Top Five STA-BIL Product Myths Debunked

Don't worry about gasoline expiration - use STA-BIL Fuel Additives. If you’ve ever looked for the best way to add years of life to your lawn equipment, prevent marine engine corrosion or safely store your classic car, you’ve heard of the STA-BIL® Brand.

For more than five decades, this household product has kept millions of gallons of fuel from going bad and saved thousands of engines from preventable repairs.

But there’s a flip side. Any time a brand becomes this widely known, it’s bound to attract creative observations and folklore. We’ve heard them all, from the comical to absurd. With some myths still floating around, we’ve decided to set the record straight.

Here are the top five myths we’ve heard, and how they’re mistaken:

Myth #1: “STA-BIL contains alcohol.”

STA-BIL fuel treatment products—including our fuel stabilizer, ethanol treatment, marine formula and diesel fuel stabilizer—contain proprietary ingredients. While we can’t share the full list (it’s a trade secret), we can tell you that alcohol is NOT one of them.

Our fuel stabilizers and treatments each contain a powerful mix of additives and chemicals that neutralize acids, prevent gasoline from oxidizing and coat metal surfaces to prevent corrosion.

Every product in the STA-BIL brand family performs a different function. Each one is specially formulated to treat a specific type of fuel, from pure gasoline to ethanol blends and every type of engine, from lawnmower to boat to classic car.

Myth #2: “STA-BIL products don’t work with ethanol-blended gasoline.”

STA-BIL products treat ALL types of fuel—and that includes every ethanol blend, from E-10 to E-85, as well as pure gasoline and diesel. This is widely known in the Midwestern area of the United States, where our manufacturing plant is based and ethanol-blended gasoline has been used for nearly three decades.

The rest of the country is still relatively new to the idea of ethanol-blended fuel, which the government began mandating in recent years to reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil.

The misunderstandings began mostly in warm-weather climates such as the Southeast, where humidity increases the likelihood that water will collect in gas tanks and lead to corrosion. Blended gasoline can heighten this issue because ethanol is an alcohol that absorbs moisture from the atmosphere.

This is especially a concern with equipment that tends to sit between uses, like boats or lawnmowers.

Old Fuel and Phase Separation

STA-BIL will absolutely work in these conditions, as long as you have the right formula (see our answer to myth #3, below). Our special marine formula is made exclusively for nautical conditions, and the daily-use ethanol treatment (link to post titled “Considering ethanol-free gas? Try an ethanol treatment instead.”) is designed to be used with every fill up.

Myth #3: “All STA-BIL products are the same, just different colors.”

Nope. Each product is specially designed to address and prevent a unique set of problems.

STA-BIL Storage fuel stabilizer keeps fuel fresh for extended periods – up to 24 months.

STA-BIL 360° PERFORMANCE protects against ethanol-related damage and provides a boost in performance and mileage economy if used at every fill-up.

And our STA-BIL°360 MARINE fuel additive protects and helps engines that perform in the damaging, water-laden environment marine equipment faces every day.

Both STA-BIL 360° Formulas will keep fuel fresh up to 12 months and provide protection to the entire fuel system – above and below the fuel line. So in the end, it all depends on what you would like to focus on -prolonged longevity, power/fuel economy or condensation management.

Myth #4: “STA-BIL branded products are just kerosene.”

Here’s our official answer, direct from Chief Chemist and V.P. Of Product Engineering Mike Profetto:

“STA-BIL brand additives use a highly-purified petroleum distillate to deliver our additive package to the fuel. This solvent allows the additives to quickly blend completely into the fuel. The additives themselves would be too concentrated to blend easily, especially in cold weather. Use of more flammable solvents like gasoline would make shipping and storage too dangerous. The addition of the recommended dose of STA-BIL product to fuel has always been safe. Dozens of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) have confirmed this by testing and recommending our products.”

Myth #5: “STA-BIL Branded Products gunk up carburetors.”

If your equipment’s fuel system is already dirty and you’ve never used a fuel system cleaner, it’s possible the cleaning agents in a STA-BIL product will wash the dirt and grime off walls and into the fuel system. This is a common issue with older equipment and can end up clogging the carburetor.

If you’re facing this problem, we recommend running a high-quality fuel system cleaner through at least one tank of fuel before you store your vehicle equipment.

What myths have you heard?

Try a free bottle of sta-bil today.
 

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74 Comments
  • Can Sta Bil 360 be used for diesel engines?

  • Two questions:
    1) At what elevated concentration levels does Stabil become a problem? Is there any value in using more Stabil when storing vehicles for a longer time (more than 1 year).
    2) When storing vehicles for extended time, is Stabil consumed (used up)? If so, should additional Stabil be added each year to the same tank to”refresh” the old fuel?

    • I’d siphon the old out and use it in my daily driver and put fresh stabilized gas back into the stored vehicle.

    • Hello, STA-BIL® Storage keeps fuel fresh for up to 24 months. After the 24 months we recommend either using the fuel or draining. Also, adding more STA-BIL® then the recommended dosage amount does not provide extra benefits or make the storage period longer.

  • The 32 gallon gas tank in my RV has about 26 gallons that are about a month old. I want to stabilize it for the winter, but the instructions on the stabilizer say it must be added to fresh gas. Must I trash 26 gallons?
    Thanks for any advice.
    Doron Antrim

    • Hi Doron, No – you do not have to trash your 26 gallons. You can use the gas. STA-BIL will keep it in its current state and it won’t continue to go bad. Please contact us at marketing@goldeagle.com if you have any questions about this. Thank you.

      • put it in and drive around I have old cars and drive to the store fill it up but put in stilb frist then part it for 8-9 month and cranjk it up and go been using the storage for years and no problems at all use it but it needs to in the carb. so adding it and not drive is not right

    • STA-BIL® Storage keeps fuel fresh for up to 24 months. After the 24 months we recommend either using the fuel or draining. Also, all STA-BIL® products do not make old gas fresh again. Please contact us at marketing@goldeagle.com if you have any questions about this.Thank you.

  • My husband added stabil to the gas to winterize the mowers, Can I use this gas in my car too?

    • Hello, yes you can use the gas in your car if your husband treated it with STA-BIL 360 Performance, STA-BIL Storage, or STA-BIL Marine. Please contact us at marketing@goldeagle.com if you have any questions about this. Thank you.

  • 4 questions:
    1. Can Sta Bil diesel fuel treatment be used to treat gasoline? If so, does it make any difference whether the gasoline does or does not contains ethanol?
    2. If my diesel fuel already contains some Sta Bil diesel fuel stabilizer, will there be a problem in adding FPPF Fuel Power for winter storage, after filling the tank with fresh diesel? (FPPF Fuel Power is the product recommended by Yanmar diesel for winter storage of their diesel engines.)
    3. If not opened, what is the shelf life of Sta Bil gasoline fuel treatment and Sta Bil diesel fuel treatment?
    4. Once opened, what is the shelf life of Sta Bil gasoline fuel treatment and Sta Bil diesel fuel treatment?
    Thank you.

    • 1. No. STA-BIL® Diesel is not recommended for regular gasoline -only diesel fuel. The consistency and chemicals are not compatible with regular fuel.
      2. This should be fine, as long as the recommended amount for both is used. Do not overdose!
      3. We recommend using it within 8 years from purchasing.
      4. Once opened, it will have a shelf life of two years.

      Please contact us at marketing@goldeagle.com if you have any questions about this. Thank you.

  • I have a high performance Corvette running on E85. It’s stored for 4 months a year. What do you recommend.

    • Hello. Use STA-BIL 360® Performance™. It is effective in E85 fuel. It will keep it fresh for up to 12 months and protect against corrosion, rust and any additional condensation that may form due to the high level of ethanol. Please contact us at marketing@goldeagle.com if you have any questions about this. Thank you.

  • I noticed that on the bottle it says, “…for up to 12 months.” But here you say, “STA-BIL® Storage fuel stabilizer keeps fuel fresh for extended periods – up to 24 months.
    So, which is it?

    Also, I have some left over about 2 years old. Will it hurt to use it instead of dumping it?

    • We have tested STA-BIL® Storage and determined that it will keep fuel stabilized for 24 months. This is reflected on all new labels. However, this also applies to older labels. You can certainly use the product you have as it should still be good to use after about 2 years. Please contact us at marketing@goldeagle.com if you have any questions about this. Thank you.

  • Can I use my Stabil Marine 360 in my motorcycle which will sit for approximately 5 months during the winter?

    • Hi Cee,
      Yes you can – just be sure to use the correct treatment ratio. Please contact us at marketing@goldeagle.com if you have any questions about this. Thank you.

  • I just bought a new Honda generator for use during power blackouts, and am looking for the right Sta-Bil product to keep the gas clean, water-free, and ready to power my genny when a big winter storm knocks the power lines down — which happens every winter up here. My house is in a heavily forested area north of San Francisco — a very humid environment with heavy fog, mist, and around 60 inches of rain each year. Under these moist conditions, I’m thinking that Sta-Bil Marine formlua might work best for me. What do you think?

    • Hi Micheael,
      STA-BIL 360 Marine is specially formulated for high-humidity environments so yes, you are correct. That would be the best product for your generator in your environment. Please contact us at marketing@goldeagle.com if you have any questions about this. Thank you.

  • I’ve got a vw based sand rail that sits for the most part during the winter months, only occasionally started and running 110 octane gas. What Stabil product would be most appropriate for this application?

    • STA-BIL® Storage or STA-BIL ® Performance™ would be appropriate for stabilizing the fuel to keep it as fresh as possible for infrequent use.

  • Is there an expiration on using sta-bil? Does it have to be used within a certain time?

    • Hi Ken, all STA-BIL products have a shelf life of two years from the time of opening. Please contact us at marketing@goldeagle.com if you have any questions. Thank you.

  • I have a full tank of fuel in my boat and was thinking about adding Sta-Bil. Do I need to mix the Sta-Bil with the fuel in some way or does the Sta-Bil disperse when added to the fuel in the tank? Also, do I need to start the outboard motor to run the Sta-Bil/fuel mix through the system?

    • Hi Neil, all you have to do is run your engine for about five minutes after adding the STA-BIL and you will be all set! Please email us at marketing@goldeagle.com if you have any questions! Thank you.

  • I heard that stabil was just an enzyme and has to be agitated every so often to work. ive used stabil storage every winter and never had a problem. just curious about a friends claim.

    • Hi Jeff, No. STA-BIL is a petroleum based product that will dissolve itself in gasoline without the need to shake, stir, or swish the fuel. Please contact us at marketing@goldeagle.com if you have any questions about this. Thank you!

  • I have a Class C Motor home with a Ford V10. It also has an Onan 400KW generator. I use a couple times a year Sea Foam to clean things up. My question is I am thinking of applying Sta-Bil in the fuel tank for the time it sets this winter. I have already put the recommended amount of Sea Foam in the fuel tank. Would you think it is safe to put both products together??

    • Hi Phil, as they are both petroleum based it should be fine. Please contact us at marketing@goldeagle.com if you have any questions about this, thank you.

  • I use sta- bil storage for my antique motorcycles to preserve the fuel and protect against ethanol damage to carburetors and associated parts. Is this the right product or should I be using performance?

    • Hi John, we recommend using STA-BIL Storage for long term storage while the motorcycle is not in use. If you still use it regularly, we would recommend STA-BIL 360 Performance. Please contact us at marketing@goldeagle.com if you have any questions about this. Thank you.

  • How long is a bottle of sta bil “good”? I have a bottle I purchased 3 years ago is it still usable? It is not in fuel.

    • Hi Tom,
      All STA-BIL Products have a shelf life of two years from the time of opening. If unopened, it is still good to use as long as there are no sediments or solids at the bottom of the bottle. Please contact us at marketing@goldeagle.com if you have any questions about this. Thank you.

  • Hello,

    I recently purchased a dirtbike for my daughter. I’m very involved with the machine. I bought a new carb, fuel petcock and fuel line for it when I bought the bike (used machine) due to the gum and varnish buildup, and cleaned out the tank with carb cleaner prior to filling it up. As far as gas for all the toys, my routine (I never deviate from this, no exceptions) is to put 3 ounces of STABIL STORAGE in a 5 gallon plastic motorsports jug and then fill with exactly 5 gallons of 91. I use the gas as needed on the rides, and pour the leftover gas from the motorsport jug into the cars. I am about 50/50 as to whether or not the bikes’ gas tanks are emptied. I do if they are going to sit for a few months, otherwise, I leave the gas in the tanks. They sit on average a few weeks to a month at a time without running. The problem I am having is I still have to disassemble the carb on the little bike and clean it frequently so that it runs properly. It’s by no means a lot of crud and varnish, but there is definitely a green film inside the entirety of the carb. My question is this: should I be using STABIL 360, or will the STABIL STORAGE perform the same? I will not need 24 months of protection, but if the STORAGE is superior, I will keep using that. Is there anything else I can do to correct this with fuel additives? I’m thinking about switching to race fuel just for the cleanliness, but it comes with it’s own issues (no detergents or lubes for the engine). Thoughts? P.S. – I’m really looking for a more technical answer, not an advertising one. If there are additives more suited, I’ll use those… If there is no way to entirely keep the fuel from degrading, I’ll probably switch to a more controlled fuel… Would draining the bike’s tank after every use remove the requirement to use a stabilizer, or will I still have residues in the carb? Any help in this matter would be greatly appreciated.

    Tai

    • Hi Tai. For long-term storage we would recommend STA-BIL Storage. For more every-day usage we would recommend STA-BIL 360 Peformance. It has a vapor corrosion inhibitor that will protect your fuel tank both above and below the fuel line. We also do not recommend draining your fuel tank. We recommend keeping it 95% full and treating it with STA-BIL before storage. Please contact us at marketing@goldeagle.com if you have any questions. We are happy to help.

  • Does Stabil harm the catalytic converter??

    • Hi Walt, No. Neither will it negatively affect sensors or any part of the fuel system. Please contact us at marketing@goldeagle.com if you have any questions about this. Thank you.

  • i use stabill 360 in all the boats and eqipment at the boat yard my question is at what point does over dose become aproblem some times coustomer already put it in and dont tell me

    • Hi Dave, it is ok if you over treat by two or even three times the recommended amount. Please let us know if you have any questions at marketing@goldeagle.com

  • I have read that, if my treated gas with Stabil is shaken, it will lose it’s ability to protect the gasoline.
    Is this true ?

    • Hi Paul. STA-BIL does not separate from the fuel or is affected by the fuel’s movement. It will still work even if the vehicle is being driven. Please contact us at marketing@goldeagle.com if you have any questions about this. Thank you.

  • Is there any harm done if I out too much fuel stabilizer in about a ounce too much

    • Hi Mike, there is no harm in over treating by two or even three times the recommended amount. Please contact us at marketing@goldeagle.com if you have any questions about this. Thank you.

  • I’m using Sta-bil for the first time and was wondering how much I should use for one gallon, as that is the size of my gas can. Would it cause problems if I just dumped in one ounce for 1 gallon?

    • Hi Wayne, you should be good with 1/2 ounce of STA-BIL if your fuel tank is only a gallon. It is ok if you accidentally over treat by two or even three times the recommended amount. Please contact us at marketing@goldeagle.com if you have any questions about this. Thank you.

  • I regularly use STA-BIL Fuel Stabilizer for Gasoline in all my vehicles, and Power Equipment. I want to ensure that water from condensation in the tank is also eliminated. Does STA-BIL Fuel Stabilizer for Gasoline also do this, or can you recommend another Gold Eagle product which I can use regularly along side STA-BIL Fuel Stabilizer for Gasoline to eliminate water from condensation. Thanks!

    • Hi Mark, If the main concern is to prevent condensation issues such as corrosion, rust and water accumulation, while keeping the fuel fresh up to 12 months, we highly recommend treating your fuel with STA-BIL 360® Performance. STA-BIL® Storage (red) is focused only on long-term stabilization (up to 24 months). Please contact us at marketing@goldeagle.com if you have any questions about this. Thank you.

  • I have used for years lots have had cars sit for up to 3 years . no problem
    but I take and fill them up with no alac. gas (boat gas) then add stilli-bil to it . 8 month is the normal for me to store then I can switch out or winter and summer. never had a problem . it works … I put it in and then fill it up…. by the time I get home it is in carb.

  • Should Sta-Bil be discarded at the end of the summer season if it has been stored in a hot location, such as a closed shed?

    • No. STA-BIL can withstand extreme conditions (up to 150°F) without it being affected. We still recommending using within 2 years of opening for best results.Please contact us at marketing@goldeagle.com if you have any questions about this. Thank you.

  • What do you recommend for a snow blower.
    I’m currently using the Storage (red) do I also need to use the Ethanol treatment or is the red enough?

    • Hi Bryan,
      for storing your snowblower during the off-season we would recommend STA-BIL Storage. When it is in-use during the snowy months, we would recommend STA-BIL 360 Performance. Please contact us at marketing@goldeagle.com if you have any questions about this. Thank you.

  • Do I add the Sta Bil 360 Marine to the 5 gal. gas can I am poring from (pre mix) or directly into the boat tank which holds 80 gal. ?

    • Hi Rol, you can do either. We recommend treating the gas can itself so that all the fuel is treated as soon as you get it. Please contact us at marketing@goldeagle.com if you have any questions about this. Thank you.

  • STA-BIL(R) 1 Gal RV & Marine Premium Antifreeze , Why did it freeze at 5 * above . Will it burst my pipes ? It says it is good for -75

    • Hi Gary, STA-BIL® RV & Marine Antifreeze will become “slushy” or even become solid at low temperatures. This is completely normal. The concentration of ingredients in the formula that will protect a system against bursting or cracking in as low as -75° F will appear to become solid (crystalize -not freeze) in as low as +10°F (-12°C). Should this happen, simply thaw at room temperature until it regains its liquid state and use as directed. As temperature rises, and the system is ready to be used again, the remaining antifreeze will be ready to be flushed normally. Please contact us at marketing@goldeagle.com if you have any questions about this. Thank you.

  • Is it OK to use the rest of a bottle of out dated StaBil in my boat gas tank?

    • Hi Ken, all STA-BIL Products have a shelf life of two years from the time of opening. If unopened, it should still be good for 8-10 years as long as there aren’t any solids or sediments at the bottom. Please contact us at marketing@goldeagle.com if you have any questions about this. Thank you.

  • Have a high end Honda generator stored in my shed. Use Stabil in the gas at twice the recommended ratio since I keep that tank filled year round. I do run the generator for 45 min. – 1 hr. /month to keep things lubricated and make starting easier. For Winter ease of starting (have electric starter) would any harm be done by adding Heet to the tank, or would this be redundant in preventing gas line freeze-up since the only gas available in this area is E-10?

    • We’d suggest having HEET® available should the lines freeze up. HEET® is not intended for long-term storage. Please contact us at marketing@goldeagle.com if you have any questions about this. Thank you.

  • I ride a 2004 V Star 1100, is it safe for my bike and if so which one would I use. I start my bike 1-2 times a week. Unable to ride here in Maryland. Thank you, Carla

  • Just had a snow thrower salesman tell me that Sta-Bil had alcohol in it, and not to use it. Wanted me to buy a special “storage fuel” that they sell.

    • STA-BIL® Brand stabilizer does not have alcohol and is perfectly safe to use in a snow blower –even if it is a 2-cycle.

  • I store my motorbike at an indoor storage facility which requires that I drain all the gasoline from the tank before storage. Each time after taking the bike out of storage I have trouble running the scooter because the carburetor is all gunked up. Would Stabil help and how do I use it if I need to drain the gasoline from the tank before putting it into storage?

    • Hi John, STA-BIL works best when added to a full tank of fuel before being stored. However, if the storage facility requires an empty tank, we still recommend running STA-BIL 360® Performance because of the Vapor Technology, which coats the entire fuel system preventing corrosion and rust, and stabilizes (as much as it can be done) any fuel residue left in the system. Please contact us at marketing@goldeagle.com if you have any questions.

  • Is it ok to use your product all the Time even when it’s not being stored?

    • Hi Richard, yes – STA-BIL is ok to use all year round. For storing equipment/vehicles, we would recommend using STA-BIL Storage (red). Then, when your equipment/vehicle is being used every day or regularly, we would recommend STA-BIL 360 Performance. Please let us know if you have any questions about this at marketing@goldeagle.com.

  • Can Stabil products designed for diesel fuel be used in Kerosene?

    • Hi Mark, no it cannot. Please contact us at marketing@goldeagle.com if you have any questions about this. Thank you.

  • I heard that if you put stable in a gas tank and the wind blows over the gas tank it increases the condensation in the gas tank

    • Hi Jack. Outside conditions would have minimal to no effect on a gas thank that has been properly sealed. Condensation happens with the humidity that is inherently in fuel, and the space available in the tank. Please contact us at marketing@goldeagle.com if you have any questions about this.