|April 20th, 2023|
In some cases it would be helpful to have extra gasoline. Maybe something happens and you need to leave quickly, but your car is low on gas. Or there's a power outage and you need fuel for a generator. The main downside of keeping a can of gas on hand would be the hassle of rotating it—even with fuel stabilizer gas has a shelf life, so ~once a year you use the gas and go refill. Keeping a can of gas on hand for emergencies seemed worth it: glad to have it if you need it, smallish occasional hassle. I kept five gallons in a new can in deep shade on the north side of our property, outside and away from the house.
I thought of this as low risk enough that when it was time to rotate the gas and our shared car was full, I put it in the tank of a friend's car. They were keeping their car in our driveway after flying out of Logan, and I wanted to refill the tank after driving it a bit. Pretty poor choice in retrospect. When they got back they started driving to VT, got about half a mile and the engine died.
Hours of hassle, towing, and garage later, it turns out that a large fraction of the 4-5gal of gas I put in was actually water. According to the mechanic it was a "shit ton"—when pressed they guessed a couple gallons. I'm still not sure how this happened, but I guess somehow water got into the can and displaced a substantial quantity of gasoline? Past a modern gas can's vapor-tight seal?