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

How long can you keep gasoline fresh?

if I wanted to store gasoline long term, and used ethanol free gas in a full, airtight container, with stabilizer added, how long would it stay good?

1 year, I’d do a double dose of stabilizer.

I’ve had non-oxy gas in a car with stabilizer for a year and it still seems ok.

yeah, I m talking about full container with little to no air in it, no ethanol and sta-bil added.

I want an emergency supply

OH, OH, …WES is a hoarder. Now the cats out of the bag and soon we’ll see his reality show.
“WES and His Used Parts Shack”, a little bit of Pawn Stars , Hoarders, Honey Boo Boo, and American Pickers" all rolled into one.


you were doin’ ok until the honey boo boo part.

actually I need to get a piece of lead sheet to wrap a spare electronic ignition for my 75 ford and I ll have a vehicle that ll survive the EMP and get us away from the fallout if DC gets nuked. never hurts to be prepared…

and I was sorting my nuts , bolts , screws and nails earlier today

There is no set time and you will get different opinions because it depends upon the temperature. Gas will not last as long in warmer weather where in cool to cold weather, it could feasibly last as long you need, over a year and longer with stabilizer. Though something like Trufuel for a car might be cost prohibitive, it lasts over two years with ease in cooler climates. I let a chain saw sit over two years with this stuff and it started easily. The next two year interval will be tested this summer. I put it in a a second work generator as well.

I won’t ever knock personal preparedness. During the oil embargo of the 70’s when I had to drive 100 miles a day, I used to just keep two 10 gallon cans in the garage for contingency. Then never let the cars get low on gas. Now, I just never let the cars get below 1/2 tank except I have one idle car with a full tank. Plus I keep a 5 gallon can for snow blower, chain saw etc. I figure that would either get me out of town to somewhere more civilized or provide a week or two buffer if the stations were shut down. I noticed in the last storm in Sioux Falls, a pic of a tree that came down blocking the garage. So the family was stuck without some means of getting the tree out of the place. Tree removal was going for $5-10,000 and timing was an issue so I see a chain saw as a pretty good idea. But don’t over do it.

When it gets too old to use in a vehicle full strength, then you can begin diluting it with fresh gas and use it in your car, lawn mower, or snowblower.

When it starts to get slimy, discolor, or begin to varnish, then toss it (in some legal way).

@WESW;and I was sorting my nuts , bolts , screws and nails earlier today

I did that a few years back what a pain in the neck …literaly!!!
Every little machine screw now has it’s place in it’s own little drawer.
I even had to go to the hardware store and look up the names of a few things so I’d label the drawers right.

The guy that I rent my shop from (we share the place) bought from an auction somewhere…a trailer full of nuts and bolts and hardware from a hardware store that closed. Some came in nice bags…all the same in the bag. Other bags were just drawers full thrown in. You could cover a 4X8 trailer a foot deep with all the stuff he got.
I finally got sick of always having to move the trailer a couple of times a week to make room and sorted it all (90%) last winter. I talked him into offering some of the stuff to a little “Job Shop” near by or we’d be overrun with bolts and nuts.
So if you need any Grade 8, 1/2 inch, allen head cap screws…please call!!!


@wesw - just be VERRRY careful storing gas, a number of house fires have been caused by bad long term storage. Not worth it to me.

I’m on the second year for the gas in the tanks of my 79.
Stabilizer added at fill up.
Last weekend’s trip to haul a grille, dryer, and groceries…it started right up !

@wesw, what kind of emergency use are you talking about? Are you stocking it for use in a generator? If not, I’m wondering what you’ll do with the stockpiled fuel that would make it worth the trouble.

Using a double dose of fuel stabilizer to store fuel for a year is really a stopgap measure for when you’re leaving a piece of machinery stored for a long period and you’re trying to minimize the damage. For truly fresh fuel, you should use a single dose of fuel stabilizer and store it for no more than six months. Then, when you reach the six month mark, you use the fuel in your car and restock the emergency supply. Fuel stabilizer is pretty cheap, and I hope you’re not paying too much for ethanol free gas. Marinas really charge an arm and a leg for ethanol free fuel.

don t worry tex, I don t keep gas in my house.

I don t even see the need for stabilizer for 6 months, especially for ethanol free fuel. I ve never had gas go bad in six months in a can. if I left it in the sun it might, but I don t keep it in the sun

Just continue to cycle through it. I take my spare/emergency supply and constantly rotate through it. After 6 months or so, I dump the 5 gallons into a vehicle and refill it with fresh gas. I have maybe three of these 5 gallon cans that are staggered in age. That way, you never have any long term storage issues.

@wesw, I think I misunderstood your question. I thought you were asking long you can keep your emergency supply of fuel fresh. I guess you were really asking how long you can store your fuel before it becomes unusable. In my mind, those are two different standards since it’s still technically usable long after it is no longer fresh.

If you want to keep the supply fresh, I would use stabilizer and rotate the stock every six months. If you only care about how long it is usable, you can probably use a double dose of fuel stabilizer and store it for a year or more.

Where I work, we polish the ultra low sulfur diesel fuel in our generators every six months. “Polishing” the fuel means we run it through a machine that filters and freshens the fuel, taking out impurities. You might be surprised at the gunk that is left over after the fuel gets polished only after six months of storage.

The only time I’ve ever stored gasoline was in the oil embargo of the early 70’s. Once gas became plentiful again…I’ve never had the need to store gasoline except a couple of gallons for my riding mower. We all see things differently and you may be right in storing it.

Much could depend upon the blend. I had some gasoline go horribly stale inside of 5 months and that gas had been treated with a heavy dose of Sta-Bil. A puddle of it would not even ignite with a match thrown into it.

On another note, some redneck yokel here in OK a few years ago chose to clean parts with gasoline inside his mobile home. He left for awhile and shortly afterwards the heater cycled on; burning the place down and possibly leaving a life lesson about gasoline vapor… :frowning:

I’ve learned from many winter camping trips up in the N.H. mountains that you need to use fresh Coleman fuel. If the can of Coleman fuel has been opened for, say 6 months, then it becomes impossible to keep stoves lit when temps approach 0 degrees F.

The odor of varnished gas (or Coleman fuel) is very distinctive. Has anyone had fresh smelling gas cause a problem?