gas addatives

mm2347

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Oct 21, 2008
238
oday 222 niagara
Practical Sailor tested gas add. a number of years ago (have lost the article)) and found that it was useless. I keep my gas (have both a 2 and 4 stroke motors) as "fresh" as poss. and only use the non alcohol prem. gas. and have had no problems. (I put a half gal. into my car to flush the hose then fill my gas can) Has anyone found any real tests, not product statements, that they could share?
 
Nov 9, 2012
2,499
Oday 192 Lake Nockamixon
All I have is anecdotal evidence that Sea Foam (which I believe is a detergent) has worked very well for other people cleaning out jets and making a poor functioning motor into a good functioning motor. I trust the opinion of these people, so I put the snake oil in my fuel :D
 
Jun 2, 2004
1,839
Oday Day Sailer Wareham, MA
I have had great success using "STARTRON" gas additive, I pour some into my 3-gallon tank at the start of the season and have had no troubles due to ethanol. Amazingly, I put very few hours on my little 2-stroke 4 hp Johnson and often end up draining most of the 2.5 to 3 gallons that I put in the tank out at the end of the season. My Dad starts the next season in his 14' powerboat using the previous year's gas (treated again with Startron). That should be a recipe for disaster, but we have had no trouble yet. (I nervously say.... "yet")
I may be using a bit more Startron In my tank than the recommended dose?
 
Sep 25, 2008
6,315
Alden 50 Sarasota, Florida
Practical Sailor tested gas add. a number of years ago (have lost the article)) and found that it was useless.
I just searched the PS archive and could find no such evidence. Again, any corroboration?
 
Nov 26, 2012
2,315
Catalina 250 Bodega Bay CA
Notice he states he does not use alcohol additive fuels. No wonder he can make such a statement! Would you like to share your cost per gallon? You are not even addressing the issue we are discussing. He further indicates his lack of understanding of gasoline by stating he uses PREMIUM. He obviously is not aware that, that is overkill! My condolences, Chief
 
Mar 20, 2012
3,983
Cal 34-III, MacGregor 25 Salem, Oregon
keep using the non ethanol fuel. that is the number one best thing you can do to insure you wont have the gum and varnish that ethanol causes....

but, for a fact, seafoam disolves the gum and varnish caused by ethanol.

any one skeptical, heres how to prove it to yourself.... take any old gas container that has had ethanol gas in it for a season or two and you will see the black sludge in the bottom of it... thats the gum/varnish that has developed. pour of most of the old gas out but leave the sludge in there, then try any chemical, solvent or thinner you can think of to try and dissolve the black mass.... it wont.
and as it does not dissolve and is still a black mass, dump in a couple ounces of seafoam... within two hours you will see the mass is dissolved and the liquid will be black as it has dissolved into a solution of seafoam, gas and sludge..

seafoam in an engine will dissolve any residual gum and varnish within the fuel system... it can actually braek a large mass free and allow it to plug the carb, but given time, it will fully dissolve the mass and allow it to pass thru so that you have a clean system...

as for an additive that does not work, the red stabil comes to mind. it does not stabilize ethanol fuel, use the blue stabil, it is the marine formula and will work on any type of fuel... it is also more concentrated so you use less of it.

and even though most of us use the ethanol free fuel in which the red stabil does work, that is not a good reason to use the red stuff when the blue stuff is so much better.

in all my small engines which is considerable in number (everything except our cars) I use ethanol free fuel, and I mix it with the proper amount of both seafoam and blue stabil, and never in the past 8-10 have I had to have anything serviced due to a fuel problem.... and I very seldom drain the fuels or run them dry when they are put away for the season.

the seafoam works and the blue stabil works... the ingredients of both may be common, but the formulations as purchased under these brand names have instructions on how to use and how much to add to the fuel... and more isnt always better.
 
Mar 20, 2012
3,983
Cal 34-III, MacGregor 25 Salem, Oregon
Notice he states he does not use alcohol additive fuels. No wonder he can make such a statement! Would you like to share your cost per gallon? You are not even addressing the issue we are discussing. He further indicates his lack of understanding of gasoline by stating he uses PREMIUM. He obviously is not aware that, that is overkill! My condolences, Chief
I am currently paying 3.75 per gallon for non ethanol fuel (awhile back it was 4.05 per gallon) and looking thru my records it shows I use around 75-100 gallons per year... only in my small engines which includes the atv's, lawn and garden equipment, chain saws and outboards... what i pay extra for the lack of ethanol is much less than one piece of equipment gong into the shop to be cleaned out... plus the time and trouble of not having it running when I want it.

and, as im in the business to know these things, the saw and mower shops usually "fix it" by running a few ounces of seafoam thru the equipment, blow the dust out and wipe it off, readjust the carb if necessary, and charge 180 -200 dollars for the repair, without even removing a screw from it.
 
Nov 26, 2012
2,315
Catalina 250 Bodega Bay CA
centerline:use what you want. He stated gas additives do not work. He is wrong. You are indicating they do.....so am I. When I use additives I have no problems either with 10% alcohol gas, so, do not choose to spend $4 gal. for gas. Chief
 
Nov 9, 2012
2,499
Oday 192 Lake Nockamixon
Keep in mind the differences between 2 stroke and 4 stroke motors as well. Generally, small 4 stroke motors have much smaller idle jets, which clog up more easily. Someone who says they never worry about a 2 stroke motor, I think, yep, not as small an idle jet. But the newer crop of 4 stroke engines, especially our small ones, have very small idle jets due to emissions regulations.

That doesn't answer the OP question: "Does anyone know of empirical studies of efficacy of fuel additives?"
 
Mar 20, 2012
3,983
Cal 34-III, MacGregor 25 Salem, Oregon
Practical Sailor tested gas add. a number of years ago and found that it was useless.

Has anyone found any real tests, not product statements, that they could share?
Im with Don S/V ILLusion on this... skeptical

I know that as a blanket statement the article is wrong, but if they were referring to a specific product, they may be absolutely correct.

what I find skeptical is the testing done as reported by the author of such an statement.

anyone can send a story to any given magazine, and depending on how it fits their agenda and space that month, they may print it without any further questioning. magazines actually welcome us to send them our stories that they can browse thru and print if they think it will sell another magazine for them...
and as we are all just people, and we all have different ideas of quality control and methods to achieve the results we want to see concerning whatever subject it is we're interested in at the moment, its likely the tester/author only targeted one or two products.

targeting only a couple products was either by design or due to ignorance of the other products available, but either way, it skews the outcome of the test so that it can be erroneously stated that "gas additives do not work".... and if by ignorance of the many other products available, then it would lead one to believe that the one doing the testing is not qualified to do testing like this and make such a statement.
 
Apr 4, 2013
114
O'day 240 NY, NY (City Island)
PS tested additives in the November 08 issue, and the August and November 2012 issues. Basically found that additives don't prevent separation, but they do help prevent corrosion. Seafoam was a "budget buy". Biobor EB was "recommended".
 
Nov 9, 2012
2,499
Oday 192 Lake Nockamixon
Greg, if you have these articles on hand, can you check and see if they tried to look at varnish and gumming issues if the fuel were to evaporate? I think this is the biggest issue with ethanol fuel, that it tends to gum and varnish more quickly than straight gasoline, and these effects occur most markedly in the small low speed idle jet.

While ethanol separating out of the gasoline would be a big issue, I don't know that's the problem that most people have. Where did I hear that an issue is ethanol combining with water, and then separating out? Water and ethanol are miscible, water and gasoline are not. I love that word, miscible, learned it in HS chemistry class! :D



PS tested additives in the November 08 issue, and the August and November 2012 issues. Basically found that additives don't prevent separation, but they do help prevent corrosion. Seafoam was a "budget buy". Biobor EB was "recommended".
 
Apr 4, 2013
114
O'day 240 NY, NY (City Island)
Hi Brian,

From what I can see they just looked at the corrosion issues that may emerge from E-10 use, specifically to brass, steel, and aluminum. Solids they found in the fuel were actually the corroded metals. They did mention that an industry trade group had formed to develop standards around fuel additives and claims that they could clean fuel systems, but this was back in 2012 and I didn't see any other update.
 
Mar 20, 2012
3,983
Cal 34-III, MacGregor 25 Salem, Oregon
PS tested additives in the November 08 issue, and the August and November 2012 issues. Basically found that additives don't prevent separation, but they do help prevent corrosion. Seafoam was a "budget buy". Biobor EB was "recommended".
what specific products were tested... to say they did a testing of fuel additives without naming names can not be, and almost certainly is not a definitive test of the products that in any way could be useful information to anyone....

and as Brian said, its not corrosion in the system that is the problem, and usually not even the problem being the separation of the ethanol from the gas, but its the gum and varnish problem that will prevent the engine from running....

there are many people who use ethanol fuels and have some degree of separation that will cause the engine to run rougher than it should, and a lot of these people dont care as long as it does run and will start dependably.

anyone who cares about the motor running its best with as little trouble and emissions and longest burn time per gallon would never use ethanol blended fuel.... and not even have to include an additive to get it to stay fresh for a year if it were to set in the tank/carb/system that long....

EDIT.... after reading this, I must admit the "running its best" is a relative term... an engine that has water in the fuel and is coughing and choking as it tries to pass the water thru its system is running "its best" as the conditions will permit... ethanol fuel is the same, it will allow the engine to run its best under the conditions that the fuel will allow, but in no way is the poor quality fuel allowing the engine to run at its full potential...
 
Apr 4, 2013
114
O'day 240 NY, NY (City Island)
PS tested Sea Foam, ValvTect, PRI-G, Mercury Quickstor, Sta-Bil, Star Tron, Biobor EB, and CRC Phase Guard 4.
 
Mar 20, 2012
3,983
Cal 34-III, MacGregor 25 Salem, Oregon
PS tested Sea Foam, ValvTect, PRI-G, Mercury Quickstor, Sta-Bil, Star Tron, Biobor EB, and CRC Phase Guard 4.

Thanks.... I have experiance with seafoam, stabil (both red and blue), merc quickstor and star tron...

of these ive tried, seafoam and blue stabil are the only ones worthy of using.
 
Nov 26, 2012
2,315
Catalina 250 Bodega Bay CA
Stabil and Seafoam definitely works. My outboards run perfectly on E10, just be sure its fresh and/or has additive. I ran E10 in my racing motorcycles as well and my motors smoked ALL other mc's no matter what thay ran! Chief
 
Mar 20, 2012
3,983
Cal 34-III, MacGregor 25 Salem, Oregon
Stabil and Seafoam definitely works. My outboards run perfectly on E10, just be sure its fresh and/or has additive. I ran E10 in my racing motorcycles as well and my motors smoked ALL other mc's no matter what thay ran! Chief
Correct....
Its living proof, the products work so well that they can even bring substandard fuels up to par:D:D:D