A lot of customers looking for help from a licensed garage dealing with classic car repair in Orange County tell the same cautionary tale. By running your car on bad fuel, you risk wreaking havoc on your engine. As old gas can cause sometimes irreparable damage to your old-timer, and if you want to keep it in its prime, our experts advise never using old gas in any car, especially a classic one.
What Makes Bad Gas so Bad?
In most cases the gas is spoiled simply because it’s old. When storing their classic cars for the winter, most owners don’t use a stabilizer and the gas breaks down over time. Just like any other substance, gasoline deteriorates over time. The fuel has to have a specific set of characteristics in order to ensure your engine works properly and at its best. However, with time the gas becomes less volatile as some components evaporate. In some cases, your car will still run on old fuel, but its efficiency will degrade drastically, leading to performance issues. These can range from simple ones like the car failing to start to major issues like ruining the valves inside the engine forever.
Another potentially hazardous situation is linked to oxidation. When the hydrocarbons and oxygen within the engine react, they create new compounds. These can lead to varnish deposits and gum forming in the fuel. These components are obviously not good for your classic car’s engine. These can form clogs in the fuel line as well as other parts of the system. And just like that, a simple procedure grows into a huge repair project.
How to check for bad fuel?
The easiest way would be to simply compare bad fuel with fresh fuel. Take some of the fuel from your car out and compare the two samples. By default, gasoline is clear and light yellow in color. Compared to that, old gas is usually darker and has an unpleasant, sour odor. If the gas from your car has these properties, it might be better to empty your tank and refuel.
Fresh fuel can last around a year, but you can never know how old the gas you poured at the station actually is. Sometimes it can only take a few months for the gas you filled your car with to spoil. The best solution is to refuel your tank to the full after each ride. A full gas tank will also help prevent condensation and spoiling as a result of it.
Finally, when putting away your car for its winter hibernation cycle, be sure to use a fuel stabilizer. Products like Sta-Bil can help slow down the oxidation and keep the fuel fresh for much longer. The fuel will still go bad eventually, but it will still be fresh by spring. If you plan on putting your car away for longer periods of time, make sure you drain the fuel system completely.
Looking for a Professional Classic Car Service in Orange County CA?
The experienced mechanics at Chimera Motors offer service and classic car repair in Orange County. We strive to provide thorough maintenance and keep your prized old-timer in its prime. If you have any questions on how to prevent engine damage due to bad fuel, feel free to stop by and see why so many owners entrust us with their beauties!