bacteria growing in gas tank

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97RedRam

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Hello to all. I have just discovered that bacteria can grow in the gas rank which causes degradation of the fuel and can corrode metal in the tank. It is more frequent in diesel but can also occur in gasoline. It starts with the water that gets into your tank when you put fuel in at fill up or adding fuel. It is especially bad for vehicles that are not driven very often or are in storage for a long time like classic cars/trucks. I discovered this when changing my fuel sender and pump in my 93 Corvette. I talked to my mechanic and he said he knew of the problem and that they make a biocide to put in the tank to kill the bacteria. Been messing with cars and trucks for 60 years and this was a new one in me.
 

1stindoor

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Thanks. I've never had a tank of gas sit for any length of time so it's never been an issue for me. Same with the gas in my boat, I'm out nearly every weekend so it gets used pretty quickly.
 

brian42

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You never think about it until it happens to you. Once you deal with it you will never forget to prevent it.

I parked a diesel truck of mine for what I thought was a month for repairs and upgrades. Turns out it sat for 9 months. I did not expect that so did not do anything to treat/preserve the 1/2 tank of diesel that sat in there for the better part of a year. It was like fleas...just the smallest amount can re-grow the issue. After going through that (and a lot of biocide) I am always wary of anything sitting for any duration of time no matter what the fuel type.
 
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97RedRam

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Exactly brian42! Thanks for your reply. I have ordered some biocide to put in my Corvette gas tank after I will try to remove most of what is in the tank now. It is always something with these cars and truck toys.
 

Daw14

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What about plastic tanks ? Where did you find this info? I’ve read under the right conditions it may happen but could not find answers. I’ve read that they are trying to make fuel from bacteria. Please list your source so we can absorb. I have messed with lots of old gas over the years and don’t recall ever seeing anything that resembles that.
 
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97RedRam

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I saw it on my fuel sending unit. I googled it and found information from several companies that sell biocide. Plastic is not affeted but any metal in the tank could be. Google it for yourself.
 

Kickboxer

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You never think about it until it happens to you. Once you deal with it you will never forget to prevent it.

I parked a diesel truck of mine for what I thought was a month for repairs and upgrades. Turns out it sat for 9 months. I did not expect that so did not do anything to treat/preserve the 1/2 tank of diesel that sat in there for the better part of a year. It was like fleas...just the smallest amount can re-grow the issue. After going through that (and a lot of biocide) I am always wary of anything sitting for any duration of time no matter what the fuel type.

Yes, diesel can get bacteria growth, but not in gasoline, I've
never heard of that.
In farm diesels the fuel filter will usually catch it before it
does any damage to the fuel system. Also bio-diesel can act as a fuel system cleaner and also plug filters.
My experience is as a farmer with almost 40 years in diesel
use, with tens of thousands of gallons of fuel used. Also in
many gas engines, some from the 40's and 50's, never seen
bacteria in a gas tank. Gas does get stale and turns gummy with age. Diesel fuel ages much better than gas.
 
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97RedRam

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Think what you like but I saw it on my sending unit. It looked like it had the measles with dots of rust all over it. Google “bacteria in gasoline” It does happen!
 

Kickboxer

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Get out there and drive your Corvette, you worry too much
about nothing. Those dots may be rust or something else, bacteria algae causes things to turn green, I have seen it in a fuel filter out of my JD 9220.
I have a friend that has a Corvette and is like you, does not drive it, and that causes issues.
And run 91 octane in your seldom used vehicles, it keeps better
than ethanol blended gasoline.
 

Hagar1

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Algae in gasoline usually starts in long term storage situations. Typically, we used to find the algae growing in the boundary layer between the gasoline and the water in the tank. But this was in storage tanks.
 

Kickboxer

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One nice thing about ethanol blended gas is that there is no longer a fear of gas lines freezing, as the ethanol acts as a water dispersant. In the northern climes, remember when we used
"Heet", which is isopropyl alcohol. Now we don't use it as most
are using 10% ethanol blended fuels.
 
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