Here is an excellent product we’ve been using for the past several years now, designed by Yamaha to combat fuel degradation and the effects of ethanol – Fuel Med RX.
In the world of fuel stabilizer products, there are various methods or approaches to try to keep petro fuel from gumming up your fuel system and to keep it fresh so the engine starts after many months of non-service. Two of the most commonly used formulas are known as “alcohol based” and “enzyme based”. While they can keep fuel fresh to a certain degree, they tend to allow a large amount of corrosion to occur to metal components in the fuel system. This is in a large part due to the ethanol now in the fuel.
Ethanol, or ethyl alcohol, is added to most automotive fuels at a 10% ratio and even higher. It is an oxygenate, added to fuel to reduce emissions, but it is also an excellent cleaning solvent as it removes rust, oxides, gum and varnish. Since it is being added to gasoline, anything it flows through gets cleaned, including the fuel tanks, pumps, and anything inside your vehicle from the tank and pump up through the carbs or injection system.
Ethanol is also well known for its water absorption. It attracts humidity from the air and will absorb any standing water – to a point. It can “suspend” the water up to a 1/2 percentage saturation, at which point it will separate from the petroleum. This is the dreaded “phase separation” effect, where the ethanol is no longer mixed into the petro fuel, but physically separates and falls to the bottom of the fuel tank, with the suspended water. An actual layer of ethanol and water will be laying at the bottom of the fuel tank, right where the fuel pick-up is located. And you know what happens if your fuel pick-up sucks up a bunch of ethanol and water? Your engine can’t compress water too good, nor can it run on water and ethanol as a fuel mixture. Bad deal.
The other bad result from all of this is the left-over sulfate salts from the manufacturing of ethanol. We’re talking sulfuric acid – this contaminant is present in ethanol fuels and is VERY corrosive. It aggressively attacks aluminum, steels, coppers, yellow metals and silver solders – all found in fuel systems.
Yamaha’s service division (and all service departments, for that matter) have been dealing with the problems caused by bad fuel, the effects of ethanol, and the corrosion caused by the sulfuric acid. Yamaha examined the various fuel stabilizer products on the market, looking for the best available to package and sell through their dealerships to their customers to try to reduce the number of service issues with their Yamaha products and to increase customer satisfaction. What they discovered was that while the stabilizer products could keep the fuel fresh, they didn’t do a good enough job as they could do, simply due to the cost of the ingredients involved. They tested the available products and found a disturbing level of corrosion occurring to metal components. This is when they decided to design their own products to combat the issues; Fuel Med RX and Engine Med RX.
Fuel Med RX is primarily a fuel stabilizer with corrosion inhibitors, where Engine Med RX provides advanced de-carboning action along with more corrosion inhibitors. They are compatible and can be used together, but where the Fuel Med RX is designed to keep fuel fresh for periods of storage, Engine Med RX is designed to be used with every fill to keep everything clean.
When should you use which one? Use Engine Med RX for daily use and then use Fuel Med RX when the sled will sit for more than seven days. Or, just use Fuel Med RX all of the time. They’re similar but different, and fully compatible. One is a stabilizer, one is a carbon cleaner, and both inhibit corrosion.
Have you ever heard why the OEMs suggest you store your sled with the fuel tank almost full of fuel? Because any exposed metal components in the fuel system will corrode. You want treated, stabilized fuel circulated through your fuel system anytime the sled will not be operated for more than SEVEN days! And have you ever heard why you should be replacing the fuel filters on your sled more often than with the old carbureted engines? Because of all the crap that the ethanol breaks loose, from the storage tank you bought the fuel from to the pump to the inside of your fuel tank to the fuel pump inside the tank to the fuel filter, and the fact that fuel filters now are of higher quality and capture smaller particles (screen size in microns) so they can and do tend to plug up easier and faster.
Yamaha is convinced there is no better fuel stabilizer or internal engine cleaner being offered anywhere at any price, meaning the Fuel Med RX is very likely the best fuel stabilizer you can buy for your sled, regardless of brand. Yes it will cost more than the “old” technology fuel stabilizers, but it’s all a matter of the ingredients used in the formula – you get what you pay for. The difference in the amount of corrosion to the metals from the alcohol-based stabilizers and enzyme-based stabilizers to the Fuel Med RX is eye-opening, and reason enough to be using Fuel Med RX from this point forward. Ethanol is only going to be more and more common at higher and higher ratios, and you need to take action to protect your investment.
Fuel Med RX is used at two different rates of application, storage concentration or continuous use. It comes in 3.2 ounce bottles for continuous use rate, or 16 & 128 ounce bottles for both storage concentration or continuous use, all available now at Yamaha powersports dealers everywhere. Even if your engine doesn’t say “Yamaha”, it will still benefit from this latest, proprietary technology. This is not a re-packaged product; both are unique formulas produced only by and for Yamaha. The 16-ounce bottles sell for only $6 (the gallons run $36) so there’s no excuse to not be using this.