Does Diesel Go Off With Age?

It’s an age-old question for diesel truck drivers and anyone else who drives a diesel-powered vehicle. ‘Does diesel fuel have a shelf life?’ In actuality, there is no such thing as an expiration date for diesel, but the longer you store it, the worse it performs.

In reality, keeping diesel without properly treating it can cause a slew of problems, not just for the fuel but also for any vehicle into which you chose to put it later. We’ll go over exactly what happens to untreated diesel fuel when it’s stored for a long period, as well as how you may avoid these bad consequences by simply treating the diesel before it’s stored.

Diesel fuel’s performance deteriorates when it sits in storage for extended periods of time. When the fuel reaches the final stages of the process, we call it “diesel fuel gone bad.” It may be too late to save your stored diesel fuel if you notice these things occurring to it. However, there are a few things you can do to extend its life, which we’ll go into later.

  • As a result of being exposed to environmental variables, chain reactions occur: Light, water, and heat are the most prevalent environmental variables that have a negative impact on diesel fuel. If the diesel fuel is stored in a location where any of these things might affect it, the molecules in the fuel will produce chain reactions that will cause the fuel to slowly but steadily change from an oil to a varnish.
  • The gasoline darkens, and the gums get swollen: As a result of the chain reactions that occur between environmental variables and the molecules of diesel fuel, the fuel thickens and darkens, turning into more of a gum or sludge.

This process alters the molecular structure of diesel fuel, and because most modern diesel fuels do not contain the same amount of sulfur as older diesel fuels, bacteria begin to thrive in the fuel, forming biomass. This can result in acids that completely degrade the fuel over time.

  • The sludgy fuel won’t burn properly, resulting in black smoke: This thicker, darker dieselfuel won’t run as smoothly as a diesel fuel that hasn’t been influenced by external factors, resulting in black smoke and engine sputtering, which is never good for your car.
  • Internal vehicle damage due to lubricity: Because this diesel fuel no longer has the lubricity it once did, the acidic nature and thickness of the fuel will begin to negatively affect the fuel pump, diesel injectors, and engine, and you may not be able to start your engine if the problem is severe enough.

You may be wondering if there is any solution that will allow you to keep diesel fuel without it becoming a sludgy mess now that you know what it means when you hear it has gone bad.

The solution is significantly more straightforward than you might have assumed. You can ensure that your stored diesel fuel is safe at all times by using a diesel fuel stabilizer. Although there are numerous brands and formulations to pick from, we recommend Opti-Lube, which is the world’s #1 rated additive that more than doubles the shelf life of diesel fuel.

Despite the fact that diesel fuel does not have a specific expiration date, the performance of stored fuel might be harmed over time if improper storage and additives are not used. If you intend on storing fuel or not driving your truck over the winter, it’s important to use a reliable additive like Opti-Lube and take precautions before it’s too late.

We at Gem State Diesel understand the damage that gummed-up diesel fuel can cause to a vehicle, which is why we’ve decided to offer this knowledge and show you how we maintain our fuel working at its best no matter what. After all, it’s always better to be cautious than sorry, especially when dealing with something as precious and impressive as a diesel engine.

Does diesel fuel deteriorate with age?

There are a variety of reasons why you might wonder, “How long does gasoline last?” Is it possible that diesel will go off? Perhaps you’ve been away for a while and want to get back into driving an old car, or perhaps you don’t drive much and haven’t filled your tank in a while. It’s crucial to know how long gas may sit in an automobile. So there you have it: everything you need to know about old gasoline and storage.

Is it safe to drive with old fuel?

If you haven’t filled up your tank in six months or fewer, your car, whether diesel or gasoline, is likely to be entirely fine to drive. However, if your tank has been empty for more than six months, it’s usually best to drain it to avoid inflicting any unnecessary damage.

What can go wrong?

Deposits and other contaminants in oxidized gasoline might clog your engine’s inner mechanisms, causing harm. Engine problems may be costly and difficult to repair, as every automobile owner knows. Old diesel, on the other hand, can thicken and stickier with time, clogging the system and resulting in an unexpected repair expenditure.

Can I rejuvenate old fuel?

You might be wondering if you can rejuvenate the tank by topping it up with new fuel if there’s only a little bit of old fuel remaining in it. Usually, the answer is yes. You’ll be able to drive your automobile normally after filling up your tank. However, if you have a full tank of old gasoline or diesel, it cannot be revived, and your tank will need to be drained to avoid engine damage.

Can I store fuel?

These days, there are a lot of gas stations on the roadways. However, if keeping a can of fuel handy provides you peace of mind, there’s no danger in doing so – provided you follow a few simple principles.

To begin, place all fuel in a UN-approved plastic or metal can. Second, keep in mind that gasoline is extremely flammable and should be stored in a safe outbuilding away from any open flames. Finally, according to the Health and Safety Executive, only 30-litres of gasoline can be stored at home at any given moment. If you want to keep more than the suggested amount, you’ll need to inform the Petroleum Enforcement Authority. There are no restrictions on diesel, but apply common sense when it comes to safety, such as keeping it out of the reach of minors.

How long can I store fuel for?

Petrol can survive up to six months if kept in a sealed container at 20 degrees. If the temperature rises, this time is cut in half to just three months. Diesel can be used for six to twelve months or until it gets ‘gummy.’ If it appears to be too sticky, don’t use it.

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What happens when diesel fuel gets old?

Gum and sediment form when diesel becomes stale and aged. This reaction occurs as a result of the fuel and oxygen reacting together. This debris clogs the filters, which might cause the engine to stall. Sediment and gum also don’t burn properly, resulting in carbon deposits on the injectors.

How can you tell if diesel is bad?

Depending on whether it’s bio-diesel or distillate ULSD diesel, you can only expect diesel fuel to be used for 6 to 12 months. If you’re not sure, here are some signs to look out for.

Can I use 10 year old diesel fuel?

Diesel fuel can theoretically be used after it has gone bad. Your machines, on the other hand, will go through hell. Gelled diesel clogs filters and gets into engines, causing them to fail. Part rust and injector deposits are caused by the acids that develop in old fuel.

Is 10 year old gas still good?

If you haven’t driven your car in a while, you may be wondering if the gas in the tank is still OK or if it has to be removed and replaced with new gas. Here’s the answer to your question.

Is old gas in the tank bad for your car? The quick answer

In almost all cases, aging gas isn’t a problem. Gas that sits for a long time deteriorates. Gas that has been sitting for a few months, on the other hand, can be redeemed by topping off the tank with new gas. The motor will work properly once the new gas has mixed with the old gas. “The fresh gas will mix with what’s already in your tank,” explains Consumer Reports’ chief mechanic John Ibbotson, “and any fluctuation in the octane will be corrected for automatically by your car’s engine computer.” The change will restore the engine’s regular operation.

What happens when gas gets old?

When gas sits for a long time, it begins to degrade in a number of ways. Gas will lose octane over time. The combustible component of gasoline is octane. The better the air-fuel mixture and combustion in the cylinders, the higher the octane rating (think 87, 89, 93).

As gas ages, it reduces its volatility, or how explosive it is. Engine performance suffers when volatility reduces. As the engine and gas rest, residues and water from gas combustion might build up. None of this is encouraging for engine performance.

How old is too old for gas?

Degradation begins right once, but most gas remains usable for at least a month. Gas that is more than two months old, on the other hand, is generally safe to use with just small performance reductions. Engine knocking, sputtering, and clogged injectors can all be symptoms of gas that has been sitting for more than a year. To avoid engine damage, bad gas can be evacuated from the tank. One thing to bear in mind is that you can’t tell how old the gas is when you first put it in your automobile.

What is the shelf life of diesel fuel?

Maybe you haven’t started the hot rod in the garage in a couple of years. Maybe you haven’t used your lawnmower or snow blower since storing them for the season.

These applications that run on gasoline are all meant to make our lives easier and more fun. However, none of them will help you if the gasoline they’re utilizing is contaminated.

If gasoline is stored for too long, it might lose critical volatile chemicals due to evaporation, according to Richard Stanley, a former chemical engineer for Texas-based Fluor Corporation and Ascent Engineering.

“If you leave gasoline alone for a long time, it just doesn’t behave the way you expect it to,” Stanley explained.

Gasoline has a three-month shelf life on average, but diesel can be stored for six to twelve months if kept cool and dry. Experts agree that when keeping wasted gas for more than a year, fuel stabilizer additives should be used, and that acquiring new gas every six months (at the start of both summer and winter) is a solid rule of thumb.

That’s a lot of reminders to add to your already overflowing to-do list. There is, however, a superior fuel option available.

“While gasoline and diesel fuel deteriorate over time, propane does not,” he explained. “Unlike other fuels, it won’t decay through natural processes.” That’s why propane is an excellent choice for applications like emergency generators, which are only used once in a while.”

Propane is also ideal for lawn equipment, in addition to standby generators. The days of running your gas tank to empty before putting it away for the winter are long gone. You may simply clean up your lawn mower and store it until next spring with propane. When it’s time to clean things up, you’ll be relieved to know that your propane hasn’t gone bad. Consider these mower manufacturers if you’re ready to switch to a propane-powered mower.

Is diesel fuel good after 2 years?

So, under these circumstances, how long does diesel fuel last? “Diesel fuel can be stored for 6 to 1 year without substantial fuel degradation if kept clean, cold, and dry,” according to Exxon. Diesel fuel can be stored for more than a year under specific conditions, according to Chevron:

  • Second, acceptable fuel quality and stability were obtained by using additives such as biocides, stabilizers, and additive packages that promote lubricity, improve the Cetane number, and offer detergents to keep fuel systems clean.
  • Finally, the fuel was tested on a regular basis, maintained, and polished as needed using portable filters.

As a result, the answer to the question “how long does diesel fuel last” is “it depends.” However, with good fuel stability achieved by correct storage and the use of diesel fuel treatments such as Diesel STA-BIL, you can combat fuel degradation for a long time while keeping expenses low and under control.

What is a dirty diesel?

‘Dirty diesel’ has almost always been tainted after the fuel production process, for example, by owners storing or transporting diesel after purchase. Particulates can contaminate diesel, and water and diesel do not mix correctly. As a result, many owners change their fuel filters on a regular basis, upgrade to a higher-quality filter, or add additional filters.

Another option is to install an aftermarket product such as a water separator, though most automobile manufacturers advise against doing so because changes may void the warranty.

What is the longest lasting fuel?

Getting ready for an emergency might be difficult. It’s difficult to maintain emergency supplies fresh and useful when you don’t know when calamity may strike. It’s critical to know which fuels have the greatest shelf life when you prepare and begin to store fuel. It is preferable to use fuels with an unlimited shelf life whenever possible.

What are the fuels with the longest shelf lives? Propane, alcohol, wood, and charcoal are all suitable emergency storage fuels that can be kept indefinitely.

Which fuel has the longest shelf life and will fulfill my demands is the more appropriate question. Consider the following example:

During a power outage, you can use the following fuels to provide emergency alternate heating for your home:

Alternative fuel sources for emergency cooking without electricity include:

Fuel shelf life is just one of the elements to consider when deciding which fuel is ideal for your emergency preparedness. A fundamental aspect should be the ability to safely store the gasoline. To learn the best techniques for storing emergency fuels, go to How to Store Fuels Safely for Emergencies.

If all other parameters are equal, it makes sense to store the fuels that have the longest shelf life and are the most stable in storage. In this piece, we’ll look at the useable life of common fuels that are kept on hand for emergency situations.