Running Generator Without Fuel Stabilizer: Is It Bad or Not?

Most people will tell you to avoid using your generator without a fuel stabilizer under claims that doing so will damage the engine and shorten the generator’s life. Are they on to something? Is a fuel stabilizer necessary when using a generator?

You can run a generator without a fuel stabilizer and have it running smoothly without issues. A fuel stabilizer is required if you want to use the same fuel for an extended period or wish to leave some fuel in your generator when it’s resting.

In this article, we’ll explain why you don’t need a fuel stabilizer, when it’s best to use one, the benefits of using one, and a list of the best fuel stabilizer brands in the market. 

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Can You Run a Generator Without a Fuel Stabilizer?

You can run a generator without a fuel stabilizer as it’s not essential to the proper functioning of a running generator. Additionally, using a stabilizer in a running generator will be a waste of the product and your money.

However, if you’re using the same gasoline for an extended period, a fuel stabilizer is crucial to keep your generator working properly and extend its life. 

When You Should Use Fuel Stabilizers

While you can run your generator without a fuel stabilizer, it’s crucial to use one in certain instances. In some cases, not using a stabilizer will damage the generator’s parts and prevent it from starting up the next time you need to use it. 

You should use a fuel stabilizer when: 

  • You’re going to use the same gasoline for a long time 
  • You need to store your generator 

If you want to avoid using a fuel stabilizer, it’s best to extract the fuel from your generator before putting it in storage. It’s crucial to do so because untreated gasoline should not be stored for extended periods.

When you don’t treat fuel with a fuel stabilizer, its properties change and it loses its combustibility. As such, it becomes problematic for your generator to power up after sitting in storage for a while. Even if your generator works, it may take a while to start up and you may experience sudden breaks when the engine is running. 

Aside from this, the changes brought about by oxidation of gasoline can leave chemical deposits in your generator’s tank, fuel lines, or engine, damaging the generator and shortening its lifespan. 

5 Helpful Tips for Using Gas Generators

Benefits of Using Fuel Stabilizers in Your Generator

The proper use of fuel stabilizers can mean the difference between a generator that runs for decades and one that needs replacing after a few years. And since generators aren’t cheap, we want to preserve them and keep them running smoothly for as long as possible. 

Here are the benefits of using fuel stabilizers in your generator: 

  • Keeps the fuel from going stale 
  • Prevents generator parts from rusting 
  • Ensures the longevity of your generator 

Fuel can typically be stored for about six months in temperate climates and up to twelve months in colder climates. However, fuel stabilizer can prevent fuel from going stale for up to two years. This protective feature of stabilizer is useful if you don’t want to empty out the fuel or if you want to keep your generator in storage most of the time. 

Additionally, fuel stabilizers prevent water from binding with fuel, which prevents rusting. As such, stabilizers prevent the fuel from damaging generator parts, allowing it to work without hiccups and last for a long time.

How Much Fuel Stabilizer To Use?

You should use one fluid ounce (30 ml) of fuel stabilizer per gallon (3.8 L) of fuel. There’s no need to worry if you happen to accidentally use more than the recommended quantity, but avoid doing so consistently. 

Typically, you won’t notice any adverse effects of using too much stabilizer. However, in case you end up pouring too much (which is unlikely), you could damage the generator’s engine. As such, it’s best to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. 

Great Fuel Stabilizer Brands

While generators are pretty handy tools to have around, they tend to spend most of their time sitting in storage. It’s best to invest in a fuel stabilizer to protect your generator and ensure it runs smoothly during those times when you need it. 

Here are some of the best fuel stabilizer brands on the market: 

  • Sta-Bil. Most highly recommended and proven to keep fuel from going stale for up to two years. 
  • Star Tron. Like Sta-Bil, they claim to make fuel last long and offer concentrated stabilizers that give you more use from a single bottle. 
  • Sta-Bil Diesel. Again a great brand but this one is specifically for diesel engines.


While you don’t need a fuel stabilizer to run your generator, it’s imperative to invest in one if you’re storing your generator or looking to use the same fuel for a long time. As such, it’s best to spend a little extra and invest in a high-quality fuel stabilizer.

Aside from the ideal storage solution, using fuel stabilizers properly will keep your generator working perfectly and ensure its longevity. 

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