Here at SnowTech we are bombarded each year with box after box of new products for our staff to preview, review and analyze. So when a new bottle of something shows up, we are very skeptical, to say the least. Especially when it comes to additives, oils, anything in a bottle. But every now and then we find one that impresses us, and here we have one of those.
This time we have a fuel additive called “Star Tron Enzyme Fuel Treatment”. This stuff is fairly popular in the marine industry, and being labeled as an enzyme it got our attention.
This Star Tron Enzyme Fuel Treatment basically is a fuel stabilizer. Pour it in and the fuel should remain viable for over a year. This makes it an excellent choice for storage or for engines that are not used every month (which is about the shelf life of most fuel these days).
It also is an excellent counteragent for ethanol fuels, helping to keep water from forming a layer or causing problems. Bacteria, fungi, mold, and yeast have just met their match.
An enzyme is a biochemical catalyst. To catalyze something, the enzyme increases the rate of a chemical reaction.
Finding an enzyme that reacts with fuel is really cool. With all of the various EPA requirements, one never really knows for sure what they’re pouring into their tank. How fresh is the gas, how much ethanol does it contain, how much water is in there, what is the octane. You just don’t know. Fuel these days is a mixture of hydrocarbons (and other stuff) that consists of molecules of various chain lengths. Long-chain hydrocarbons, short-chain hydrocarbons, and all lengths in between.
The short-chain hydrocarbons are what make up the “light ends” in the fuel, the stuff that vaporizes easily and goes BANG. The long-chain hydrocarbons are the heavy stuff that doesn’t like to burn very well. Ideally, we don’t want too many of either of these, instead it would be nice to have more medium length molecules going into our engines for a more complete burn.
What you will most likely notice is how smoothly an engine will run when using this stuff. The hydrocarbon chain bonding is altered by the enzymes, so we get a more homogonous fuel than we would otherwise. Homogonous means the fuel is going to be composed of a more uniform chain length. Fewer heavy chains means cleaner burning fuel, with less carbon and soot. This product will help to clean carbon (yes, even dirty power valves) and the entire fuel system. The engine will run smoother, start easier, and there should be a slight but true gain in power and efficiency. And what is really cool is it will, to a degree, rejuvenate stale fuel.
Add an ounce of Star Tron for every three gallons for the first dose to shock the system, then back off to an ounce per six gallons. That means an 8 ounce bottle is good for 48 gallons of fuel after the initial treatment.
Add a bottle to start with, and then see what your usage is. If you use the engine all the time the fuel should stay fresh, but as soon as you get to the point the sled or whatever is going to be idle for a while, get some more Star Tron in there. Or, if it is at the end of the season, for sure give it a shot. The ratio isn’t all that critical, we’re told that overdosing isn’t harmful, and adding it every time you add fuel is going to help, but again, if you’re going to burn the fuel up quickly there isn’t going to be as great of a benefit in that you don’t need the stabilizer. Of course, you will still realize the running quality benefit and cleaning action, which is a good thing for power valve applications. Or, if you’re being forced to use 10% ethanol fuel, then adding it every time is going to be a good thing.
Star Tron Enzyme Fuel Treatment comes in several bottle shapes and sizes; the smaller 8 ounce bottles are handy and easy to carry. You will see the difference in your spark plugs and amount of carbon on the power valves, and where you will really see it is in low RPM situations like two-stroke trolling motors. Instead of the rough running chuga-chuga that you’ve been used to, you should notice smoother running and easier starting.
Where can you buy it? Most every marine dealer carries it, but it is also found in most Wal-Mart stores, Fleet Farm (Wisconsin based) and can also be ordered on-line (get a case #14308 of six of the 8 ounce bottles). It comes in 8 ounce, 16 ounce, 32 ounce, whatever you want. It is cheaper per ounce in the larger quantities, of course, but you will usually pay about $25 for a 32 ounce bottle (which treats 192 gallons) which comes to about 13 cents per gallon – cheap insurance against fuel related problems.