Spring fuel system preparation

Spring fuel system preparation

by Conrad & Judy Kreuter

Q: Dear Boat Talk: Last fall you column advised that I should leave my gas tank almost empty rather than fill it to the top. What do I do now to get the fuel system ready for spring? DS, Babylon NY.

A: Dear DS: At this time you should fill your gas tank with non-oxygenated gasoline. The fuel companies have advised us that the summer blend gasolines have been available since April 1st. This is a month earlier than last year.

If you don’t have a water separating fuel filter, this would be a good time to add one. A filter of this type has to ability to separate water from the fuel and trap the water in a canister for easy removal. Some models have a see thru bowl so you can easily check for any water. Other models require you to spin off the filter element and drain the contents. The filter elements are reusable, but should be changed at least once per season.

By checking the contents of the filter, you can determine how much water if any is present. Remember that most engines will not run on water—only the boat is supposed to! Check the filter after the boat has been run a few times. There should only be a small amount of water if you have followed our advice.

If you should find large quantities of water each time you use the boat, it is advisable to drain the water from the fuel tank. Siphoning from the bottom of the tank does this. (Water is heavier than fuel and thus is found at the bottom of the tank)

If you are the slightest bit uncertain how to proceed, please take your boat to a professional.