Figuring out Fuel Additives
With marine-store shelves sagging under fuel treatments that claim to address a variety of problems, Here’s a closer look at three that just may do the trick.
Marine Sta-Bil Ethanol Fuel Treatment ($14 for a 10-ounce bottle) is frequently seen in marine stores and chandleries because of its popularity with outboard owners. After all, according to Sta-Bil, adding the recommended one ounce of its ethanol treatment to every 10 gallons of gasoline will seriously reduce your chances of developing ethanol-related problems. Ethanol-blended gasoline tends to attract and absorb water, which can corrode tanks and cause phase separation, thereby reducing engine performance. Sta-Bil says the product bonds to water, passing it through your engine and out your exhaust.
Bacteria and fungi are some bad little actors that can cause big problems by clogging filters and causing corrosion in tanks and engines. Valvetect BioGuard ($30 for a 16-ounce bottle) is a tough microbiocide, meaning it breaks down the harmful bacteria and fungi (aka sludge) in as little as 2 to 3 hours. This product is especially effective on boats that sit unused for extended periods of time.
Starbrite’s Star-Tron Enzyme Fuel Treatment ($17 for an 8-ounce bottle) is another staple found at many marine stores. Eight ounces will treat up to 256 gallons of diesel. Starbrite says this product helps to rejuvenate old fuel by removing water and preventing phase separation. It also works to eliminate carbon deposits and improve your engine’s efficiency. It will stabilize fuel for up to two years, according to Starbrite.
This article originally appeared in the November 2015 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.