Fuel - Can it go off / expire?
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  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! Justin B's Avatar
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    Default Fuel - Can it go off / expire?

    G'Day All,

    Just to link in why I'm posting here.. I used to own a 205 GTi

    Yesterday I test drove a Focus ST170... verdit?? SLOOOOW!!!!!! very very SLOOOW!!!!

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    Now, one of the ideas that I've come up with is that this car, I know, has been on the dealers lot since jan 05, maybe even dec 04.

    Working on the theory that the fuel is the original fuel in the tank, would the fuel lose some of its properties? perhaps some of its octane?

    I know diesel will seperate unless stirred occasionaly... what about unleaded?

    Thanks
    Justin
    Pugsley The 1987 205 GTi Peugeot

  2. #2
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Unless it's a new car, it would have been used as a "drive car" by staff. Not only that, but it would (should) have been started every day to be sure that if a buyer came in they knew it would start and also to keep some kind of charge in teh battery.
    Stale fuel stinks with a smell you can easily pick and will usually make acar run rough, fail to peak out and be difficult to start. Working as I do continuously around machinery, we get it often but in the case you describe, I think it's just the reality of coming back from a 205GTi to a common old Ford.

    Alan S
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    Fellow Frogger! Justin B's Avatar
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    I'm actually coming from a 4.2 turbo diesel Landcruiser running 16psi of boost ashahah..

    handling was very nice... very direct.... I just can't get over how slooow it was...

    This car is 12,000k's old.. and I suspect that is hasn't moved very much.... perhaps they are running standard unleaded?


    Quote Originally Posted by Alan S
    Unless it's a new car, it would have been used as a "drive car" by staff. Not only that, but it would (should) have been started every day to be sure that if a buyer came in they knew it would start and also to keep some kind of charge in teh battery.
    Stale fuel stinks with a smell you can easily pick and will usually make acar run rough, fail to peak out and be difficult to start. Working as I do continuously around machinery, we get it often but in the case you describe, I think it's just the reality of coming back from a 205GTi to a common old Ford.

    Alan S
    Pugsley The 1987 205 GTi Peugeot

  4. #4
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Justin B
    I'm actually coming from a 4.2 turbo diesel Landcruiser running 16psi of boost ashahah..

    handling was very nice... very direct.... I just can't get over how slooow it was...

    This car is 12,000k's old.. and I suspect that is hasn't moved very much.... perhaps they are running standard unleaded?

    If it's a used car it would be used as I said above, either as a drive car or at worst started every day so the fuel would have been topped up in it.
    If standard ULP is being used and that's what's recommended, it wouldn't make any difference going to PULP just as it sems to make little or no difference to most modern EFi cars.

    Alan S
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  5. #5
    Fellow Frogger!
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    Default Yes it does go off

    I used to ride a Honda 1000cc six cylinder motorcycle. After a serious injury on a trail bike this was not started for 3 months.
    When i got it going it backfired badly and would not run properly. Spoke to Honda Mechanic who said "yes the fuel has gone off". I put fresh fuel in it and ran perfectly.
    Seems some engines are more affected than others as no doubt we will get stories where a .... lay in shed for 50yrs and started first try!!!

    Graelin

  6. #6
    Fellow Frogger! Ralph's Avatar
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    A friend of mine who is a mechanic and does lpg conversions showed me a cut open fuel tank from a falcon ute that had a half tank of ulp in it for about 2 years. The owner kept the tank half full but never used it. He brought the car in saying it won't run on petrol. The ulp had gone off so much it had turned into a reddish thick slime that was blocking the fuel feed pipe. The tank was buggered. He told me not to keep ulp for any longer than about 3 months as it starts to go off if it is not stored properly, especially in the warmer months.Matt.
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  7. #7
    1000+ Posts PeterT's Avatar
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    Optimax, Premium etc., looses its "goodness" in just two weeks!

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    mlb
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    I remember being told when I was racing carts not to store mixed two stroke fuel for too long as it could go off. It had something to do with a fungus like growth developing in the oil. This could be urban myth #27 though.

    Matt
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    al
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlb
    I remember being told when I was racing carts not to store mixed two stroke fuel for too long as it could go off. It had something to do with a fungus like growth developing in the oil. This could be urban myth #27 though.

    Matt
    I've heard that as well, but in relation to boats. If you leave fuel in the tank over the winter it does cause problems, but i think the two stroke oil is probably responsible for a fair bit of this.

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    Budding Architect ???? pugrambo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlb
    I remember being told when I was racing carts not to store mixed two stroke fuel for too long as it could go off. It had something to do with a fungus like growth developing in the oil. This could be urban myth #27 though.

    Matt

    we were told the same thing when a mate of mine and myself started karting

    so we used to use the left over fuel in the lawn mower

    i also started the 306 for the first time in about 3 months the other day (yeah i know i should drive it more often) and it started ok (after i charged the battery) but it stalled twice and the third time it kept running

    luckily it only has around 10L in the tank so it will get a fresh lot in the next couple of days and a good run

    but i generally don't leave it with much in the tank if i know it is going to sit for anymore than a couple of weeks
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  11. #11
    moosey
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    Quote Originally Posted by mlb
    I remember being told when I was racing carts not to store mixed two stroke fuel for too long as it could go off. It had something to do with a fungus like growth developing in the oil. This could be urban myth #27 though.

    Matt
    the volatiles in the fuel (that give you top end performance) evaporate pretty quickly - hence why you should keep your kart fuel cool and buy fresh for each time you use it.

  12. #12
    Fellow Frogger! Reno's Avatar
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    onm one of my old cars, i didn't drive it for about of month... it had a full tank of Ultimate sitting in it.... when i finally got around to driving it again... it turned over fine(re-engadged the battery) but it idled very rough, even when warmed up... it would ping under load. i threw a bottle of octane booster in it, and it was fine for the rest of the tank.

  13. #13
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    Bunnings have a fuel preserver additive or somting to that end.
    Mate workes in a country garage and many motorised domestic tools they 'repair' are due to stale fuel

  14. #14
    1000+ Posts alan moore's Avatar
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    My Alpine ran fine on six month old fuel that it came out from England with, but I too am of the belief that old fuel loses some its' zing, especially Optimax after a month or so.
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  15. #15
    1000+ Posts PeterT's Avatar
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    Leaded fuel also lasts far longer. I have no problems with 6 month old avgas. The petrol made for the V8 series also lasts a lot longer. A large batch is made at the start of the year for the entire season. It's obviously something better than 98!

    '92 205 Mi16
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  16. #16
    Fellow Frogger!
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    I thought the V8's ran on Optimax ?

    I heard last year from someone who knew what he was talking about that high octane fuels store better than low octane fuels, avgas being around 130 octane does last much better.

    Apparently the worst culprit from going off is ULP.

    The old leaded fuels used lead to prevent pinging by raising vthe octane level. With no lead, the octane is raised by adding aromatics which are volatile and do evapporate over a period of weeks or months.

    It might also explain why some fuel from servos run better than others, if you buy a batch out of a low tank that has been sitting for a while then the octane is probably down quite a bit.

  17. #17
    Gone Fishin' Ray Bell's Avatar
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    Indeed... in fact I'm finding as much as a km per litre difference between fuels I use. In future I'm going to pay more attention to where I get them and try to establish how fresh they are.

    Filling up just as the tanker leaves out the other end of the driveway will be the ideal, it seems...

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