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chrisp 10-07-2007 08:28 AM

Winter storage: fuel tank full or empty?
I'm putting it away for the winter and not sure how long after that. I'm currently at 1/8th of a tank. What's better for long term storage, full or empty?

Normally I fill it (to avoid condensation) but in this case the gas may go bad before I get to use it and I don't want to fuss with draining 21 gallons if all along I should have emptied it when I had the chance.

Bill Verburg 10-07-2007 08:29 AM

always full, w/ fresh oil change

ljowdy 10-07-2007 08:47 AM

Storing an empty tank, in my opinion is asking for rust. STABIL is some wonderful stuff and when I store any gas or diesel driven engine, I add an appropriate amount of STABIL to the gas tank and run some through the engine. It tends to hold the octane rating for a long period of time and is recommended by many engine manufacturers that know their engines will be stored. (Motorhomes, boats etc etc)

Gunter 10-07-2007 08:52 AM

Like Bill says.
My winter storage: At the gas station, bottle of Stabil in the tank, then fill up with gas, then go home and change the oil & filter.
For longer storage, Stabil plus 2 bottles of Injector Cleaner run briefly through the system, change oil & filter; keep the tank full.

Steve@Rennsport 10-07-2007 08:57 AM

EXCELLENT advice, especially for a CIS car...:)

Put in Stabil, fill the tank and drive it around for a little bit to warm it up before the oil change. Then, you will be all set.

chrisp 10-07-2007 09:41 AM

Stabil and a full tank has been my SOP since getting the car in 2001.

How long does Stabil preserve for?

What's the shelf life for Stabil itself? Mine is from 2006.

chrisp 10-07-2007 09:53 AM

I found the answers on Stabil's website:

How long will STA-BIL Fuel Stabilizer keep fuel fresh?
For 12 months when mixed into fresh gasoline. Doubling the dosage will keep fuel fresh for up to 2 years.

What is the shelf life of STA-BIL Fuel Stabilizer?
2 years after the bottle has been opened, provided it has been tightly capped and stored in a cool, dry place.

RWebb 10-07-2007 10:23 AM

just one addition to the xlnt advice above

re fresh gasoline - use a station that is busy (esp. if you live in a rural area) -- or find out when they get deliveries (usually late at night or on a weekend) and go a couple of days after that (if you worry about contaminants being roiled up with the fuel - 2 days should let it settle down again)
- you don't have to be crazy about it, but some stations have very low turnover esp. in the country and in the fall/winter

scottb 10-07-2007 10:45 AM

Another advantage of keeping the tank full is that it minimizes the possibility of condensation, which can contaminate your fuel with water.

From an aviation website: Keeping aircraft fuel tanks full will decrease the airspace in the tanks and greatly decrease the condensation of water present in this airspace.

livi 10-07-2007 11:42 AM

Another lesson learned on this great forum.

During my typically 4-5 months of hibernation I aim to at least have a semi full gas tank, but I have never poured in any additives. Neglect and car abuse - shame on me. Thanks for the tip!

rgrimm 10-07-2007 12:17 PM

Another advantage of have a good excuse in the Spring to take the car out and drive the #@%& out of it to get rid of the storage gas as quickly as possible!

charleskieffner 10-07-2007 01:37 PM

take (4) 5 gallon jerry cans to airport. ask for aeropuerto mgr. ask and explain you need 20 gallons for storing car. since containers are approved he will more than likely say sure. fill with 101LL(LOW LEAD) AERO FUEL.


if you have cataclysmic convertor.....................your S-O-L! hahahaha.

revert to stabil procedure!

watch aero fuel clean yer pipes.

ljowdy 10-07-2007 01:43 PM

The problem with low lead is that it contains lead which is bad for the cat. converter.

Additionally, 20 gallons of aviation fuel probably costs $100.00. 2 bottles of Stabil probably costs $16.00.

Plus, he's not going to store the car for 8 years, only during the winter months.

steve185 10-07-2007 01:52 PM

I always empty my tank if only storing the car for the winter. I have never had a car or motorcycle tank rust.

Zef 10-07-2007 02:27 PM

Please no 100's full of lead and detrimential to Porsche engines...

pwd72s 10-07-2007 03:23 PM

One other piece of good equipment...a "battery tender" type device to keep the battery or batteries fully charged. Yes, when hooked together in the factory manner, the dual batteries are still 12 volts. Just hook the "tender" to one of them to charge both. I usually hooked to the passenger side battery...easier to reach the posts.

charleskieffner 10-07-2007 07:19 PM


Originally Posted by Zef (Post 3518502)
Please no 100's full of lead and detrimential to Porsche engines...

as I MENTIONED..........if you have a cataclyzmic convertor your screwed!

i have been putting 101LL (on the pump) from a bonifide real aeropuerto in everything from weedeaters/chainsaws/dirty bikes-jap/huskys/CZ's/bultacos/pentons/ATK's/VW-cars-trucks-westphalias/british rovers/triumphs/bsa's/ktm's/porsches/chevy off road motors........................ANYTHANG WITH OUT A CAT and never had a problem burp wimper snivil sneeze or fart!

FOR THE LAST NINE (9) YEARS! including my very own 87 3.2 ! and RUNG THE LIVING SNOT OUT OF THEM!

give me a break! what planet are YOU FROM!

LL means LOW LEAD!

one countem (1) "juan" tank aint gonna do squat! if anything it just might clean the built-up carbon out if you run it hard enough and leave a nice tell-tale sign on ID of yer exhaust!

Zef 10-08-2007 04:37 AM

LL mean low lead...not no lead...the lead is there to protect the valve guides in the AIRCRAFT engines...not in automotive engine. You want to waste your money on that ...go ahead...but don't try to convince the others to do so...Syl...Planet Earth..
And tell your fellow pilot that it is irresponsible to fly an aircraft with 8 years old fuel in it...(pax wise)...!

drystack 10-08-2007 04:53 AM

Why do you suggest changing the oil prior to storing rather than post-storage?

chrisp 10-08-2007 05:29 AM

oil becomes acidic over time due to contamination from the combustion process and water. Inner motor parts will pit if the acidic oil is left on them for long periods. Most will recommend changing the oil before the winter and after, even if the motor hasn't been run.

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