What happens if I add 2 liter of stale gasoline to my car's gas tank?


How to Tell If Gasoline Is Old

Before you dispose of your gasoline, determine if it is old first. Check these tips that will help you identify old gasoline.

The Sight and Smell Test

Gasoline appearance and smell confirm to you whether it is bad or not. Can you smell some foul odor coming from your fuel tank? Like rotten fruits or perhaps spoilt alcohol? The gasoline in there has gone bad. Open the tank and look at the liquid closely. Does it appear dark and cloudy? Oh! it has some clumps floating.

Try pouring it out of the container. If it does not flow out easily, the gasoline has surely gone stale, and you need to dispose of it. Remember the clean gas, put it in a separate container, and observe it alongside the stored gas. A difference confirms to you that the old gas is old.

The sight and smell test may not be effective if the gasoline is inside an equipment tank. If this is the case, the equipment’s performance will give you a warning of oxidized fuel. In most instances, the engine will have trouble starting or fail to start entirely. Now you know the gasoline is stale, and it is time to dispose of it.

You might be thinking about trashing the gas on the roadside, in a garbage can or a drainage system. Keep in mind that gasoline is highly flammable and harmful to the environment. A gallon of gasoline potentially pollutes 750,000 gallons of water.

It is just right that you dispose of old gasoline in the right way as prescribed by your city. Visit the nearest hazardous waste disposal center and get information. Until you do, here now is a step-by-step guide of how you will get rid of oxidized gas.

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Fill your cans on the ground to avoid static electricity

A common mistake is filling up gas containers without putting them on the ground first. When a container is sitting on surfaces like a carpeted trunk or truck bed, static electricity can cause a spark in the vapors.

This woman simply gets out of her car and touches the pump nozzle. Yet the static electricity from rubbing against the seat fabric was enough to set this off:

Not much to learn from it, but Mythbusters did an episode on this:

Where to store gas

  • The ideal place is somewhere protected from the elements yet separate from your home. Detached, enclosed garages and barns are perfect.
  • No matter what, don’t keep gas inside your home. The vapors are too dangerous.
  • An attached garage is typically okay if the rest of the criteria is met.
  • Stay far away from heaters, fireplaces, sources of sparks, sunny windows, etc.

Since gas fumes are heavier than air, they can travel substantial distances along the ground, kind of like a morning fog. Those vapors can be ignited by heat alone — they don’t need a distinct spark or flame. Keep that in mind when picking a spot.


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How to Dispose of Old Gasoline: Step by Step Guide

Different municipalities often have different rules when it comes to the disposal of harmful compounds like gasoline. Before you start, check with your local government to see if they have any specific regulations regarding how to dispose of old gas.

Just See The YouTube Video Blake’s Garage After That Read Our Process

Aside from regional variations, you can usually follow the steps below to dispose of your old gasoline:

Step 1:

Pour the gasoline into a clear container to check it before you dispose of it. If the gasoline was left outside it may simply have been watered down. You don’t need to know how to dispose of gasoline with water in it because they’ll separate easily, with the gas rising to the top. Let it settle, then carefully pour the gasoline into another container. Pour the water that’s leftover through a rag. This will catch the last traces of gas, making the remaining water safe to pour down the drain. Put the salvaged gasoline back into the engine. You may find it works just fine. If not, continue with step 2.

Step 2:

If the gas is dirty or unusable, empty it into a disposable, gasoline-approved jug for transportation. You can use a funnel to make the pouring easier. Many disposal centers require you to leave the gas can along with the gas, so a cheaper disposable model is often a good way to go.

Step 3:

Determine where you can take the gas to safely recycle or dispose of it. You’ll usually have a few different options:

Recycling centers: Some municipalities offer gasoline recycling through their recycling centers. When this is the case, it’s normally restricted to a few centers, or to a certain day or time of year. Check with your local government for specifics.

Hazardous waste centers: These are also government institutions. The main difference between these and recycling centers is that waste disposal centers don’t repurpose or recycle gasoline. Again, you want to be sure to call ahead, as some centers will only take gas at certain times, while others have a maximum amount they can accept in any given period. You may also need to pay for the disposal service, so be aware of that before you go.

Paid disposal service: In some areas, you can find services that will come and pick up old gasoline right from your home. The fees for these services tend to be pretty steep, so it’s probably not worth it unless you have a lot of old gasoline you need to get rid of.

Community collection events: Some cities hold regular recycling events, designed to encourage citizens to recycle. Check your local community events calendar to see if this is an option in your area, and when the next event will occur.

Local fire department: Some fire departments will dispose of old gasoline. If not, they’ll likely be able to tell you the best option for your region.

Auto garage: Mechanics already have a lot of hazardous fluids to dispose of, like the old oil, transmission fluid, and other fluids they drain out of cars they service. Many shops will happily add your old gas to their waste for free. As with other services, call first to make sure this is something the shop offers before you show up with a gas can in hand.

Step 4:

If you’re not able to take the gas for recycling or disposal right away, secure the lid on the container and store it in a cool, dim place. Make sure it’s out of the reach of any kids or animals in the home—old gas doesn’t burn as readily, but it’s still not safe to drink. As long as the lid is secure, you can safely keep old gasoline in storage indefinitely, so there’s no rush if you can’t get to the disposal right away.

As you can see, it’s a pretty simple process. It all comes down to knowing your options and doing your homework to find out where you can take your old gas (and when). With a little digging, you should be able to find a way to dispose of it for free, even if your city doesn’t offer gasoline recycling.

Just as important as knowing how to dispose of gas correctly is knowing what not to do. We use gas so often that it’s easy to think of it as harmless, but it’s not something that you should handle lightly, even after it’s lost its combustibility to age. There are a few things you shouldn’t do when you have old gasoline:

  • Don’t throw old gas in the trash. Not only is this illegal, but it is also a potential hazard. Under the right conditions, even old gasoline can start or contribute to a fire.
  • Don’t pour old gasoline down the drain. Harmful chemicals like gasoline become a public health hazard when they enter the water system. This is aside from the damage they can do to the animals and plants around sewage drains. One gallon of gas can pollute as much as 750,000 gallons of water, so don’t delude yourself into thinking a little bit won’t do any harm.
  • Don’t store gas cans outdoors. Gas cans are durable, but the plastic models can be punctured and metal cans are susceptible to rust. Leaving old gas outside makes it more likely the cans will leak and seep into the environment. If you don’t have a garage or basement, keep the gasoline in a closet or cabinet away from food. You can wrap it in a plastic bag if you’re worried about odors or leaks.

The penalty for illegally disposing of gas can be steep, and can even include jail time as well as costly fines. Even if you don’t get caught, the toll on the environment can be steep. Disposing of old gasoline safely is worth the small amount of extra effort it entails.

How to dispose of an old gas oil mix

How to dispose of an old gas oil mix

If the oil is the only contaminant in the gas, you may still be able to use it in a small engine. Mix it in with fresh gas in a ratio of 1 to 4 and it should power your engine just fine.

If the gas in the mix is too old to re-use, you can dispose of it the same way you would old gas. The only difference is you may have to dispose of it rather than recycle it. Call your local recycling center to ask if they’ll recycle the mix. If not, any auto mechanic that takes old gas will also dispose of old gas mixed with oil.

Recycling Old Gasoline YouTube Video

Ans: In some cases, yes. You’ll need to check on how badly degraded it is first. Put a cone-shaped coffee filter into a funnel, then carefully pour the gasoline through it into a clear glass container, like a mason jar. Make sure it’s something you don’t plan to use for food products.

After you’ve filtered the gasoline, let it settle for a couple of minutes then inspect it. If it’s still cloudy or has a sour, rancid odor, it’s beyond useful life and should be disposed of. Otherwise, you can mix this reconditioned gas in with fresh gas, in a ratio of 1 part old to 4 parts fresh. The resulting tank might not work as efficiently, but it will power a lawnmower or a similar piece of equipment.

Q: Does AutoZone take old gas?

Ans: For gasoline disposal, AutoZone is not an option. Auto shops that offer oil changes are more likely to provide the service.

Q: Can you dump old gas on the ground?

Ans: No, you shouldn’t dump gasoline anywhere. In years past, people would dump old gasoline on the ground as a cheap alternative to weed killers. This should give you some indication of the impact gasoline has on the environment. Once it rains, that gasoline is picked up and washed into the water supply, too, so it has further-reaching consequences than the patch of ground you pour it on.

Q: How long does it take gas to go bad?

Ans: If properly stored in a metal tank or tightly sealed plastic container, gasoline lasts up to 6 months on average. Oxidation is the main reason gas degrades since the volatile compounds will evaporate with time. The more you can do to prevent exposure to the air, the longer your gas will last.

Q: Do gas stations dispose of old gas?

Ans: It is not common for gas stations to recycle gas, especially the convenience-oriented chains. Gas stations go through their gasoline quickly enough that they rarely have the need for disposal services. Small local gas stations that also include service and repair shops may offer gas disposal services through that side of their business.

Q: Can I burn old gas?

Ans: Yes, old gasoline will still burn, just not at the level of efficiency required to run an engine. Burning off old gasoline is not a recommended method of disposal, however, as it’s very difficult to do safely in a home environment.


Gasoline has become an essential component of our everyday lives. It is what we use to drive our cars and machinery on a daily basis. However, gasoline has a finite shell life. After, this it develops a darker color and has a foul smell. The first part in safe disposal of gasoline is to determine whether you can re-use it.

If it is reusable you can mix it with new gasoline and use it for your machinery. If the gasoline is stale then identify a recommended government container where you can store it for safe disposal. You can contact your local authorities for safe disposal centers, contact a professional disposal company, and talk to the local fire department or an auto shop.