use , and also long term fuel storage . That’s openef my eyes and very good news .
All I can add is if I start storing fuel I’ll get the best from the start, as in Shell and avoid stocking up with supermarket petrol which isn’t the freshest . I’ve been informed on a few occasions by the AA guys not to use supermarket fuel ( Morrison’s they said was the worst for diesel especially ) . The company car runs on supermarket diesel becuase it gets replaced every three years , and it’s not my vehicle . My bikes always got filled with Shell .Two and a half years is an eye opener though .Great news .
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1 September 2018, 11:17,
#7
RE: Old Fuel
I have been told its 6 months for petrol and up to a year for diesel, after that they start getting a bit gummy and will block filters and jets, some people use stabiliser to make it go further but I don't keep a big stock of fuel, I just top up every time the tank gets down to half.
I don't expect to be going far post SHTF and the roads will be too full of broken down and out of fuel vehicles for this to be an option, at least for me.
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1 September 2018, 12:39,
#8
RE: Old Fuel
The other day i had an email from the MG owners club referring to the latest government thoughts on alcohol in petrol, it seems we will not see E5 petrol replaced by E10 until 2021, and then petrol companies may continue if they choose with E5 as protection grade for older vehicles, probably as a super grade 97RON.

My MG does not like E5, i use an additive to improve things. I have a friend with an old lawnmower and he has trouble with that, and that is a very basic but simple two stroke engine, he also has a classic car and he also uses additives.

When we are compelled to use E10 we will all be in trouble.
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1 September 2018, 17:18,
#9
RE: Old Fuel
One of my "pet peeves" with modern vehicles in general is the minuscule size of the fuel tanks. They are almost every one designed so that one can get no more then 300 miles on a fill. It does not matter what kind of mileage the vehicle provides either. 25 MPG you get a 12 gallon tank, 50 MPG you get a 5-6 gallon tank.

When I was a young lad I had a jeep that got 20 MPG and had a 25 gallon tank! I drove it while I was in the Army and stationed well away from home. Home was outside Nashville Tennessee and I was planted at Ft Benning, GA. I would fill the tank on Sunday and drive from home to the base, drive from one training point to the other all week, then drive back north to around Macon, GA before I had to refill the tank. I had a 500 mile range!

Until that point in the 1970s, when OPEC decided to punish us over the assistance we gave to Israel after another disastrous Arab attempt at genocide, the average vehicle in the U.S. had a 25 gallon tank. During that "fuel shortage" the prices tripled and people were happy to have the reduced capacity. Their new tank was 1/3 the size of the old ones but the cost of a "fill up" was the same!

It neatly and quietly reduced the ability of a citizen to fill their vehicle and drive half way across the nation before they stopped for fuel. Or to drive for a couple of hundred miles, take care of business and get back home without stepping outside the vehicle.

It also reduced the time one could spend at a BOL with enough fuel in the vehicle to power small engines and garden tools for a decade with the excess fuel in the vehicle tank.

Neat trick to control population movement and food production ability after a disaster.

TPTB still want to keep their peasants poor, starving and unable to move from their patch of land, and it does not matter what country one is in.
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1 September 2018, 20:55,
#10
RE: Old Fuel
In the UK journeys are much shorter but a couple of weeks ago an 130 mile trip up the M6 used 1/2 a tank of fuel (citroen saxo) due to stop/start heavy traffic conditions. In an evacuation even if the roads were NOT blocked but traffic was crawling i would be lucky to do 100 miles. I would need at least 2 jerrycans extra to give me a decent range. Camper van is much better, twice the range.
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