Top 5 STA-BIL Product Myths Debunked
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 likely heard of the STA-BIL® Brand.
For more than six decades, the iconic red additive 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 widely known, it’s bound to attract creative observations and folklore. We’ve heard them all, from the comical to the 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 lawnmowers to boats to classic cars.
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 decades.
Believe it or not, the rest of the country is still relatively new to the idea of ethanol-blended fuel, which the government began mandating in 2005 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.
For this reason, corrosion is a huge concern with equipment that tends to sit between uses, like boats or lawnmowers.
STA-BIL will 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 is designed to be used with every fill-up.
Myth #3: “All STA-BIL products are the same, just different colors.”
To be blunt, this myth is false. Each product is specially designed to address and prevent a unique set of problems.
STA-BIL Fuel Stabilizer keeps fuel fresh for up to 24 months, making it ideal for long-term engine storage.
STA-BIL 360° Protection protects against ethanol-related damage and provides a boost in performance and mileage economy. The product is designed to be used every time you fill-up the tank.
STA-BIL 360° Marine provides defense for engines that perform in high-moisture, water-laden environments with PEA fuel system cleaning agents.
Both STA-BIL 360° formulas will keep fuel fresh for up to 12 months and provide protection to the entire fuel system. So, in the end, it all depends on what you would like to focus on – prolonged longevity, power and 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 one tank of fuel minimum before you store your vehicle or equipment.