Life is tough on your boat’s fuel system


Advice from the fuel experts at Techron Marine

Quality fuel system treatments are an important part of keeping any gasoline-powered machine running clean and strong, and should be part of any regular maintenance routine.

For a variety of reasons, fuel system care is especially critical when it comes to protecting boats and boat engines. Most boaters are aware of issues that can crop up when boats sit for long periods of time between use (as they often do).  Sitting for weeks or months in a slip or on a trailer causes fuel to oxidize and allows condensation to form in the tank — problems exacerbated by today’s ethanol-laced fuels.

Techron Marine Protection Plus Fuel System Treatment provides up to two years of fuel stabilization to keep fuel fresh and to help boaters avoid mechanical issues when it’s time to get on the water. This is only one small part of the hazards boats deal with, however, and only one of the many science-backed reasons for using a complete fuel treatment formulated for marine use. Here’s a recap of the special challenges boaters face:


Environment – Boats live and operate in wet, hot and humid environments that can wreak havoc on their fuel and fuel system components. Especially in warmer climates, humidity in the air can cause condensation to form within the fuel tank, adding additional water to the fuel. Water in the fuel can cause a range of problems from poor performance to actual engine damage. The situation is even worse when that fuel contains ethanol (and 98% of the fuel in the US does) — a key reason to avoid fuel additives that contain alcohol in their formulas because alcohol further helps to attract water. Since boats are used in water (none of us like them just sitting in the driveway all the time), there’s always the possibility of said water entering the system through fuel fill caps and vent lines, as well.

Fuel tank rust – a bad sign.

Corrosion — In addition to posing a range of other problems, the marine environment is extremely corrosive — especially for boats that are used regularly in saltwater.  Corrosion is constantly attacking metal surfaces throughout the boat, including the fuel tanks, fuel system components and interior engine surfaces. A marine fuel system treatment that provides strong protection against corrosion is vital for boaters and fishermen who operate their vessels in saltwater. In significant amounts, corrosion can weaken metal parts and create additional friction, reducing engine performance and durability.

Engine Operation — Even the way fishermen run their boats can lead to additional fuel-related hazards. Whether they’re tournament bass anglers or offshore big-game hunters, the drill is often the same.Fire up the engine, run at Wide Open Throttle for a long time, then shut it down and fish. When this happens (and it does over and over during a full fishing day), residual fuel can quickly “bake on” to still-hot engine surfaces, leaving behind impurities and carbon buildup on pistons, valves, throttle bodies and combustion chambers. A fuel additive with top-performing cleaning power will help prevent this build up from causing costly damage by removing engine deposits and keeping the engine clean with continuous use. Other fishermen use their engines to troll all day, running for hours at low-idle speeds. This type of operation can also lead to deposits forming on the engine. Using a proper fuel additive can help remove these harmful deposits and prevent them from returning. A clean engine is not only less likely to experience mechanical issues; it will start easier, run stronger and be more fuel-efficient. What boat owner doesn’t want that?

A gum clog.

Gunk — Yes, gunk is the “technical” term. We all know that boats tend to sit around a lot, which can cause more than just fuel oxidation and water issues.   Lack of use can lead to the formation of gum, varnish and other “gunk” in the fuel tank and fuel system. Leaving the boat with a low or empty fuel tank between trips can make this problem even worse. Additionally, gaskets, seals and other components in the fuel system can dry and crack when the tank is empty, potentially causing dangerous leaks. All the more reason to keep the tank full with treated gasoline between boating excursions, whether they are days or months apart.

The fuel experts at Chevron stress that the best way for boaters to protect their investments and ensure trouble-free time on the water is to treat their fuel with Techron Marine Protection Plus Fuel System Treatment with every fill up for continuous protection, keep the tank full between trips, and make sure their boat has a water separating fuel filter that’s inspected regularly. The last piece of advice is to use your boat as much as possible, which I think we can all agree is something we all aspire to.

To learn more about protecting your boat’s engine and fuel system, visit