I have to buy a car for a vacation home. The car will spend long periods (up to 4 months at a time) without being driven. I have heard anecdotally that it is bad for diesel fuel to sit in an engine for long periods because something happens to it which can damage the engine. Is this accurate?

Assuming this were the only consideration, would a gasoline-powered car be a better choice?

  • 1
    Do you live in an area with cold winter? If you have summer fuel during the winter in a diesel car and want to start the car, you'll end up with problems. – juhist Apr 9 '18 at 16:36
  • It will be in a warm place in Europe where the weather is similar to Southern California. – Zippy Apr 9 '18 at 16:41
  • Gasoline has no issues with a 4 month sit. But you need to run most of the old gas out driving and refill before the next storage. – Moab Apr 9 '18 at 19:09

Both diesel and gasoline fuel can get stale over time, of which gasoline is most sensitive because it is a 'lighter' fuel. It contains lighter distillation fractions that are more prone to evaporate over time. That said both gasoline and diesel should have no problems with a four month sit in between refills. Longer is also possible, just make sure to mix in some fresh gas occasionally.

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