Best of Deals Car Reviews Repair Shops Cars A-Z Radio Show

Can I recycle stale leaded gasoline?

I have a '68 Chevy that was stored for 10 years with a full tank ( apprx. 20 gal. ) of regular gas that was treated with lead additive only, no fuel stabilizer. Can I mix 1 gal. of this with a full tank in my Lesabre, until it is all used and not ruin my catalytic converter? Is there anything I can add to this fuel to make it usable in the '68 as I am close to starting the engine for the 1st time in 10 years? I sure would hate to have to take this to the hazmat recycle program with gas prices as they are. Thanks for your ideas. Mort.

I’m puzzled why you want to go to all this trouble to recycle some very stale and unsuitable gas. I would siphon it out into a couple of large plastic containers (vegetable oil, get them from any restaurant) and take the to the local landfill where there are tanks for that specific purpose. There must be a recycling centre somwhere near you as well.

You can also give it to a friend or acquaintance who needs to burn brush. That is how I get rid of all my older gas.

After 10 yrs, I would certainly not put it in any combustion engine for use.

Gas half-full or half-empty? What’s twenty bucks?

Gas was only running about $1.02/gallon when it got a fill-up, so that’s only twenty bucks worth of bad gas. Look at it this way, you’d probably be happier if you’d found that tank bone-dry, anyhow.

NO! Don’t put leaded fuel into ANY vehicle newer than your '68 Chevy. It will ruin the oxygen sensor(s) and catalytic converters.
You’ll have to find simple engines to put the leaded fuel in…such as lawn mowers, leaf blowers, chainsaws, etc.
You might drain the old gas from the '68 Chevy, put 91 plus octane gasoline in, and add 1 gallon of the old gasoline per tank full. Otherwise it’ll, probably, cost a fortune to dispose of it legally.

I would mix it with used motor oil and dispose of the mixture as though it was only used oil. After all, with blow-by there is already some gasoline in your used oil. A higher concentration won’t matter after it all gets poured into a large drum or tank for recycling.


I think you could blow somebody up. We’re talk’n fumes.

As opposed to other recycled oil containing blown-by fuel?

The best thing to do in order to have piece of mind is drain that old gasoline and dispose it either by recycling it or use it for simple engines like go-karts or chainsaws .
i guess if you are thinking on starting the engine first time in 10 years you should consider doing a tune up to the engine prior to that and also drain all fluids including gasoline and replace them with new fresh ones.

I just don’t have the answer. Maybe…but maybe really old gas looses its fumes and explosive volatility. I am not necessarily right.

I wouldn’t want to take it to my local Advance for recycling and get home in time for the 6-o’clock news…“Explosion kills five, levels local store…film at 11!”

That would ruin my whole day.

Any engine that has rings that are still tight enough to run is not going to blow by an appreciable amount of gasoline into the oil. Sure it’ll put in enough to cause concern over lubrication, but in terms of the total mixture it won’t be that much. Disposing of this gasoline at a similar ratio will probably take many dozens or hundreds of gallons of used oil.

As for putting it in at a higher ratio, I’m not sure what the process is for places that recycle it, but many places burn it in a waste-oil furnace and I’m pretty sure if your gas ratio gets too high on one of those things there’s a chance of a fire and/or an explosion. My local VW mechanic has one, but he will only take oil from people he feels he can trust for that reason and also because other contaminates cause the thing to foul up.

Ten year old gasoline can be VERY bad news is burned in ANY engine…Take a small sample and inspect it. What does it LOOK like? If it’s a red-orange color, it’s GONE…Smell it. Does it smell like old paint thinner?? IT’S GONE!! You can not “recycle” it. Few if any recycling centers will take it. DO NOT MIX IT WITH ANYTHING ELSE!!

Getting rid of degraded/contaminated gasoline is a big problem. Car your local fire department and ask them what to do with it. Don’t try to sneak it into the “used motor oil” collection tank, what ever you do…Auto junk yards must salvage the gasoline from junk cars, you might try one of them…