How Long Can You Store E85 – The Shelf Life of Ethanol Fuel

E85 should not be stored for more than 3 months, as it may start to separate and become less effective. E85, a fuel blend consisting of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline, can be a cost-effective and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional gasoline.

However, its properties make it more susceptible to issues like corrosion, water absorption, and separation. That means that, unlike gasoline, e85 can’t simply be stored for long periods of time without any special considerations.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at e85, its shelf life, and what you need to do to ensure that it lasts as long as possible. Whether you’re using e85 as a high-performance fuel or simply looking for a more sustainable way to power your car, understanding how to store it properly is key to getting the most from your investment.

How Long Can You Store E85 - Understanding the Shelf Life of Ethanol Fuel


What Is E85 And How Is It Different From Traditional Gasoline?

E85 is a fuel blend made up of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. It is different from traditional gasoline in terms of composition and chemical properties. E85 is predominantly manufactured from renewable sources as compared to gasoline which is derived from non-renewable sources like crude oil.

The production and distribution of e85 follow a similar process to gasoline-based fuels. Car engines that can run on e85 operate differently from those that run on gasoline as they require different fuel-to-air ratios. E85 may have slightly lower fuel economy compared to gasoline, but its performance tends to be comparable.

The availability of e85 varies across different regions, so it may be necessary to research it before use.

Factors Affecting The Shelf Life Of E85

There are several environmental factors that can impact the shelf life of e85. Temperature and humidity are two primary factors that can negatively affect fuel stability. Oxygen and water also play a role in reducing the shelf life of e85, causing ethanol fuel degradation.

High levels of oxygen can lead to fuel oxidation, while water can cause phase separation. To extend the shelf life of e85, it is important to store the fuel in a cool, dry location and keep containers sealed tightly to minimize exposure to air and moisture.

Proper storage can help to preserve the quality of e85 and ensure its longevity, reducing the need for premature replacement and the associated costs.

E85 Storage Tips

Signs Of E85 Deterioration

It is important to keep an eye out for the common signs of e85 deterioration to prevent damage to your vehicle. One of the most notable signs is the formation of gum and varnish in the fuel system, which can not only clog the fuel filter but also cause damage to the fuel injectors.

Additionally, the acidity of stale e85 can corrode metal components in the fuel system, resulting in rust and other forms of damage. Fuel oxidation can also affect engine performance, leading to decreased power output and increased emissions. To avoid these problems, it is recommended to use fresh e85 and store it in a cool, dry place away from any sources of heat or sunlight.

Best Practices For Storing E85

Storing e85 fuel requires careful attention to recommended storage conditions, including keeping it in a cool and dry place, away from direct sunlight and sources of heat. Prevent spoilage and degradation by properly storing e85 for no more than six months and using fuel stabilizers when necessary.

Dispose of stale or contaminated e85 properly by contacting local hazardous waste disposal facilities. It’s important to always maintain fuel storage containers in good condition and avoid overfilling them. By following these best practices, you can ensure that your e85 fuel remains fresh and usable, while reducing the risk of fuel contamination and associated problems with vehicle performance.

Frequently Asked Questions For How Long Can You Store E85

What Happens When E85 Sits Too Long?

When e85 sits too long, it can attract moisture, oxidize, and form gum deposits, making it unusable.

Can You Use Expired E85?

Using expired e85 can damage your engine. Dispose of it safely at a hazardous waste facility.


Storing e85 ethanol fuel requires some precautions to guarantee that its quality and performance remain at their peak. You can retain e85 for up to a year without any issues, as long as you store it in the right conditions.

However, it’s advisable to use it within six months for the best results. Always store the fuel in an airtight, clean container and keep it away from moisture and direct sunlight. Periodically checking the fuel for any signs of deterioration and taking necessary measures to deal with it are essential to ensure that the fuel remains in good condition for a long time.

Additionally, it’s also crucial to purchase fuel from reputable sources to get the highest quality product. Incorporating these measures into your fuel storage plan guarantees that you enjoy the full benefits of using e85 ethanol fuel while reducing any harm to the environment.