Lifespan of Gasoline and How to Store It Properly

Naomi O'Colman

Lifespan of Gasoline and How to Store It Properly

Lifespan of Gasoline and How to Store It Properly

Wondering about the lifespan of gasoline and how to store it properly? People occasionally stockpile gasoline in containers and portable tanks. Many wonder that oil has been kept for millions of years underground, so why can’t gasoline be held for a few years? This, however, is a common misperception.

If the required storage criteria are not met, gasoline might degrade. It loses its qualities as a result of fluctuations in climate, humidity, and a variety of other conditions.

Gasoline can be kept in a sealed container for up to 6 months without losing its combustibility. Adding a fuel stabilizer to the gas before storing it can increase the shelf life to a year. All contact with humidity should be avoided, and the fuel should be stored in a sealed plastic or steel container.

What Is The Gasoline Lifespan?

Despite the fact that gasoline is easily available at the local pump, there is always the possibility that this finite resource will run out. As a result, gas storage may be important to go through long periods of time or when costs are low and you want to stockpile. Knowing how to properly store gasoline will safeguard your investment.

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When it comes to determining how long gasoline lasts, there are several elements to consider. Under optimal conditions, gasoline has a lifespan of 5 years, but only about a half year when stored carelessly.

Some common factors affecting gasoline longevity are as below:

The storage container

To improve the octane number, gasoline contains a large amount of easily evaporable components. These ingredients will evaporate if the fuel is not kept in an airtight container and the temperature is not maintained at a safe level.

Oxygen levels

Fuel reacts with oxygen, lowering its quality greatly. The usage of oxidized gasoline causes tar to build in automotive systems, as well as soot to form on candles.

Heat & Humidity

Due to the heat, gasoline will evaporate. As a result, companies make gasoline with lighter hydrocarbons in the winter, keeping the fuel more volatile and hence easier to burn. To prevent excessive evaporation, summer gasoline contains stronger hydrocarbons.

The fuel type

Because the additives used to boost the octane number own short shelf life, they degrade with time. Some additives degrade as little as two weeks after being stored, so keep this in mind.

How do You Store Gasoline Properly?

Containers of Various Types

An airtight metal container is the best type of gasoline storage tank. This can be done with tanks, drums, and other similar containers.

Regarding plastic tanks, they’re a no-no. Gasoline can interact with plastic, causing the gasoline to lose its quality and the container to be destroyed.

The possibility of sparks when refilling the container is the second reason. Static charge can build up in plastic, which can cause it to ignite.

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Other Conditions

During storage, keep the following considerations in mind:

  • Fire Protection
  • The container should be buried in the ground
  • There is no sunlight.
  • Thermometer (Ranging from 30-10 degrees, optimal 15 degrees)
  • Rigidity (the lid should be closed securely, air availability should not be over 5 percent of the tank volume).

How Can You Tell If Your Gasoline Is Bad?

No matter how well you keep the gasoline, it will eventually run out. The first sign that your engine’s fuel has become stale is that it won’t start. When the motor rotates in a car, a generator, or a lawnmower, the idle will be harsh. If your vehicle starts, you will almost certainly notice that it stalls regularly during acceleration. In some cases, poor gas can cause your vehicle’s check engine light to illuminate.

If the suspect gas isn’t contained in a tank, you can physically inspect it for symptoms of deterioration. The oxidation of gasoline causes it to darken in color as it matures. A bad odor, like spoiled food, indicates that gasoline has reached the end of its useful life.

You can even use stale gasoline if you blend it with new fuel. Fill your vehicle’s tank to three-quarters capacity, then fill it with the old fuel. A one-to-one ratio should still flip the motor over on a generator or lawnmower.

However, using old gasoline itself is not recommended. Because of its poor combustibility, bad gas might harm your engine’s internal components. Furthermore, old gasoline might leave gum residue in your engine components, which can lead to engine obstructions. If the fuel includes ethanol, there’s a risk that vapor will be sucked into the fuel line, causing damage.

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The Risks of Using Out-of-Date Gas

Old gas does not always become contaminated; rather, it loses its flammability and volatile chemicals. It’s possible to harm internal engine components if you use old gasoline. It may also begin to build a gum residue, which may lead to obstructions. If your fuel contains ethanol, it may attract moisture into the fuel line, causing interior damage.

How Do You Get Rid Of Used Gasoline?

Even if you only have a tiny amount to dispose of, avoid pouring it down the sink, into sewage, or near a water bank because it will contaminate the environment and destroy plants, ecology, and drinkable water. Instead, contact the city garbage department or the municipal fire department for assistance.

Typically, you’ll be obliged to take your expired fuel to a designated disposal location and pour it into a larger container there. To avoid placing yourself at risk, make sure you carry the old gas in an authorized closed container.


If preserved in a tight container away from moisture and heat, unadulterated gasoline purchased from the pump can last up to 6 months.

Keep gasoline in an appropriate container away from heat sources, such as sunshine, and ideally away from other flammable materials when storing it.