What are folks using for fuel stabilizer? I always used to use Stabil but recently switched to Stabil marine version. Is there something better?
A few years ago I tried to count the number of internal combustion engines here on the farm. I came up with 21. I counted everything from automobiles to weedwackers. Cars that stay unused for the winter, snowmobile that stays unused for the summer. Rototiller that gets used for a few days in the spring.
Tractor, chainsaws, firewood splitter, the list goes on.
Holy Moly, if I had to "winterize" each of those suckers, that's all I'd be doing.
I've have half dozen or so 5 gallon gas containers. When I go to fill 'em up, I add marine Stabil to the containers so the Stabil is already in the gas.
For those machines with a fuel line shut off, I'll shut off the fuel and run the engine until the carb is dry.
For those without a shut of, I just walk away from them.
For "precious" old machines with metal gas tanks, I'll top off the tank to reduce rust in the tank. Plastic tanks I don't worry about so much.
Ethanol in the gas does seem to be raising havoc with some machines and leaving untreated gas in a carb for long periods does seem to be asking for trouble. But, I don't understand exactly what the problem is.
The rotor tiller is decades old with a pre-ethanal Briggs and Stratton. All I ever do is try to remember to top off the metal gas tank at the end of its season. It has started year after year on the 1st or 2nd pull. Crazy good!
I have a relatively new Honda V-twin as a transplant engine in a 1960s Craftsman lawn tractor (the only V-twin I have ever had BTW.
). That engine gets a plugged jet in the carb a few times a year and I can't for the life of me figure out what causes it. Some kind of precipitate forms and plugs the jet. It seems to form right in the carb float bowl. There is a good in-line fuel filter so it isn't coming from the tank.
I suspect that if the structural material of a carb isn't good for ethanol you can have problems no matter what you do if gas sits in there for any period of time. In my experience, the classic symptom of the "ethanol crud in the carb" is the engine won't run at a steady RPM once it is warmed up. It will idle, but once the throttle is opened it won't run at a steady RPM. Then pull out the choke a little and it will run steady. Crude in the carb causes it to run a little lean, and then the govenor causes the rpms to cycle up and down. Clean the carb, and things are back to normal until the next time.
I see no point in draining gas tanks. Seems like a lot of extra trouble to me.
If a machine were going to sit for more than a year, I'd consider draining both the carb and the tank and oil misting a metal tank.