With the ever-changing COVID-19 pandemic taking its toll across the country, there has been a dramatic decrease in drivers on the roadways. Countless businesses are temporarily closing their doors and numerous stay at home orders are in place across America. Due to this, many of us are only hitting the road for essential purposes. In fact, according to Inrix.com, the overall road travel across the United States was down 38 percent during the last week of March.
Given the government’s shelter-in-place orders that are effective across the country, the lack of drivers has led to a drop in fuel prices. Although the decrease in gasoline prices is great for our budgets, our cars are remaining idle in our driveways for much longer periods of time.
Because of this, much of the gasoline in our fuel tanks are sitting in our tanks instead of being used, which only leads to the fuel in our tanks to degrade in quality.
Tips to keep your fuel healthy while you’re driving less
If you’re one of the many Americans driving less to protect yourself from the spread of the coronavirus, it’s important to know how to keep gas fresh in your vehicle to keep it running smoothly.
In order to understand how to properly take care of your fuel tank, we will review how long it takes for gas to go stale and why it happens, in order to keep your engine running smoothly amidst this latest pandemic.
How long does it take for the gas to go stale?
Prior to this pandemic, many of us never thought about how much time it takes for fuel to begin degrading. However, now more than ever is an important time to refresh our memories. Generally speaking, gas begins to degrade in quality in as little as three months. The reason being, the lighter, volatile components in gasoline begin to evaporate as time goes on.
Running your vehicle on older, stale gas can hinder your vehicle’s performance on and off the road. Situations like stalling, failing to start, and overall hesitation frequently occurs to drivers who are running their vehicles on stale gasoline.
Why does gas go stale?
Although we may not always realize it when we’re filling up our cars, gasoline is a living chemical. Due to the components that make up gasoline’s chemical profile, they will begin to break down as time goes on. In fact, you can tell if gas has begun to go stale in the same ways you can tell if food has gone bad, such as; foul odors, darker colors, and change in overall consistency are key indicators.
What can drivers do to avoid having stale gas?
Although we may be driving less, it’s important to take your car for a spin at least once a day to keep your engine moving as smoothly as possible. This way, you’ll avoid having your gas go stale, and any other engine-related mishaps from occurring on and off the road.
The bottom line.
We hope this helps ease your anxiety when it comes to knowing how long you can depend on the gasoline in your fuel tank during this difficult time in our history.
As always, we wish you and your loved ones good health, and now more than ever, to play it safe.