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With winter in full gear our thoughts around the shop turn to winter maintenance. Though fuel stabilizer isn’t really a tool per se, having been on the receiving end of bad gas more than once we can tell you that by using this stuff you will save yourself some time with tools in hand later on next spring. 

The straight fact of the matter is fuel in your lawnmower, motorcycle, ATV or boat will separate over time. The tank is not sealed the same way a car is and in around 60 days fuel can start to breakdown. 


Fuel Stabilizer, is a blend of additives that keeps fuel fresh for up to a year.  It also contains a water remover to prevent corrosion and a fuel injector and carburetor cleaner to restore power. 

You might ask why this is a big deal.  (We did.)  The answer is that using stale or separated fuel can cause gum, varnish, rust and/or corrosion deposits to build up in your engine resulting in starting problems, craptacular performance, and any number of other annoyances that’ll require you to tear that bad boy down at the first hint of spring.

Bad or stale gas also produces a super-funky smell that will stay with you for a while if you come anywhere near it — so it’s best to avoid altogether, especially since 4 oz of stabilizer treats roughly 10 gallons.  This is the kind’ve thing that is best learned and not experienced.

Pricing starts at around $5 for the standard 8 oz size, and you can find it at almost any auto retailer.

Sta-Bil [Gold Eagle]


5 Responses to Finds: STA-Bil Fuel Stabilizer

  1. Myself says:

    But simply mixing Sta-Bil with the gas left in the can at the end of the mowing season isn’t the best plan, nor the most efficient. Try this:

    After you’ve finished (what you hope to be) the season’s last mow, add a few drops of Sta-Bil to the mower’s tank and slosh it around a bit. Start the engine back up so the treated gas can move into the carburetor, which is the part you really want to protect from varnish and crud.

    Then take the gas can up to the local gas station, dump its contents into your car’s tank, top off the car, and refill the can. Add a dose of Sta-Bil if you’re the forgetful type.

    Put that full can right back in the shed where it belongs. If you’re the rememberful type (I just made that word up, I’m proud!), repeat the car ritual every month or two, ensuring that the gas in the can is always fresh. If not, at least you treated it.

    Remember that in a power outage, gas pumps don’t work either, and Murphy’s law guarantees that your car will be on fumes when Edison goes kaput. Why leave an empty can in the shed when it could be part of your emergency plan?

    Cold weather is a good time to check over your home and car emergency kits anyway. Swap fresh batteries into your standby flashlights, and use the older ones in devices that’ll run ’em flat before they die of old age. Check the dates on your medical supplies, are the moist wipes still moist? Play with that radio a bit so you’re familiar with the controls. Spare tire fully inflated? Come to think of it, the new highway bypass which might be useful in an evacuation isn’t even on that ratty old map tucked behind the seat…

  2. Roscoe says:

    So what’s the best fuel additive to use? We’ve got a lot of small engines in our shop to winterize, and I’m curious if any of the new high-end fuel treatments perform any better than plain ol’ Stabil.

  3. Rick says:

    I just used this last weekend on my dad’s lawn mower.. He bought it new last fall – Toro, walk behind with electric start, etc. He loved it.. he mowed the lawn twice and then stored it over the winter. When this past spring rolled around, the “Guaranteed to Start” Toro, well, didn’t.. We figured this must be covered under warranty.. As it turns out, it’s not. So $250 later for a full overhaul, oil change, carb rebuild, etc. And the lawn mower was good as new.

    So this year we got a clue. After my dad mowed the lawn for the last time, I added some Sta-Bil, and ran it through the engine. I then followed the lawn mower’s manufacturer’s directions for winter storage and ran the lawn mower dry, and tried to start it a few more times ti make sure there was nothing left in the carb or the tank.

    I’ll let you know how it goes next spring 🙂

  4. jeff says:

    I’ve been using Sta-Bil on my snowmobiles for years. I always fill the tank to the top (to prevent condensation), Sta-Bil the gas, run the sled for awhile to make sure it gets into the carbs, and finally spray fogging oil in the cylinders. The Sta-Bil and fogging oil combo has never let me down. Some guys will drain the carb bowls just to be extra safe but I’ve never had a problem with leaving Sta-Bil’d gas in them.

  5. Old Donn says:

    A little tip from my local auto parts expert. Add Sta-Bil every time you run your yard equipment all summer along with the season ending routine. No question about fuel system integrity then.

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