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Hagerty Employee

Is your fuel stabilizer actually hurting your car?

Putting your beloved ride away for the season and enduring months of watching it sit in place, wishing you could just go for a drive, is an unfortunate reality of winter vehicle storage. Worse is the notion that your careful storage prep routine includes a common misstep that will set you up for a bad experience come springtime. That’s exactly what FortNine digs into with this latest video about fuel stabilizers ... 


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You get what you pay for. Stabil is a good proven product. 

Ethanol is just a fact of life in most areas and you need to deal with it. Stabil and filling the tank full is key.

On 2 cycle engines it is Recommended to use Stabil in ever can of mixed fuel to keep from damaging the engine with ethanol fuel. 

I just pulled a tank that was mostly empty and could see the damage in the tank. The sender was rusted up and we had to replace the tank. 

Use Stabil, fill the tank with premium fuel and drive it once good weather arrives. Sitting even in the best conditions kills cars. 

Pit Crew

You might also want to use a product called "STAR TRON". This eats up the ethanol in your gas.

New Driver

A word of caution about using premium fuel.  We hopefully all understand which cars can take advantage and/or need premium for the spark knock problem, but a secondary issue comes into play. Beware of getting premium when you are in a less-popular gas station out in the sticks. It has a greater chance of being older and with more water in it than from a popular station. If it does bite you some gas treatment can help absorb the water. That's the only time I would use gas treatment, not sure of it otherwise.


What are your thoughts using Sea Foam?

Pit Crew

I've always used non-ethanol "recreation gas" in my old cars - here in Michigan it is most easily found at Speedway stations, and is 89 octane.  This works well in my 1955 Ford Crown Vic, 1968 MGB/GT, and 1967 Austin Healey 3000 MKIII 3000 - all with stock engines.  For winter, I also add Sta-Bil, before a long last drive of the year.  This has always seemed to work well - the cars are stored for 4 to 6 months.  I hope everyone can still get out for that "last drive" before they have to tuck their "babies" away for the winter!

Pit Crew

In the province of Ontario, the only ethanol-free gas available is Shell Gold V-Power.  As such, I use it exclusively in my collector car (and my lawnmower!).  I pair it with a full tank of fuel and Sta-bil in the fall and I've never had an issue in the spring.  

Intermediate Driver

I'm in the camp of leaving tanks empty. For any engine I plan on storing, be it a lawn mower, generator or car engine, I empty the tank and run the engine until it dies a natural death. Totally devoid of fuel. While some may think this is sacrilege, my thoughts are the less ethanol, the better. Once the remaining fuel evaporates, nothing is left but an inert engine. I store my toys in climate controlled rooms and garages so there's less of a chance of condensation from temperature changes. 

Pit Crew

I’ve used sta-bil for years in my stored mustangs, glad to know it’s still a top choice. Topping the tank, and using premium or the lowest ethanol containing gasoline, has kept moisture to a minimum for my vehicles. Starting the vehicles regularly, keeping rodents and insects at bay are my primary concern.


One of the best places to find non-ethanol gas are farmer cooperatives.  Which sounds ironic since farmers grow the crops that are processed for ethanol.  One of the local co-ops has non-ethanol in 87, 89 and 93 octane.