How long can gas stay in tank: Honda response

Discussion in 'Clarity' started by ClarityMark, Jul 6, 2018.

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  1. ClarityMark

    ClarityMark New Member

    So I sent a note to Honda to ask how long gas can stay in the tank, and whether it should be treated with fuel stabilizer if it's been in there a certain amount of time. Here is their unbelievably clueless response:

    Thank you for reaching out to us. We appreciate the opportunity to respond to your message.

    Unfortunately, we do not recommend modifications on the vehicle as it may void the vehicle's warranty parameters. If there were to be an issue with the vehicle and the Honda dealership determines it is due to the fuel stabilizer, then they have the right to void a warranty claim.

    In regards to your second inquiry, we do not have information pertaining to this matter. We apologize we were unable to further assist.

    For more information regarding your 2018 Plug-In Clarity, please visit

    Kind regards,

    Honda Automobile Customer Service

    So, in other words, add stabilizer at your own risk, and it's anyone's guess as to how long gas can be kept in the tank. Apparently there is no "exercise mode" or anything of the sort that runs on a periodic basis, because if there were I would imagine that would have been part of their response. Then again, they don't seem to know anything about the car, so your guess is as good as mine.
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  3. Mikep00

    Mikep00 Active Member

    Gas only goes bad because it oxidized or got water in it.

    Most gas has 10% ethanol in it and that will attract water over time. Also gas being exposed to air will eventually oxidize.

    However, the Clarity gas tank is pressurized. This significantly reduces both ways gas can go bad.

    At a minimum I’d say the gas should easily last a year. But likely much longer.

    I don’t think stale gas would ever be an issue unless you are the kind of person who rarely uses gas but also tops it up every time it is slightly down. That could create a scenario where some gas in the tank could become many years old.

    But if you rarely use gas but refill only when the gas tank is low, I don’t think you’ll ever have an issue.

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
    DaleL, KenG and UncheckedException like this.
  4. dstrauss

    dstrauss Well-Known Member

    And some folks around here thought I was hair-brained for recommending doing your routine maintenance when instructed by the car, even if it seems too soon, to prevent dealer attempts to void your warranty...
    CaryLyn likes this.
  5. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    Many companies offer illegal recommendations when pertaining to their warranties. The statement is fine as they say "may", but in reality they have to prove that the modification damaged the car.

    Stickers stating "warranty void if removed" were ruled illegal as they try to imply that removing the tamper sticker hurts the warranty when in fact it does not. An individual is legally allowed to repair what they bought. One of many links:

    It sounds like Honda replied with a very generic, meaningless response that says yeah, we are too lazy to check into that for you and it sounds like you are using an aftermarket product, so here is the canned response for that.

    Edit: I have no doubt Honda would try to get out of warranty repair if not doing too soon of maintenance, but my hunch (I am not a lawyer) is that it would be arguable in court and they would lose as long as you could prove the oil was not the cause of the failure (actually, the burden of proof would be on Honda, but they would likely try to push that back to the consumer knowing the consumer would roll over without a fight).
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2018
    ClarityDoc likes this.
  6. JackH

    JackH Member

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  8. Viking79

    Viking79 Well-Known Member

    There is no way for water to contaminate the fuel in the pressurized Clarity tank so shelf life should easily be same as non alcohol blends.
    DaleL likes this.
  9. ClarityDoc

    ClarityDoc Active Member

    I doubt fuel testers dot com has any links to the fuel additives industry...
  10. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    The tank is sealed so the vapor pressure of the gasoline is what pressurizes the tank. I can see show this would prevent moisture laden air from entering the tank as gas is used but what about when you open it to refill. It has to be opened up to the air so it can be the same pressure as ambient. This is when some moisture may be able to enter the tank. And of course any moisture absorbed by the ethanol (if you use that mix) will get in too.

    Since I just went 4 1/2 months before my first HV use of 10 gal, I added Stabil to protect the fuel system back in Feb. I have peace of mind because there is no test Honda can send out for that can detect the <1 oz of Stabil (petroleum distalates) left in the tank of 7 gal if I ever have a warranty claim that is fuel pathway related.

    And I heartily agree that any lack of prescribed maintenance can and probably will be used by Honda to deny a warranty claim.
  11. Johngalt6146

    Johngalt6146 Active Member

    As I have written before, I only added gas to our 67 Camaro about every 2-3 years. There were never any problems if I stared it at least once per month or so.

    I have not bought gas for my Clarity, or used the ICE since February. The HV indicator has always been stuck at 545 miles and the tank 100% full.
    But in the past week, despite a 100% full battery, the ICE must have started, since my HV indicator dropped (while I drove a few miles in town) to 500 miles. My gas gauge still seems to be full to the top, but it may have used 1/4-1/2 gallon.

    So my guess is that the Clarity computer has some engine protective algorithm which knows when to start the ICE to keep the fuel lines and injectors from getting gummed up.

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  13. rickyrsx

    rickyrsx Active Member

    Would it be a bad idea to put in premium gas (no ethanol)? The only negative I can think of is that it will cost more but since we're not burning gas all that much, we can think of it as buying insurance against gas deterioration. What do you think?
  14. ClarityDoc

    ClarityDoc Active Member

    Not risky, but zero evidence that it's needed as far as I can tell (just idle speculation and some claims likely to originate from companies selling fuel additives). I'm inclined to listen to Honda about Honda maintenance. Just my $0.02.
  15. insightman

    insightman Well-Known Member Subscriber

    I believe premium gas also contains ethanol. There are a few gas stations that sell ethanol-free gasoline. You can find them through various websites, such as
  16. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    No mention of an algorithm to keep the fuel lines from being gunned up like the Chevy Volt has that won’t let gas get more than 1 year old. But it does have a “System Check” that periodically runs the engine (p 13 of the manual). Over the last 4 months my ICE has only run a few times for a few minutes each wirh no bar lost on the fuel gauge. So basically my gas was sitting in the tank for 4 months or more which is why I added the Stabil. I only know the ICE has run by the HV range going down or by looking at the hour meter I installed. The engine is that quiet for me.
  17. dstrauss

    dstrauss Well-Known Member

    As a lawyer I will say you are probably right you could win in court - EVENTUALLY - but very few consumers have teh money, time, and patience it will take to sue Honda to enforce the warranty repair, all the while being out of pocket for a repair so they can drive the car. @KentuckyKen is probably right that Honda would have a tough time ever proving you used Stabil to begin with if you said nothing about it, but that's not a legal answer, merely a factual one on my part.Since we do use my Clarity for longer drives, I feel pretty safe because I never refill when I get back home until the next "big trip" which is usually once a month or at least every six weeks. In fact, even being only 20 miles to our sister city of Odessa, I usually run HV on those trips just to burn some fuel and keep things lubed. Yes, I'm losing some of the efficiency goodness of my Clarity, but again it adds to the "peace of mind" factor.

    PS - as to that "burden of proof" question, it may be on you, not Honda. Honda's warranty is expressly conditioned on performing recommended maintenance. Their burden of proof, for denying warranty service, would be to show you didn't maintain as required, then it would be on you to prove not following the course of maintenance was not the cause of the damage (may be different in California and other more consumer friendly states) - but then again - who can afford fighting Honda's costly legal team...
    Johnhaydev likes this.
  18. Mikep00

    Mikep00 Active Member

    I agree with this statement in general, but the clarity uses a pressurized tank. That’s extends the shelf life exponentially.

    Also remember that the shelf life means that the gas ‘starts’ to degrade after 90-100 days. It’s not bad yet on day 101.

    Sent from my iPhone using Inside EVs
  19. PHEV Newbie

    PHEV Newbie Well-Known Member

    I'm assuming that's negative pressure. Wouldn't it make things worse if it was positive pressure?
  20. Eagle51

    Eagle51 New Member

    Has anyone used ethanol-free gasoline in their Clarity. It’s readily available here locally.
  21. Ken7

    Ken7 Active Member

    I can see it now, a letter directed to KentuckyKen from Honda:

    Dear KentuckyKen,
    We saw your post on and, unfortunately, must alert you to the fact that your vehicle has now been flagged by Honda America. As the result of your addition of approximately 1oz of "Stabil" to your fuel tank, we must now void any and all future claims including, but not limited to:
    * Airbags
    * Suspension components
    * Entertainment system, including Honda navigation
    * Hardware components
    * All electronics
    * EV battery & components

    The addition of the Stabil may have a deleterious effect on the above components, as well as others, and thus we can not guarantee their safe operation.

    Thank you for your purchase of a Honda Clarity. If we can be of further assistance in the future, please don't hesitate to contact us.

    Honda America
    KentuckyKen likes this.
  22. Carro con enchufe

    Carro con enchufe Active Member

    KentuckyKen, that’s why my name on this forum doesn’t give my real name or location lol
  23. KentuckyKen

    KentuckyKen Well-Known Member

    Shhhh! Loose lips sink ships.
    It’s like the military’s don’t ask and don’t tell policy. But as the spy said, now that I’ve told you, I’ll have to kill you. Please PM me your preferred method of execution. (Homeland Security; I’m just kidding, please don’t put our forum on the Terrorist Watch List). I’m logging out and putting on my tinfoil hat now. :)
    And I might trade any possible warranty imbroglios if it would get a Honda engineer on this forum!
    su_A_ve likes this.

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