Does Gasoline Expire?

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Gasoline does expire if it is left unused for a long period of time. The problem with gas is its volatility. A volatile substance is prone to separating and vaporizing. This is especially bad if the fuel vapor has an easy way out of the tank, allowing it to just evaporate away into the air. If this is not the case, then it is more likely that the fuel will just be significantly less potent than new gasoline.

How to spot bad gas

If gas is already in the tank of a vehicle, getting it out is a hassle. If the gas is old enough that siphoning the tank to test the fuel is a viable option, then it is more worthwhile to simply replace the fuel. If the fuel is in a gas can or similar container, then there are a few signs to look out for:

  • Darkened color: As gas ages, it usually darkens in color. It helps to have new gas on hand to compare the two.

  • Sour smell: Similar to spoiled food, spoiled gas smells different than new gasoline. Gas fumes are not healthy to breathe, so do not smell gas close up. Gas is a noticeable scent to anyone in proximity to it, so if the smell is sour or “off” it may be bad.

Dangers of bad gas in the fuel system

  • Bad gas can break down and leave residue along the hoses and fittings of the fuel system

  • Water that may be present in the gas can separate out and cause corrosion in the fuel system

  • If the gas is so old that it can no longer run the engine, it may be difficult to get it out of the tank and to get new fuel into the fuel system

The amount of time it takes gas to expire depends on the climate, age of the gas, and formula of the gas, along with many other factors. Use fuel stabilizer in a vehicle that is going to be parked for a long time. Any time over a month qualifies.


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Pardeep

20 years of experience
652 reviews
Pardeep
20 years of experience
Ford Fusion - Brake Pads Replacement (Rear) - Fremont, California
Again 5 star service. And already scheduling him for my next appointment. Highly recommend Pardeep for your car needs.
Chevrolet Camaro - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - San Jose, California
Great knowledgeable mechanic and fast great work. I will use Pardeep and your services again. Thank you

Theodore

15 years of experience
1137 reviews
Theodore
15 years of experience
Toyota Camry - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Everett, Washington
Theodore arrived on time, he did a great job replacing my brakes on my Camry, I will definitely work with him again.
Subaru Outback - Brake Pads Replacement (Front, Rear) - Renton, Washington
We have had previous work done by Theodore. Really appreciate his thoroughness and professionalism!

Matthew

32 years of experience
734 reviews
Matthew
32 years of experience
Jeep Wrangler - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Yorktown, Virginia
We've been using Your Mechanic services for a few years, for a few reasons. The convenience of having an expert mechanic "on-call," the great pricing and transparency for services (saving 10% - 25% at times), most of all Matt is our go-to guy who is highly qualified, knowledgeable in the work and knows how to explain it to us in detail.
Ford F-150 - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - Newport News, Virginia
Matt's technical knowledge of his profession is incredible! He is prompt, thorough, friendly, professional, engaging, and completes the job to 100% perfection! Thank you, Matt for the most outstanding auto repair service in all my many years!!!

Jason

31 years of experience
162 reviews
Jason
31 years of experience
Nissan Altima - Brake Pads Replacement (Front) - San Mateo, California
Jason was very professional and friendly. He provided extremely honest and helpful advice on issues with my Altima that would require proactive future maintenance.

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