Winterize Fuel System
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Fuel System How-To's
Preparing Boats for Storage with Star Tron
Now that winter is on the way, it’s time to prepare the boat and all your other warm weather gas-powered equipment for seasonal storage.
Fuel quality is the most important factor in making sure that gas-powered engines start easily and run smoothly. All fuel needs to be stabilized, and especially ethanol-blended fuel. Ethanol and gasoline cannot form a chemical bond, which is why E10 fuel is formulated to be used within 30 days of blending. Many marinas require the boat to be stored with a full tank of fuel in order to minimize explosive fumes; this in turn requires the fuel to be stabilized. As fuel ages, it begins forming gums and other debris that clogs fuel injectors or carburetors, making engines run rough or to become difficult to start. The engines are fine – it is the fuel that is the problem. However, you need more than a traditional chemical fuel stabilizer that can “only stabilize.”
Star Tron Enzyme Fuel Treatment‘s unique formula is the ideal way to improve the performance of all gasoline engines year-round. The proprietary blend of enzymes make Star Tron a multifunctional fuel treatment. Engineered to stabilize fuel for up to 2 years, Star Tron is perfect for keeping the fuel fresh in boats as well as lawnmowers, string trimmers and other summer equipment that will be going into storage until spring arrives, but it does much more than just stabilize fuel. The enzymes allow more oxygen to attach to hydrocarbon fuel molecules, resulting in a more complete burn of the fuel charge. This translates into maximum power, crisper throttle response and improved fuel economy. Star Tron helps restore much of the power and fuel economy lost in ethanol blended fuels due to the fact that ethanol does not produce as much energy as gasoline. A more complete burn of the fuel charge also helps prevent carbon deposits and keeps engines running clean, with significantly reduced emissions. If gums or other debris is already in the fuel, Star Tron’s enzymes break it apart to disperse it throughout the fuel so that it can be eliminated while the engine operates.
Because alcohol attracts water, moisture is another ethanol issue. Star Tron’s enzymes break apart clumps of water molecules into tiny submicron-sized droplets so they can be dispersed throughout the fuel to be safely eliminated while the engine is running. Beware of additives that claim to remove water or make it burn; neither is possible. Most of these products rely on alcohol or other emulsifiers that degrade fuel quality and can result in significant carbon deposits. Star Tron does not contain any alcohol, oil or emulsifiers.Used year-round, Star Tron Enzyme Fuel Treatment keeps all engines starting easily and running smoothly.
The fuel system is the heart of your boat, so it's extra important to make sure it is taken care of properly before storage. Fuel system problems are the #1 problem among boat owners. With ethanol blended into today's gasoline, boat owners face an even higher chance of corrosion in their fuel system, which can lead to costly repairs.
To avoid potential consequences, it's imperative to fill your gas tank 95% full of fresh fuel and add a stabilizer like Marine Formula STA-BIL Ethanol Fuel Treatment and Stabilizer, as gas can go bad in as little as 30 days. Make sure you do NOT top off your tank because when it gets warm again, the gas may expand, causing spills.
By stabilizing your fuel, you'll protect your fuel system against corrosion, gum and varnish build-up and help clean the fuel system. Once you've filled your tank and added a stabilizer (for STA-BIL® Marine use 1 oz. to every 5 gallons of gasoline), run the engine for a few minutes to make sure the stabilized fuel is pulled into the carburetor and injectors.
Caution! There is confusion among some boat owners who think draining their fuel tank will help protect their engine. However, it's impossible to fully drain your fuel system. The remaining tiny droplets of fuel are exposed to air, which in turn creates gum and varnish buildup and corrosion on the walls of your system. The build-up can develop in key places that completely inhibit fuel flow or cause fuel leaks and can lead to a variety of engine problems including complete engine failure come springtime.
Written by Tom Bingham - Tom is director of marketing at Gold Eagle Co. with six years of experience in the performance chemical industry and seven years in the outdoor power equipment industry and is a certified small engine mechanic.