Re:Bad Gas. Hot or Cold? - - Excellence in Motion
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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old Sep 2nd, 2007, 10:39 pm Thread Starter
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Re:Bad Gas. Hot or Cold?

Owing to a series of circumstances I never anticipated, after filling my bike up at the service station last June and riding home and plugging in the battery tender I never rode it again until today! The tank was full but I did not have any fuel stabilizer in it, but down here in Florida it's for the most part quit hot and humid and as the bike ran perfectly fine today in spite of the fact that it's been setting in my garage for the last 2Ĺ months or so, it did make me wonder what is worse on fuel stability and it's ultimate brake down after setting a long time, is it the cold or the heat? I don't plan on letting my bike set for great periods of time but it does seem to happen to me because of my work circumstances. I did get a chance to put quite a few good miles on today and then put in a couple of gallons of fresh fuel into it but just for future reference does heat brake down gas quicker causing varnish and other harmful effects or does the cold do that quicker? Thanks for the info.:-)
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old Sep 3rd, 2007, 12:48 pm
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Here is what I found out.


Yes, Gasoline does have an expiration date. When gasoline is stored, gums will form, the result of copper-catalyzed reactions of the unsaturated HCs. Antioxidants and metal deactivators are added to slow this down, but after six months the fuel has degraded enough to be no longer good for use. Another problem with gasoline aging is many of the performance and octane additives such as aromatic hydrocarbons evaporate and leave a fuel that delivers less performance than fresh fuel.

Why are there seasonal changes in Gasoline?

Only gaseous hydrocarbons burn, consequently if the air is cold, then the fuel has to be very volatile. But when summer comes, a volatile fuel can boil and cause vapor lock, as well as producing high levels of evaporative emissions. The solution was to adjust the volatility of the fuel according to altitude and ambient temperature. The oil companies without informing the public of the changes have automatically performed this volatility change for decades. It is one reason why storage of gasoline through seasons is not a good idea. Gasoline volatility is being reduced as modern engines, with their fuel injection and management systems, can automatically compensate for some of the changes in ambient conditions - such as altitude and air temperature, resulting in acceptable driveability using less volatile fuel.
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old Sep 4th, 2007, 12:12 pm Thread Starter
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Wow six months? I guess I didn't have much to worry about? I thought gas started to go bad in only 6 weeks. I can only guess what kind of condition my poor old Honda is going to be in after setting three years and I still can't go get it! At least I don't have to concern my self to much with the K12 it's going to end up setting a couple months again this Fall while I'm traveling for work and if I think of it I'll try and have some fuel stabilizer in it but if I know me I'll forget. Thanks for the info.:-)
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old Sep 4th, 2007, 1:12 pm
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Bazra - fine contribution to how gas degrades.

I can only add some practical empirical experience. I'm aware that the volatiles evaporate because my garden equipment with low compression small motors get really difficult to start when gas is left in a season.

As I'm lazy (and don't try this on your K bikes) I just put in a capfull of cellulose paint thinner or methylated spirit and it fires up first time. Perhaps somebody will offer the chemical explanation!

I can appreciate how big a problem this is if bikes are stored for very long periods with full tanks. Over here we had bad gas killing off hundreds of O2 sensors in cars which were all breaking down. The biggest problem for the workshops was they had no disposal facilites for bad fuel.

If I was laying a bike up over 6 months, I think I'd just tender the battery, drain the tank and put the gas in the car.

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