How to Avoid and Treat Bad Fuel
Bad or stale fuel is often behind problems with motors; the oxidised fuel can clog up various parts of the motor and fuel pump with gunk, which can prevent the motor from starting or running well. Oxidation starts about a month after fuel has been pumped, coming into contact with air and slowly degrading, the molecules becoming significantly less stable. Fortunately, it is possible to prevent this from happening by storing fuel properly: an airtight canister at a constant, low temperature can keep your fuel stable pretty much permanently (though it will still oxidise when in the fuel tanks of your machines).
It is also important to avoid using fuel that contains ethanol, which is common in the United States. Ethanol in fuel can make the fuel extremely harmful to the fuel systems of the machines for a variety of reasons and, therefore, should be avoided. The ethanol-containing fuel can be extremely corrosive, damaging the metals of the fuel system of machines over time by corroding the softer metals. Softer metals, like brass and aluminium, are especially susceptible to corrosion by the ethanol fuel, which is the primary reason to avoid using it. Additionally, ethanol-blended fuel can draw water into the fuel system, as ethanol absorbs water and water is extremely corrosive of fuel systems – the combination of water and ethanol is, therefore, especially damaging towards fuel systems. Just another reason to avoid using ethanol-blended fuel.
So what can you do about fuel that has become stale or oxidised? Fortunately, it isn’t the end of the world, and there are fuel treatments available that can help rectify this. These are especially important if ethanol fuel is being used in the engine, and can prevent your engine and fuel system from being damaged. The treatments are capable of removing water from the engine, water which may have been added due to the use of ethanol fuel, which is just one more reason to use them. Fuel treatments and stabilisers, when added to the fuel, clean and lubricate the engine and fuel system components – such as the carburettor, fuel pump and fuel injectors – removing the oxidised fuel that has clogged it up and allowing the engine to run at maximum capacity and as smoothly as possible. Fuel treatments, along with prolonging engine life and keeping the damage from stale fuel to a minimum, have the added benefit of lowering emissions from the engine and making older fuel better to use.