Considering Ethanol-Free Gas? Try An Ethanol Treatment Instead

Ethanol Myths - Safeguard Your Car with Gas Treatments

If you’re hunting down non-ethanol gas stations, consider this first: ethanol fuel burns cleaner and more efficiently and helps increase octane.

While the water-attracting alcohol in these blended fuels can lead to potential problems, they’re easy to prevent. All it takes is some basic knowledge about what’s going into your fuel tank.

What is ethanol?

Ethanol is the same alcohol used in alcoholic beverages, but with water removed so it’s suitable for blending with gasoline. It helps increase octane and burn fuel more efficiently.

Why is ethanol added to fuel?

Refiners have added ethanol to fuel for years because it burns cleaner than pure gas. Now, federal regulations are requiring them to use increasing amounts of ethanol to help reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil.

Most U.S. gasoline now contains a blend of up to 10% ethanol (E10 fuel), but newer automobiles are being advertised as capable of using up to 15% ethanol (E15 fuel).

What problems can be caused by ethanol in gasoline?

The effects of ethanol in gasolineAlthough these blended fuels burn cleaner than pure gasoline, the ethanol absorbs moisture from the air. Over time, that water can separate and drop, along with ethanol, to the bottom of your fuel tank. This is when problems like corrosion, stalling and engine damage start.

What should I do about it?

Ethanol isn’t a problem for cars and trucks that are used daily, especially if you use an ethanol additive, treatment or a fuel stabilizer at every fill up to remove water and keep gas fresh.

It’s another story when it comes to ethanol treatment for the fuel systems in boats, snowmobiles, ATVs, motorcycles and small engine outdoor power equipment that sits idle for long periods of time.

No, you don’t need to hunt down ethanol-free gas in your area. Just two steps are all that’s needed to prevent costly engine repairs.

Step 1: Keep the tank as full as possible.

Moisture condenses in the empty space in the tank, so reducing the amount of air decreases the amount of water that can enter.

While many manufacturers recommend draining all gasoline, it’s nearly impossible to completely empty a built-in tank. Instead, top off the tank to 95% full (to allow for expansion and minimize explosive vapors) and use a gas treatment or fuel stabilizer.

Step 2: Use an ethanol treatment or fuel additive.

These products are designed to help offset the effects of moisture in today’s ethanol blended fuels. For boats and jet skis, it’s important to use a product that’s specially formulated for marine conditions.

Still considering using 100% gas? Head on over to the STA-BIL Brand Facebook page and let us know what other ethanol concerns you have.


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  • Hi, My snowblower won’t start, cleaned the lines, regapped the plug but my friend said that if the gas these days sits in the tank for more than a couple of months without use it turns into sludge. What is the best additive to reduce this issue and when I pulled the carb, looked fine but someone suggested using and Ether spray into the carb shutter, small blast, if it doesn’t kick over try again because most of these issues stem from the carb…Any advice?

    • Hello, since we are not able to assess the snowblower in person, we recommend taking it to your nearest professional mechanic to be looked at.

    • I had the same problem and used a carb cleaner to remove the goop after draining the gas bowl under the carborator.
      There was much sticky discolored gas draining. It works well now but slow choppy idle action and shuts down if I don’t push the prestart has pushy thing. That helps to keep it running if I do it frequently while snow blowing.
      My bro recommends using higher octagon gas preferably without ethanol. Hard to find gas without the e. So now I am seeking an additive to put in the tanks as I use regular unleaded with ethanol.

  • What is the best gas treatment to use, to pervert the most moisture in your engine?

    • Hi Jeremiah. The best way to prevent excessive moisture in a fuel system is to keep the fuel tank as full as possible. We recommend treating with STA-BIL 360® Performance to prevent issues do to condensation such as corrosion, rust and water separation (phase separation) – this is especially useful when keeping the fuel tank full is not always possible.

  • Sorry but I’ll stick with 100% gas. I let a friend borrow my old snowmobile last winter and likely put e-10 in it. I had to rebuild both carburetors. Also the fuel gauge float rotted off.

  • Hello. So, my local mechanic said to keep my new portable generator 95% full of gas and use SAT-BIL 360. Run generator for 30 minutes a months, close gas valve until generator stops. Top off to maintain 95%. Drain gas after one year . Does this sound right and will this prevent corrosion in tank, carb and lines?

    • Hello draining after 1 year and running the engines for 30 minutes is a bit unnecessary (this fuel can be used and running the engine only a few minutes would be needed). Please contact us at if you have any questions about this. Thank you.