The Walking Dead & Gasoline?

Sir_Gallonhead
Sir_Gallonhead

I’ve been watching “The Walking Dead” zombie apocalypse tv series, where by my off-the-cuff calculation, the characters are well into their 4th year after the collapse of civilization, yet they are _still_ driving around Harleys, campers, cars and trucks with apparently no mechanical or drivability issues.

Now I’d think that any gasoline the survivors would find, would be throughly skunked after four years and unusable, right?

And trying to use this old gas this would presumably result in gummed-up fuel lines, filters and carburetors / fuel injectors and ultimately failure of the vehicle, correct?

And doesn’t gasoline lose octane over time when it becomes skunked? Wouldn’t this mean that using skunked gas would result in all kinda pinging and knocking and fairly quickly, burning a hole in the pistons?

tl;dr How long does gasoline last until it’s no longer usable in a vehicle?

5mileys
5mileys

High quality ethanol free gas will stay decentish for a while

That corn shit goes to shit in a few months

Methshot
Methshot

American entertainment
ever making sense
They should've been hiking or building up a self sustained community in the middle of nowhere by the second month. Instead they manage to not get away from zombies for four fucking years. I would've killed myself if I were this incompetent at driving into the middle of nowhere.

AwesomeTucker
AwesomeTucker

The entire show is retarded.
first episode
tank
doesnt use tank other than to hide like a bitch
giant machine right next to tank
doesnt use it either
Never watched the show again

JunkTop
JunkTop

High quality ethanol free gas will stay decentish for a while

OK, but what does than mean?

How long will gasoline remain viable for use in conventional cars and trucks, when stored in those underground storage tanks at the gas station?

Because my understanding is that if gas is exposed to air for X period of time, it "rots" and becomes unusable?

How long are we talking, here?

Fuzzy_Logic
Fuzzy_Logic

Their average car condition saw a dramatic improvement once the writers were just trying to come up with new material.

Stark_Naked
Stark_Naked

For the mixed up garbage you get at gas stations nowadays? A year at best.

Nude_Bikergirl
Nude_Bikergirl

I have had vehicles that ran on 2 year old gas and others that we had to drain, clean and refil after 6 months.

It is just a show so you have to forgive some instances and scenarios because they need to keep it interesting and also keep the Hyundai dollar rolling in.

Crazy_Nice
Crazy_Nice

It lasts forever as long as it's stored in the all-new 2011 Hyundai Tuscon! Even though it's a zombie apocalypse, you can feel safe and secure in the 2011 Hyundai Tuscon! It's such a great car that we kept making them even though the zombie apocalypse had started before it was due to go into production.

(the previous comment was brought to you by the 2011 Hyundai Tuscon)

iluvmen
iluvmen

Notice none of their cars are high tech or turbcharged shit.

I'd be seeking out a Suzuki DR650, ideally with a Safari 10 gallon adventure tank. It's a pig when fulll, but will run 500 miles on a fill and can run on old Mexican roadside jug gas filtered through pantyhose.

t. Not mine, but mine is similar. Will cruise at 80mph all day long, then cross through a plowed field on the way to a campsite.

idontknow
idontknow

were talking about the show where a guy fired 120 shells out of a double barrel shotgun without reloading.

i'm only a novie gearead, but if the tanks are properly sealed will this help negate the "skunky" efect?

again i dont know the science, but gasoline boils as a stupidly low temperature, thats more-or-less what all the vapors are, it boils at 100f.

my (probably retarded) idea is that gas goes to shit because most of the useful components boil out leaving you with a "sludge" of filler.

i understand typical gas cans require a vent for all of these fumes but how are underground tanks vented?

are they even vented at all?
the earth around them would keep em cool for quite a while delaying the gases from escaping, which in my retarded theory, would keep the gas usable for much longer than anticipated.

but doesnt negate the fact oil production has stopped and they're roaming around on fucking gas guzzlers.

TreeEater
TreeEater

Their average car condition saw a dramatic improvement once the writers were just trying to come up with new material.

On a related note, it seems to me that a new car with computer controlled engine management systems would be a better choice for when the SHTF then an old car, as it will be able to automatically adjust to shitty skunked gas whereas an older carbureted vehicle, would stall out/break down sooner?

Emberfire
Emberfire

but doesnt negate the fact oil production has stopped and they're roaming around on fucking gas guzzlers.
AMERICA

BunnyJinx
BunnyJinx

are they even vented at all?
yes

Dreamworx
Dreamworx

again i dont know the science, but gasoline boils as a stupidly low temperature, thats more-or-less what all the vapors are, it boils at 100f.

And this would be even more of an issue Georgia and Virginia with their hot summers, where the characters are.

i understand typical gas cans require a vent for all of these fumes but how are underground tanks vented? are they even vented at all?

My PVC 5 gallon gas can seems to have pretty tight seals, because in the summer the can swells a bit with the heat and when the vent cap is popped off, you can hear the pressure escaping.

But I’d guess that underground gas station storage tanks are vented to the outside air somehow, as this would be necessary for the pumps to operate?

but doesnt negate the fact oil production has stopped and they're roaming around on fucking gas guzzlers.

Sure, but as 99.9% of humanity died off within one month, there ought to be plenty of gas (as well as diesel and propane) laying around free for the taking.

The issue is that after four years, would that gas be any good?

lostmypassword
lostmypassword

petrol will last max 1 year.

Diesel a few months more but not by much.

Old cars with carburetor will not be able to be driven after a year of sitting. Every single seal in the carby will have dried out and more fuel would spill into the engine bay than the engine itself.

Lead acid batteries, deadened fully from parasitic drain over a year, would never hold a charge again.

All car tyres go flat if not driven for extended periods of time. They would also need some type of pump to inflate the wheels after 2 years assuming the bead is still seated.

Best bet would be to find an older diesel car with a manual gearbox for push starts. Most old diesels will run on vegetable oil. Colder climates would need the oil heated to stop injectors clogging. Sunflower, canola, etc. Pour it straight in. Exhsust fumes will smell like delicious fish and chip shop.

Modern common rail diesel motors can not operate standard vege oil, so no modern f trucks or VW jettas sorry.

Methshot
Methshot

Euros who live packed like vermin in urbanized concrete hives talk shit about the zombiepocalypse

You’d all be dead within a fortnight.

My choice for a Euro SHTF vehicle would be a Skoda Yeti; small yet capable 4x4 wit6h good fuel milage and a 258lb-ft diesel engine, that allows for a post-apocalyptic backyard diesel distillery to keep it going.

TurtleCat
TurtleCat

fortnight
Britbong detected.

backyard diesel distillery
U wot. The only things you can distill are alcohols, and diesel engines don't run on alcohol.

BlogWobbles
BlogWobbles

I really hope that car isnt matte

LuckyDusty
LuckyDusty

petrol will last max 1 year.

It’s got to be longer then that.

Numerous times over the years I’ve put away the snowblower in late Feb/early March and forgotten to drain the gas tank and while it needs a shot of starting fluid to get going the following Dec, it’ll still run on the old gas.

StrangeWizard
StrangeWizard

The show is pretty bad in terms of logic. hell wild animals would have eaten all the zombies in a year.

Stupidasole
Stupidasole

fortnight
Britbong detected.

Detroiter, actually (suburbs, not the city of course).

backyard diesel distillery
U wot. The only things you can distill are alcohols, and diesel engines don't run on alcohol.

Pic related; it's a diesel still that uses plastic bags to make fuel.

Nojokur
Nojokur

I dunno mate. clearly it has lasted longer in your case. My only guess would be the octane rating or compression ratio is lower for your blower so it can run on degraded fuel?

Just a guess tho

haveahappyday
haveahappyday

Sorry mate the Yeti most definately uses common rail diesel motor.

These can only run bio fuel if you install a seperate tank and pump. They must be started on regular diesel. Which you wont have any of after 4 years. Find an older car breh.

Indirect injection with mechanical fuel pump is best.

takes2long
takes2long

My only guess would be the octane rating or compression ratio is lower for your blower so it can run on degraded fuel?

Sure, the snowblower has a simple 7hp single with a carb but I’d think modern cars and trucks with computer controlled engines, would run better on shitty skunked gas then old carbureted engines, as they can automatically adjust to the octane rating and such?

All (or most) of the vehicles on the show are old beat-rides, which in my mind doesn't make sense, as there would be literally millions of brand new vehicles all over the place?

Flameblow
Flameblow

These can only run bio fuel if you install a seperate tank and pump.

I don't think bio-fuel is the answer in a post-apocalyptic setting, as it would require too much energy and effort to grow the crops to make the diesel fuel. You'd be better off getting a bicycle and eating those crops.

Propane I believe is the ultimate choice, as (at least in the U.S.) there are bazillions of 500 gal propane tanks scattered all over the countryside and propane never rots, so it'll still be good no matter how old it is.

And you can generate bio-gas (methane) to keep the vehicle running once the propane runs out.

Nojokur
Nojokur

Yes but there's a limit to how much your knock sensors can limit the timing mate. Unless you had a motor with a crazy low compression ratio of 5:1, once your octane dips below 81 your engine will lunch itself.

Illusionz
Illusionz

tfw Hank Hill will be the most prepared for a zombie apocalypse

Need_TLC
Need_TLC

Who's to say Darrel didn't just happen up an Autozone warehouse and cached a shitton of Sta-bil ?

I mean, we still have hordes of walkers 4 years later....

Sir_Gallonhead
Sir_Gallonhead

Yeah, but those 500 gallon tanks are fucking heavy. You could only use it to refill a barbecue tank or maybe a 20 gallon forklift tank.

I have a 500 gallon tank because I a rural redneck.. They had to install it with a crane on the back of a outriggered flatbed.

MPmaster
MPmaster

Wild animals that are on the constant lookout for silent predators can't escape a noisy 1mph undead

Sure the undead don't sleep but when you are as fast as a deer it doesn't take much to get out of its range of interest

haveahappyday
haveahappyday

Ford transits would be better. Any issues and you scavenge parts from one of the 9 within 40 feet of you

massdebater
massdebater

Do people in Yurp actually watch the show? I know you folks were into Breaking Bad, but I thought this show was too plebian and gory for your cultured tastes.

Methnerd
Methnerd

no i mean wolfs and dogs would have eaten the zombies.

The world would be full of huge overfed dogs. And vultures, holy shit can you imagine the explosion in the vulture population. and fucking house cats.. the cats to.

VisualMaster
VisualMaster

Hyundai also paid for their car to be in a few episodes

BinaryMan
BinaryMan

Black bears will eat roadkill, so I imagine they'd take off too. The deer pop would explode because of all the ornamental suburban landscaping and relative dearth of apex predators initially. (#1 killer of deer has either 4 or 18 wheels)

Beef would likely go extinct pretty quickly, as they slow and stupid. Walkers would easily wipe them out if survivors didn't.

I imagine the walkers would freeze solid pretty easily, so my choice of bugout would be Idaho, Alaska, or West Canada.

AwesomeTucker
AwesomeTucker

I dunno. I don't live there anymore but after working in England for 4 years and visiting 3 times in the last 6 years I have never seen a Skoda yeti but I have seen a lot of transits

Fried_Sushi
Fried_Sushi

You are an idiot. Look up the definition of distillation. You can distill anything that you can vaporize from a liquid to a gas using heat. Gasoline is made using distillation. So are any other oil process. As well as countless other chemicals used in all walks of life.

Lunatick
Lunatick

I live in the Caribbean so a sail boat and firearms are my only real choice. Land is so small that even on less populated islands you will always be too close for comfort.

It will be worse than how it was during the days of piracy. There will be no war ships from Europe trying to keep things calm.

Just pure water world style fighting

Lord_Tryzalot
Lord_Tryzalot

Is that a Roush?

Sir_Gallonhead
Sir_Gallonhead

I've driven a car with 2 year old gas. It just doesn't accelerate for shit. It'll literally not go past 25mph. After all the old gas is out, and new gas in, smack, crack. And POP, it goes fast again.

w8t4u
w8t4u

Maggots would eat everything.
The flies would be more of a nuisance than the actual zombies

TalkBomber
TalkBomber

Yeah. This. My first job out of college was working at a coal tar / fine chemicals distillation refinery as a QC chemist in the plant lab.

Asphalt is distilled when you get down to it. It's what's left behind after everything else it 'boiled off'.

LuckyDusty
LuckyDusty

<- The only solution, if you're still alive after a year of being left alone with all the Ferraris and R1s and M4A1s and SMAWS and unmonitored chemical plants and nuclear power stations and what not.

BunnyJinx
BunnyJinx

mfw my moped has a compression ratio of 9.5:1
mfw it is desinged for 78 octane (roz)

Stupidasole
Stupidasole

2 stroke or 4 stroke?

Crazy_Nice
Crazy_Nice

2 stroke, but it is desinged for shitty oil.
It is a Simson S51.

girlDog
girlDog

lol, are you me? I also tuned out after how they handled the tank.

hairygrape
hairygrape

It only needs 2,5l/100km @ 60km/h and has 16" Weels.
I usually carry a 20l canister of fuel on it...

Stark_Naked
Stark_Naked

Who's to say Darrel didn't just happen up an Autozone warehouse and cached a shitton of Sta-bil ?

Sta-Bil is bullshit, it’s just another of dad’s magic potions that will in fact gum-up your engine just as badly over time.

For my yard equipment, I drain whatever gasoline is left in the tank after the season is over, and run them dry.

Evil_kitten
Evil_kitten

Yeah, but those 500 gallon tanks are fucking heavy.

Shouldn't be too difficult to winch it onto a trailer and haul it back to your fortified compound.

TreeEater
TreeEater

no i mean wolfs and dogs would have eaten the zombies.
Maggots would eat everything.

It's been suggested that rats, flies and even bacteria won't touch an (active) zombie and this has something to do with their sci-fi/magical resistance to degrading.

Dunno know if it's actual show canon and not just the producers being cheep and lazy, but you never hear flies buzzing around zombies.

eGremlin
eGremlin

The only solution

I know it's anathema to you guys, but...

Boy_vs_Girl
Boy_vs_Girl

So lets say the tank it's self Weighs 1000lbs

1 gallon of propane is 4.2 pounds
So that's up to 3100lbs

Unless it's the same as it is for small tanks, where you can only fill it 80%.
Then it's only 2680lbs

Good fucking luck dragging that shit anywhere without wheels on it. A much more manageable solution is to find a transfer pump and pump it down into a tank you already have mounted in a pickup.

Carnalpleasure
Carnalpleasure

Yes. Turn off the petcock to the carb and let it run till it starves.

But sta-bil ain't the worst thing in the world for short termish storing or ethanol tainted fuels.

Firespawn
Firespawn

A much more manageable solution is to find a transfer pump and pump it down into a tank you already have mounted in a pickup.

Good idea! Added to my SHTF list.

GoogleCat
GoogleCat

I'd rather die.

Need_TLC
Need_TLC

You'd probably want a kickstart though, right? I ride a DR350 which is great but has electric start which would suck in an apocalypse if the battery crapped out.

And don't forget to stock up on gaskets, o-rings, cables, and other shit that can wear out or break. No motorcycle shops around me so everything I get is online. I'd be fucked.

Inmate
Inmate

tfw my S51 doesn´t even have a battery

eGremlin
eGremlin

That's the reason why it can go so low compression. Oil is mixed in so that makes it more difficult to detonate.

Doesn't matter if the oil is shitty or top quality. We got guys here putting waste vegetable oil in their Yamaha Enduro 2 strokes and then going out fishing in a pirogue

Raving_Cute
Raving_Cute

If you are desperate...

Garbage Can Lid
Garbage Can Lid

The best thing is, once a S51 is warmed up it can also run pure Diesel

JunkTop
JunkTop

Nah they watch The Walking Dead here too

You must've seen a Yeti. I don't see them that often but they're out there.

Would have to say that we are literally tripping over Transits so a Transit wouldn't be a bad idea

Snarelure
Snarelure

Neat-o!

In exchange, have a steam powered bicycle;

StonedTime
StonedTime

Why not a electricaly powered one with a solar panel?

Poker_Star
Poker_Star

Because that wouldn't work in the apocalypse?

Emberfire
Emberfire

Why wouldn´t it work in the apocalypse?

Illusionz
Illusionz

Those small >10hp Briggs and Stratton engines found in lawn mowers and snowblowers will quite literally run on anything that will burn and go through their carbs.

Spamalot
Spamalot

I'd go with a 4 stroke dirtbike.

I could keep refuelling from forgotten lawnmowers in sheds with possible Jerrycans and run rich on 2 stroke fuel at a pinch.

CouchChiller
CouchChiller

You think that's bad?

Anyone remember that atrocity called "Battlefield Earth"?

Harrier jets.
Left for generations.
They worked fine.
Magic fucking tarps.

Dreamworx
Dreamworx

I got you, brah.

takes2long
takes2long

lead batterys
not supriror lithium masterrace

PurpleCharger
PurpleCharger

they looted all the sta-bil they could derr

Flameblow
Flameblow

What you niggas think about wood gas?

In Best Corea they run trucks on it.

TechHater
TechHater

Heh, my great grandfather faked those systems during the war

Spamalot
Spamalot

You need to change the oil verry often on those and it takes a long time to start the carburator/oven.
You might as well use steam.

SniperWish
SniperWish

There is no wild cattle, so yeah, they would go extinct with no humans left to tend to them

haveahappyday
haveahappyday

What you niggas think about wood gas?

Too much of a hassle, bio-gas is the choice for longer term post-apocalyptic fuel.

Harmless_Venom
Harmless_Venom

What about a very basic electric car? Provided you have some electrical engineer to wire up some solar or wind turbines at home base to recharge, it would be the best right? Other than the issue of finding new batteries I suppose.

I feel like the end game after society collapses, its just a return to riding animals as the machines rust in the ruins. Vehicles fade into legend as people revert to tribalism.

Flameblow
Flameblow

fuel goes stale after 6 months. unless diesel.

RumChicken
RumChicken

That depends on the conditions you are storing it in and how man octane your engine needs.

Techpill
Techpill

Remember to fit a flame trap/arrester so you don't blow yourself up.

SniperGod
SniperGod

My great-grandfather bodged one together and had it rigged up on his work truck in WW2
Got arrested for starting it catching fire in the middle of Melbourne, he may also have been violently drunk

StonedTime
StonedTime

or propane

BunnyJinx
BunnyJinx

dr650 master race, mein neger

kizzmybutt
kizzmybutt

What do you mean "faked"?
As in built it himself?

Methshot
Methshot

I disagree. Although industrial manufacturing may end, the knowledge of how to build and maintain simple engines will not just disappear to thin air.

Evil_kitten
Evil_kitten

While wild cattle is extinct. There are similar animals like bison and water buffalo that could potentially do alright.

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