The freezing point of Gas in a motorcycle tank comes to mind during the dark, cold, and frigid wintery months. If you worry about waking up in the morning and finding your motorcycle tank filled with ice cubes, you should know that, unlike water, gas does not have a specific freezing point.
It’s proven that any form of gas freezes anywhere between -45° F to -200° F. However, according to a study conducted by the Illinois Department of Physics, gasoline freezes somewhere between -40° and -50° Celsius or -40° to -58° Fahrenheit. There are other papers that show most gasoline freezes at approximately -73°C (-100F).
One thing is that our natural environment will never experience such low temperatures, at least with us humans on the planet but, there are things that you should know as to what to do to prevent the gasoline in your motorcycle tank from freezing.
Keep the Battery Charged Up
If you run your motorcycle’s engine and the battery is dead, it will not be able to pump any fuel. So, before even thinking about doing anything else, check the power level of your battery and charge it up if necessary.
Not only can a weak or dead battery prevent your motorcycle from starting up in winter conditions but, it could also cause problems such as corroded parts and broken circuits.
To avoid this problem altogether, you should charge the battery with a trickle charger that maintains its full capacity at all times—especially during the cold winter months when you plan on storing your bike for longer than usual periods.
Remember to take care of other essentials like tire pressure too because cold weather will shrink them slightly, which can be a big safety concern for you on the road.
Keep the Fuel Tank As Full as Possible
Keeping the fuel tank full helps keep the gasoline in a liquid state. If you have less than one-fourth of a tank, then there will be more air between your gas and plastic that will quickly heat up to very cold temperatures during the night, especially if your motorcycle is parked in an unheated garage.
Gasoline on its own has a freezing point of approximately -40° F but, when mixed with air it reduces the freezing point by 10° F. So, keeping your tank on or near-full can help reduce this process.
Use Ethanol Fuel
Even though gasoline does not have a specific freezing point, E10, which is a standard issue for most gas stations across the country, has a much lower freezing point. Ethanol possesses this quality because it has an incredibly low freezing point to approximately -170° F.
With this in mind, if you use ethanol fuel during the winter, your motorcycle tank will be less likely to freeze up while you are sleeping or away from your bike.
Deposit Anti-Freezing Additives in
Depositing anti-freezing additives in your motorcycle gas tank can help you protect the gasoline from breaking down while it’s sitting idle in your tank. Just like the Ethanol gas discussed above, this additive will help reduce its freezing point below 32°F.
The most common additive is methanol that’s typically sold in stores as “Heet”. However, the EPA does not approve of this for use or sale within the United States.
There are companies out there that make additives for motorcycles specifically designed to reduce the freezing point of gas and prevent it from breaking down while stored in your tank. Do your research to be sure of everything before buying one and then paying for the consequences.
Keep Your Gas Tank Clean & Warm
Keeping your gas tank clean and warm can increase the probability of not having to deal with frozen-in-winter nightmares.
As stated above, any form of gas freezes somewhere between -45°F to -200°F but, by keeping your motorcycle tank relatively clear, you will allow the gasoline to remain in its liquid state at lower temperatures.
Also, if you keep your fuel tank heater plugged in during wintery months it will help prevent ice from forming within your motorcycle’s tiny reservoir.
An important thing to remember is that some motorcycles have the heating element built into the fuel pump itself. You should check with a dealer or mechanic before doing anything that involves breaking open the fuel line.
Keep the Bike Inside your Garage
If you live in a region that’s cold enough to freeze gas, then don’t even think about leaving your motorcycle outside.
Just like the fuel tank recommendations stated above, it is paramount that you keep your bike inside a heated garage or at least in form of a window so the sun can help warm up the motor.
Otherwise, if you have no choice but to leave your beloved motorcycle outside during winter, be sure to completely drain all gasoline from its reservoir and onto the ground before shutting off the engine. Once everything has cooled down overnight, cover it with a blanket or tarp.
Add Fresh Gasoline
Lastly, the best way to ensure no issues with your gasoline is to add fresh fuel if it has been more than a month since you last filled up. This especially applies when using Ethanol-blend gas because it can break down rather quickly and become useless.
So, filling up every 30 days or so should prevent any complications from occurring while you are trying not to freeze yourself in a motorcycle accident.
If you are looking for an easy, quick reference guide to the freezing point of gasoline in a motorcycle tank then this is your answer.
It should be known that all forms of gas will freeze at roughly -45°F through -200°F but it can vary depending on its additives and ethanol percentage.
By using “Heet” or another similar anti-gel additive during winter months, you will reduce the freezing point closer to 4°F or 5°F which makes it far less likely for ice to form within your motorcycle tank.
The other preventive measures include some basics like keeping your fuel tank clean and warm for it plays an important role in preventing gasoline from freezing due to decreasing surface area that remains exposed to room temperature.
So, take note of these aforementioned points to prevent the gas in your motorcycle tank from freezing in the cold months of winter.