Q: Does Gas Go Bad?

asked by on November 23, 2015

Does gas go bad?

Gasoline, like milk, goes bad over time.

Gasoline is usually good for about 6 weeks before it starts to turn into a varnish-like substance. This varnish-y fuel is sticky and makes all of your fuel system components non-operational. If you intend to store gasoline for a longer period of time, there are some things that you can do to extend its storage life.

There are some commercially available fuel additives that stabilize gasoline for long-term storage, such as for lawn mowers and chain saws.

You can also store gasoline for an extended period of time if you fill an air-tight container and store the container in a cool, dark, dry location. Don’t forget the fuel stabilizer.

If you have a tank of bad fuel, that could lead to repairs in the hundreds of dollars, depending on whether or not the fuel has made it up to the fuel injectors. Draining the tank, replacement of components, hazardous waste fees, etc., and you can see the headache starting.

There’s an old adage that says “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” You can pay a little now to protect your vehicle, or pay a lot later to repair your vehicle.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Get an instant quote for your car

Our certified mechanics come to you ・Backed by 12-month, 12,000-mile guarantee・Fair and transparent pricing


Experienced Mechanic?

Earn up to $65/hr

What others are asking

When I put gas in, after a few seconds it spits it back out.

Hi there. The fuel vent hose on the fuel filler neck is plugged and not allowing the fuel to vent as the tank is filled up. You may have to remove the rubber hose to the tank and take a...

Need a way to drain out 1 year old gasoline sitting in an otherwise good car.

Hi there. If the fuel is only a year old, then it should be fine to drive off and fill up with fresh gas as it runs out. If you really want to get the fuel out of the tank,...

Canister Purge Valve or EVAP Canister Vent Hose

Diagnostic Trouble Code P2195 suggests the vehicle is running too rich. That's not good for the catalytic converter as the converter can overheat and be damaged if too much in the way of unburned hydrocarbons are introduced to the converter....

My check fuel fill inlet keeps popping up and I don't have a gas cap

Hi there. The fact you're missing the gas cap is most likely what's causing the check fuel fill inlet to keep popping up. Believe it or not, the fuel cell is a highly balanced containment system that requires to maintain...

having trouble putting gas in car

Premature shut off of the pump nozzle means that the filler neck and tubing will have to be inspected. Additional sources of the problem could be that the neck or rubber hose to the tank are partially collapsed. There could...

Gas fumes in car

The fuel pump on your vehicle mounts underneath your back seat. From the fuel pump to the engine, the lines run along the underside of your car. The fuel pump and lines need to be inspected visually to verify where...

My car will not fill up with gas at the pump

If it happens at every gas station and not just one, there is most likely a problem with your vehicle's vent / purge system for the fuel tank. When you fill up, the vapors inside the gas tank need to...

fuel supply problem

Hi there. I've seen a similar situation with a BMW 528i Turbo that had about 35,000 miles if memory serves. The owner of the car had similar symptoms, as the vehicle's engine would "die" after coming to a stop, (specifically...

My digital fuel mileage read out and is going up and down erratically

Most "fuel economy estimators" utilize the length of time the fuel injectors are open (we're talking milliseconds here) during each revolution of the engine while driving. As a result, small periods of acceleration or other load factors will have temporary...

Related articles

How Long Does a Fuel Filler Cap Last?
Having Having the right amount of gas in a car is vital in cranking and running the vehicle. Each of the components in the fuels system play a vital role in ensuring that the car runs as it should. The...
What Is Dry Gas?
Dry Dry gas is a very helpful fuel additive that is used to remove water from gasoline and prevent water-contaminated gasoline from freezing. While the solution itself is actually called dry gas, there is one brand of this fluid named...
Why Can’t I Top Off My Tank?
Nearly Nearly everyone who has been behind the wheel of a vehicle has pumped gas into the fuel tank until the tank was full. When the tank is full, the nozzle makes a ‘clunk’ sound and the gas stops flowing....