Use a Fuel Stabilizer for Winter Car Storage

fuel filter for gas
Even a good fuel filter can't stop ethanol issues. Matt Wright

If you're planning to put your car up for winter, there are a number of routes you can take to protect your car or truck's fuel system. Today's Ethanol infused fuels can really do a number of the delicate parts of your carburetors or fuel injection components, leaving you stranded in the spring and spending money on unnecessary repairs. A fuel stabilizer will help to mitigate that problem.

Fuel Stabilizers

One good pick is a brand called Sta-Bil, but there are a number of fuel stabilizers out there that do a good job at keeping your engine internals safe and sound in storage. To use a fuel stabilizer, all you need to do is pour the recommended amount into your fuel tank along with the fuel that's in there. Run the engine long enough for the stabilized fuel to reach all parts of the fuel system. This probably happens in five minutes or so in most cases, but to be sure, add the fuel stabilizer to your engine a day or two before you plan to store the vehicle. This will give you time to be absolutely sure that all of the old gas is out of the fuel lines, carburetor or fuel injection components and pumps and has been replaced with stabilized fuel that will not suffer the same breakdown. The Sta-Bil brand requires only one ounce of stabilizer for each two and a half gallons. If you break it down, that's very cheap insurance. 

The bottom line is this: if you are going to store your vehicle for an extended period of time, you can drain and dry the whole system, or you can use a fuel stabilizer. For seasonal storage, the additive is the way to go. Longer or indefinite storage situations do call for a tank drain and the whole nine yards. Don't forget to fill your tires!