How Stale?

I have been unable to use a boat with 40 gallons of two-year-old gas - Recommendations before it does get used?
Thanks, Jim

Did you treat the gas with stabilizer when you first put in the 40 gallons ?
Does it now smell like kerosene ?
Pour a splash on the ground and toss a match on it. If it burns, then save the 40 gallons and gradually mix in a couple gallons to your truck’s gas tank and use it up that way. ( diluted in good gas )
If not, take the bad gas to your mechanic or garage and dump it in with their junk fluids that get picked up by Safety Kleen .

+1 for @kengreen.

Don’t try to burn two year old gas in any boat…you are begging for trouble. If the boat is sitting with gas in it for two years, you may already have problems. STABILIZER does not help the ethanol problem. Marine grade stabilizer is suppose to but the only sure way is to get rid of gas, spray carb cleaner down the carb, wait then add non ethanol Trufuel or aviation fuel to start. It it does, run on fresh gas. If you introduce contaminated gas, it makes your problem LONG TERM.

ALWAYS assume two year old gas is bad ! Properly dispose of it then start with fresh…and, DONOT put it into your cars or trucks !

" Properly dispose of it then start with fresh…" That’s easier said than done…How do you 'properly dispose of" 40 gallons of gasoline??

Take a sample of the fuel, about a pint in a glass jar. Compare it to a pint of fresh fuel. look at color and odor. If they are very similar, go ahead and use it. But if it’s no longer the same product, Judged by color and odor, then the tank will have to be drained and the fuel disposed of…

Many communities have waste disposal sites or they contract out to others who do. The question is, why do you have 40 gallons of gasoline to begin with ? The local fire department car advise you too. If you buy that much for a larger boat and don’t use it for an intended trip, start dumping it in your car immediately. Using additives as soon as you buy it and try to use it within the year helps.

The most important factors are temperature and humidity and storage routine. If well sealed in a cool, dry place with proper additives, it is possible for gasoline with ethanhol to be viable for two years if your boat has a water separator, WHICH IT SHOULD ! Chances are though, if it’s a cool dry place for storage, you haven’t been around water, the worse environment for ethanol. But, dumping it (2 year old gasoline) into an expensive automobile fuel system or using it in your boat which probably has carbs, without lots of precausions, especially when it has seem at least one extra, very warm summer and lots of humidity is not the best idea.

With the separation that could occur, we aren’t talking about gas that appears bad from age…ethanhol is a differnt issue and there are too many going on for a decision, IMHO from afar other other then the safest and most obvious. Start over with fresh gasoline. Separation is insidious and using it does not gurantee that all will be used and you will be left with older gasoline. Next year’s fuel system, especially if it’s a carborator could be MUCH worse. These aren’t cars…they are boats with their own problems and must be treated that way. Boats are money pits to begin with; don’t add to it or use quite the same rules you do for automobiles. Creating potential fuel system problems on a boat which you can’t escape easily from out in the open water is a bad idea.

I bet if you give this question to a boat forum instead of a car forum, you would get a lot more cautious responses. Cars have tightly enlosed gas tanks with EFI which tends to be self cleaning. Boats are much older often, use carbs with gas storage that often breaths and can take in lots of moisture and they often sit over and over for long periods of time with high heat in the sun and moisture. They are also in a more dangerous environment to begin with. Be safe and don’t try to skimp by using old gasoline, any more then you would in a private plane with 40 gallons of gasoline sitting for two years.