Mixing Old Gas With New Gas: The Good, the Bad, and the Solution

Mixing Old Gas With New Gas: The Good, the Bad, and the Solution

Mixing Old Gas With New Gas: Good Idea or Not?

The Dilemma of Old Gas

One of the challenges preppers often face is dealing with their stockpile of fuel. Whether it’s stored in containers or in vehicles, fuel can lose its potency over time. This raises the question: should you mix old gas with new gas? Is it a good idea or a recipe for disaster?

The Risks of Using Old Gas

Using old gas can lead to various problems. Over time, the chemical composition of gasoline changes, resulting in the following risks:

1. Engine damage

Old gas can contain additives that have deteriorated, which can cause gunk and residue to build up in the fuel system. This can clog fuel filters, injectors, and carburetors, leading to engine damage and poor performance.

2. Reduced fuel efficiency

As gasoline ages, its volatility decreases. This means that less fuel will evaporate during the combustion process, resulting in reduced fuel efficiency and decreased power output.

3. Startup issues

Old gas can make it difficult to start an engine, especially in cold weather. The decreased volatility can make it harder to ignite the fuel, causing prolonged cranking and potentially damaging the starter motor.

4. Increased emissions

When old gas is burned, it can produce higher levels of harmful emissions such as carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides. This can have a negative impact on the environment and contribute to air pollution.

The Solution: Mixing Old and New Gas

While using old gas on its own is not recommended, mixing it with fresh gas can be a viable solution. Here’s how to do it properly:

1. Assess the condition of the old gas

Before mixing, check the old gas for signs of degradation such as a strong odor, discoloration, or the presence of sediment. If the gas appears to be in poor condition, it’s best to dispose of it properly and avoid mixing it with new gas.

2. Choose the right ratio

When mixing old gas with new gas, aim for a ratio of 1:1 or less. This means using no more than 50% of old gas in the mixture. The goal is to dilute the old gas enough so that its negative effects are minimized.

3. Use a fuel stabilizer

Adding a fuel stabilizer to the mixture can help mitigate the negative effects of old gas. Fuel stabilizers are designed to rejuvenate old fuel by restoring its volatility and preventing the formation of gunk and residue. Follow the instructions on the stabilizer’s packaging for the proper dosage.

4. Run the engine

After mixing the old and new gas, run the engine to ensure proper combustion and distribution of the fuel. This will help prevent any potential issues caused by the use of old gas.

Preventing Fuel Degradation

To avoid the dilemma of mixing old gas with new gas, it’s important to take steps to prevent fuel degradation in the first place:

1. Store fuel properly

Ensure that fuel is stored in tightly sealed containers that are designed for fuel storage. Keep the containers in a cool, dry, and well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight. This will help minimize exposure to moisture, temperature fluctuations, and UV radiation, which can all contribute to fuel degradation.

2. Use fuel stabilizers

Adding a fuel stabilizer to fresh gas can help prolong its shelf life. Fuel stabilizers work by preventing the oxidation of fuel, which is one of the primary causes of degradation. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the correct dosage and frequency of use.

3. Rotate your fuel stockpile

To ensure that your fuel remains fresh, it’s important to rotate your stockpile regularly. Use older fuel first and replenish it with fresh fuel. This will help prevent old gas from sitting unused for extended periods, where it is more likely to degrade.

4. Regularly maintain your fuel system

Performing regular maintenance on your vehicles, generators, or other equipment that use fuel can help prevent fuel-related issues. This includes cleaning or replacing fuel filters, inspecting fuel lines for leaks or damage, and keeping carburetors or injectors clean.

My 2 Cents

When it comes to mixing old gas with new gas, caution and proper technique are key. While it’s generally not recommended to use old gas on its own, mixing it with fresh gas in the right ratio can help salvage some of its usability. However, it’s always best to prioritize preventive measures to avoid fuel degradation in the first place. Proper storage, the use of fuel stabilizers, and regular maintenance will go a long way in ensuring that your fuel remains in optimal condition.