I had a small engine mechanic acquaintance who seemed knowledgeable recommend that I always store my equipment full of fuel treated with Marine STA-BIL as opposed to regular storage STA-BIL. After doing that a couple of years, I ended up having to have the carburetor replaced in my snow blower. Very frustrating, because I thought I was babying it. The other mechanic who replaced the carb recommended that I run the carb empty when storing.

So I started doing some web searching to figure out what is the best way to store my equipment. I landed with something like this:

  • drain the tank
  • fill with fresh, treated gas
  • turn off shutoff valve
  • run machine till dies or stutters (manuals say not to let it stutter)

Also while searching, I saw this comment: "Marine Sta-bil plugged up our carbs and fuel tanks.. bad stuff." This other site says that that may be caused by the marine Sta-bil washing dirt and grime from the fuel system on old machines which ends up in the carburetor.

My question is this. Should I store my outdoor equipment with Marine STA-BIL? Does it matter? What's the difference?

  • 1
    I believe the marine variant is much more concentrated ( intended for treating large fuel tanks.) Did you follow the label and use the correct amount?
    – agentp
    Commented Dec 12, 2017 at 22:19
  • I see what you mean. Yes, I used the correct amount. Commented Dec 18, 2017 at 20:16

1 Answer 1


Use just regular Sta-bil (or whatever fuel stabilizer you want to use) in a concentrate which is good for a year. Do as you have in your check list and run your small engine out of fuel. I've had no issues with my small engines when I do it like this, even with leaving the fuel in the tank for the next year (Sta-bil treated, of course). It's what I recommend to everyone to do. If you don't have a cutoff valve, install one in the line between the tank and the carb. Just run it until the engine dies. My small engines haven't had issue one since I started doing this.

  • 1
    Thanks @Paulster2! Any idea why the manuals tell you not to let the engine surge when running empty? Commented Dec 11, 2017 at 18:36
  • 1
    @FrankHenard - I'd bet it would have to do with running the engine very lean and causing knock or ping. The thing is, I've never heard any of my small engines knock when it gets down to not having any fuel left. They just ... die. When I go to start them, takes two pulls of the cord (usually) and they fire right up. Commented Dec 11, 2017 at 18:49

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .