Olive Jar Test for Alcohol
By: Ed Burkhead

You can pre-test for alcohol at the gas station. Here's a review of the olive jar test for alcohol.

Empty and clean a long, thin olive jar and keep the lid. (Actually, any tall, skinny container will work as long as you can see through it.)

  1. At the gas station, put some water in the jar, maybe up to about 1/4 and use a marker to mark the level of the water.
  2. Fill the jar with fuel from the pump. Put on the lid.
  3. Shake the jar and the fuel/water mix.
  4. Let the mix settle out.
  5. If the apparent water level goes up, the fuel has significant alcohol in it.

Watch out for pumps that share a single hose for all their fuels. If some of those fuels have alcohol, you will get some contamination even in their no-alcohol fuels.

If they have separate hoses, you can make the test before you fill your fuel cans.