Originally Posted by speed racer
I did have a small 500 watt. generator that I didn't use for about 4 years and left a half tank of gas in it. It has a metal tank and the water drown in by the ethanol rusted the bottom of the tank.
I'm sure you would have had the same problem regardless of what fuel you had in the tank. 4 years of 1/2 full would create moisture with any fuel. The tank should have been drained before storage and you would be using it today.
There have been reports some small engine carburetors have been damaged from Ethanol fuel. This seems to be true only in later produced equipment. I have chainsaws, weed eaters, snowmobiles, snow blowers, generators, water pumps and lawnmowers all 5 or more years old or older and have never had a problem with a carburetor. I did have a popular brand name weed eater give me a problem this past spring. I discarded it and bought a new one rather than replace parts. This unit was only 2 years old. It's twin which is 7 years old started and ran fine. Both were stored with no extra care and had a 1/2 tank of fuel in them. I believe they have changed or cheapened the composition of metal they cast the newer carburetors from is more a factor than the fuel.
My 1967 Pontiac Firebird was put away last October with the fuel level low. It had Ethanol 93 octane fuel in the tank. When I got it out of storage last weekend it started up and ran just fine. It is stored in a clean, dry, unheated garage. We see some dramatic temperature swings up here too.
As far as automotive engines we don't see ill effects of Ethanol fuel. I run an automotive and light truck repair shop and an automotive machine shop.
The biggest problem I have seen with gasoline was back in the mid 70's when leaded fuel was banned. The new gasoline had additives which did not mingle well with the additives in the old leaded fuel when it was introduced into storage tanks at fuel depots. This problem eventually ran it's course, the tanks cleaned up and we saw no ill effects in a short while. The same thing happened a while back with marine gasoline. Some gas tanks even had to be replaced in larger boats due to reaction from the unfriendly mix of additives. The gasoline turned to a gooey non flowing mess.
Manufacturers have made billions on sales of so called miracle drugs for gasoline. The Pied Piper strikes again.