How much does a 5L petrol can really hold?

And before you jump in with 5 litres... are you sure?

The reason I ask is that I filled up two petrol cans last week and somehow managed to get 6L in each one.  I'm pretty sure this is probably down to the calibration of the petrol pump but I thought I'd double check before complaining to the petrol station.

If they do hold more than 5L then I've been doing my fuel mix wrong for the last seven years! Hmmm....


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  • PRO
    Are you allowing space for breathing/expansion within the fuel can?
  • PRO
    They hold about 6. 5 lts is the recommended fill line.
  • I'm assuming you fill straight from the pump into the 5L Can that you mix your 2 stroke with?

    Just have a check to see if you have a max fill line on the Can, as that'll be the actual 5L limit, if not....change petrol station 

  • PRO
    6 sounds about right. It won't be the pump calibration they won't be wrong!
    Just use the pump read out to only add 5 litres to the can
  • Put the two stroke dose in the can and use the pump metre to measure out 5l into the can done
  • PRO

    As a side question........

    If your mix was slightly off, say 6 lts of petrol and maybe just over 100ml of mix.

    Would it be that big of a deal anyway?

    Thank you, Craig.

    • PRO

      Yes crucial as your mix would 20-25% to weak/lean. This would be made worse with cheaper 2 stroke oil. I'd say from experience you'd risk reduced performance. hotter engine, piston pick up and then seizure.

      Most 5L cans hold more that that, plus if used in summer they will physically expand and not retract, so unless you dispense exactly 5L of fuel, your measured oil mix will cause subsequent problems

      • PRO

        Thank you Gary. I shall now be more on top with my mixing.

      • PRO
        Unless as Darren has found out by accident it does not make a huge amount of difference?
        I suspect that 25:1 is actually too much so the manufacturers are covering themselves?
        Unless of course you are using something full revs all the time.
        • PRO

          Once you know the impact, why would you not then do it correctly in the future ?

          They state it for a reason.....Sure, a one off mistake - you may get away from it, but most Stihl items are design to be run at full revs.

          Imagine this scenario:

          Hi Mr Stihl Dealer....I've just sh*gged my Strimmer. It's seized....

          Mr Dealer responds...Ok, what mix did you use...

          Dunno, used El Crappo oil from B&Q.  Maybe 30:1, maybe 50:1  but, hey I'm covered as I'm sure Stihl make allowances. So, Can I have no one please under warranty

          Mr Dealer.....Go forth young man...:D

          Lastly, drop the exhaust of a Stihl unit, turn over the engine and take a look thru exhaust port at the piston skirt. If it's heavily lined, It's picked up and will not be running 100%

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