Safe to have 'old' gas in the Clarity for too long?

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by Jason90405, Feb 17, 2019.

  1. Jason90405

    Jason90405 New Member

    It's been 2 weeks since I leased my Clarity. Given my short work commute and lack of any long distance travel, I have not used ANY gas that was pre-filled by the dealer. It still has the full 380 miles of gas range.

    If I don't ever get to the use the gas portion for months, does the gas 'go bad' inside Clarity?
  2. petteyg359

    petteyg359 Well-Known Member

    No. One, it'll turn on the engine when it needs to, even if you never put it in HV mode. Two, the tank is pressurized, hence the need to hold down a button to release pressure and unlock the fuel door.
    Kyle’s Clarity and ClarityDoc like this.
  3. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Maybe. Unlike the Volt, whose software will not let the gas get more than 1 year old, the Clarity is happy to let the gas stay in the tank forever. It will occasionally enter what is called a “System Check” and run the engine but nowhere near often enough to burn a significant amount of gas. My Clarity has not lost a single bar on the gas gauge in over 6 months.

    It all depends on how you define “bad” gas. Searching on the internet I can find sources saying gas goes bad in a little as a couple of months (or less) while some say to up to 1 year. Certainly in a plastic gas can used for your mower it will deteriorate faster than in the Clarity’s sealed and pressurized tank, but how long before it goes bad even there? And the problem is that sludge and deposit build up is a cumulative event, so by the time it causes a problem, it’s too late to do anything about it.

    Since I can drive for 6 months or more on EV alone without burning any gas, I have opted to add Stabil to my tank on the theory better safe than sorry. However, I think that if you drive enough HV miles to be adding gas once a month or so, you should be OK without it. You can search on the forum as it has been extensively discussed and eloquently argued both ways. YMMV, as always.
    insightman likes this.
  4. WindsorBoy

    WindsorBoy New Member

    I live in Markham, Ontario. The last time I filled up was October 8th, 2018 (Canadian Thanksgiving) when I was returning home from up North and filled up at a gas station about 80km from home. Since then I've pretty much stayed close to home and have only driven about 1800 km. I've used just over half a tank so I'm probably good until I head up North again on the May 24 weekend. So far no problems with the engine (when needed) and I expect I'll be fine until I need to fill up again when I head back up North.
  5. Groves Cooke

    Groves Cooke Active Member

    My experience with a fleet of old vintage tractors is that gas will keep for about a year. In my tractors I use automatic transmission fluid type F as a stabilizer. I will not be using that in my Clarity. My situation is that I use about 3/4 of a tank of gas a month. Not planning on adding stabil either.
  6. MNSteve

    MNSteve Well-Known Member

    What symptoms do you observe with the gas that is more than a year old?
  7. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    Not speaking for Groves but I have found similar as a big vintage car/boat/snowmobile/ATV and general power equipment guy. I have a bunch of stored fuel and need to be alert to it. It simply loses its ability to ignite eventually. The light stuff evaporates, leaving behind varnishes. Clogs passages in carbs. If an Ethanol mix it will cause some corrosion of aluminum parts as this happens, instead of varnishing. I agree wih Groves they stabilized fuel up to about a year works fine and doesn’t have these problems. I track the age of fuel in many things I don’t use much. I try my best to use them all and burn at least a full tank thru per year. It if something slips past that age or isn’t running right I will drain or siphon it out and dilute it with good fuel, and burn it off gradually in a heavily used modern vehicle to dispose of it safely....usually in my pickup or a company car.

    But frankly that is all irrelevant because all of those things have atmospherically vented fuel tanks and carburetors. The Clarity does not. Age alone doesn’t kill fuel, exposure to the atmosphere kills fuel. Clarity’s pressurized system prevents exposure of fuel to the atmosphere. There is no doubt in my mind that fuel stored in a pressurized system and simply not allowed to evaporate, will last many times longer than fuel in vintage tractors and other exposed storage environments. Without stabilizer. If it can’t lose its volatile compounds to the air, it can’t break down. Not very quickly anyway.

    I’m a big fan of fuel stabilizers and I use a lot of it in my many things. It works. Yet I would never put it in my Clarity. It doesn’t need it.

    If I really felt it was getting a bit too old, I’d just drive it in HV for a week or so and use it up, then refill. Fuel maintenance is so stupidly easy with this car. Just push the dang button. If I were an EV only driver with a Clarity I’d probably do this on my birthday each year when I change my smoke detector batteries.
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2019
    markc likes this.
  8. MNSteve

    MNSteve Well-Known Member

    So it kind of morphs into kerosene. OK, that answers my question. And I agree that it's probably not an issue with the Clarity.
  9. 4sallypat

    4sallypat Active Member

    Glad to hear Stabil is not needed for our Clarity.
    I use a fuel stabilizer: Stabil to keep gasoline in 5 gallon cans due to long term storage......
  10. The Gadgeteer

    The Gadgeteer Active Member

    So hypothetically even though there is probably no “need” to put fuel stabilizer like Stabil in the Clarity is there any harm in doing so?

    I was wondering if I should start using some Stabil in the Clarity just for good measure because I have plenty of Stabil lying around. Which leads me to my next question...

    Does Stabil go old?

    I bought a 32 oz bottle of Stabil for the generator gas because the 32 oz bottle was only slightly more cost than the 8 oz bottle. However, the Stabil is a year old and I have only used half the bottle.
  11. PHEV Newbie

    PHEV Newbie Well-Known Member

    Just an anecdote. When I had to fire up my snowblower this year, there was some gasoline left in the tank from last season (about 9 months old). I did not add a fuel stabilizer. The snowblower has an electrical starter and it would not start with the old gasoline after cranking for some time. I then added fresh gasoline to fill up the tank. After about 20 seconds of cranking (presumably to clear the old gas in the line), it started up just fine and it ran fine. The blower is pretty new and it has started quickly ever time since. Although the Clarity's tank is pressurized to reduce degradation, I wouldn't want to keep fuel in there for very long. Besides, you really need to run the ICE regularly to keep parts lubricated. The ultra low viscosity 0W-20 oil will drain off lubricated surfaces much faster than the older, heavier motor oils.
    markc likes this.
  12. 4sallypat

    4sallypat Active Member

    Yes, this is the reason why frequent oil changes are needed on the Clarity!

    Glad I got the optional Honda Care to take care of all oil changes!
  13. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Just did my first oil change to keep the MM happy and avoid any potential warranty claim issues.
    It was 1 year to the day after purchase at 7,651 total miles with only about 650 miles and 13+ hours on the engine.
    I’m perfectly happy with once a year oil changes. Oil change is not just about the miles, it’s also about the time. Once in the crankcase, oil will slowly loose some of its wear fighting and engine protecting properties becsuse you can’t fight entropy.
    Will post later when oil analysis comes back.
    insightman likes this.
  14. MNSteve

    MNSteve Well-Known Member

    I don't know but I am glad I am not the only person who has had that exact question.
  15. craze1cars

    craze1cars Well-Known Member

    Direct quotes from STA-BIL's website:

    "The shelf life of all STA-BIL® brand products is 2 years after the bottle has been opened, provided it has been tightly capped and stored in a cool, dry place. It will not harm anything if you use an old bottle of STA-BIL® brand, it just may not be as effective."

    "The stamp/code on the back of the bottle will help determine the date it was manufactured. For example: 15120-83318-1658. This bottle based on the code was made in April 2015. The first two numbers determine the year and the three numbers tell you what day in the year based on the JULIAN Date Calendar."
  16. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Yes it does go bad. My Stabil started doing drugs and ran off with a musician. (Rimshot!)
    But seriously. When my Stabil goes bad, I add Stabil Extends. When the Extends goes bad, I add Stabil Super Extends to it. And so on and so forth ad infinitum. And by the time that goes bad there won’t be any ICEs around.
    {sarcastic font enabled}
    Groves Cooke and MNSteve like this.
  17. markc

    markc New Member

    Gasoline "goes bad" as the more volatile components evaporate leavening behind what was once knows as "varnish". This is a particular issue in carbonated engines where there is a noticeable amount of fuel in the float bowl. The volume of fuel at any given time in the FI system is quite small. The Clarity's pressurized tank keeps the pressure above the vapor pressure of these volatiles which means they can't evaporate. The fuel in the tank should last almost indefinitely. Aging gas is a much bigger issue for things that go into storage like motorcycles and power equipment. We do add Sta-Bil to our motorcycle tanks each fall.
  18. The Gadgeteer

    The Gadgeteer Active Member

    Really good information. Thank you everyone.
  19. The Gadgeteer

    The Gadgeteer Active Member

    KentuckyKen, you forgot Stabil Super Extends, Mega Extends, Ultra Extends, and who can forget Super Ultra Mega Double Platinum Premium Professional Strength Hyper Limited Edition Extends.
    Johnhaydev, MPower and KentuckyKen like this.
  20. Mowcowbell

    Mowcowbell Active Member

    Maybe I missed it, but I didn't see anyone suggest using 100% gasoline in the Clarity? In some areas of the US, 100% gasoline is available from Top Tier stations. I have a couple of Phillips 66 stations in my town that sell all 3 grades in 100% - 87, 89, 91 octane. I plan on putting only 100% 87 octane in my Clarity once I finally use up the 7 gallons of E10 that the dealer put in the tank.
    KentuckyKen likes this.

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