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* Confirmed, then averted in ''Series/TheWalkingDead''. The first couple of years, they have no problems, with almost any car they come across starting right up. After a time jump to about ten years after the apocalypse, they're back to horses.[[/folder]]



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* Averted in ''Film/BackToTheFuturePartIII''. After restoring the [=DeLorean=] which was buried in 1885, the 1955 Doc tells Marty "I put gas in the tank.", inferring that the car had its fluids drained before being buried. And this becomes a plot point when Marty travels to 1885 and accidentally tears the fuel line, forcing them to think about another way to have the [=DeLorean=] reach 88 mph.

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* Averted in ''Film/BackToTheFuturePartIII''. After restoring the [=DeLorean=] which was buried in 1885, the 1955 Doc tells Marty "I put gas in the tank.", inferring tank", implying that the car had its fluids drained before being buried. And this becomes a plot point when Marty travels to 1885 and accidentally tears the fuel line, forcing them to think about another way to have the [=DeLorean=] reach 88 mph.


* ''Film/FortyEightHours'' is another non-apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic example. While Jack and Reggie watch from a distance, Luther comes back to the parking garage where Reggie's car has been for the past two and a half years to collect it. The attendant sort of lampshades this trope when, after Luther asks how the oil and battery in the car are, he sarcastically responds that they take care of that every year.[[note]]But nothing about the gas[[/note]] Not only does the car function, Luther is ''able to start it right up''.

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* ''Film/FortyEightHours'' is another non-apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic example. While Jack and Reggie watch from a distance, Luther comes back to the parking garage ParkingGarage where Reggie's car has been for the past two and a half years to collect it. The attendant sort of lampshades this trope when, after Luther asks how the oil and battery in the car are, he sarcastically responds that they take care of that every year.[[note]]But nothing about the gas[[/note]] Not only does the car function, Luther is ''able to start it right up''.

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* ''Film/FortyEightHours'' is another non-apocalyptic/post-apocalyptic example. While Jack and Reggie watch from a distance, Luther comes back to the parking garage where Reggie's car has been for the past two and a half years to collect it. The attendant sort of lampshades this trope when, after Luther asks how the oil and battery in the car are, he sarcastically responds that they take care of that every year.[[note]]But nothing about the gas[[/note]] Not only does the car function, Luther is ''able to start it right up''.


* ''Series/TheTwilightZone1959'' episode "[[Recap/TheTwilightZoneS2E60TheRipVanWinkleCaper The Rip Van Winkle Caper]]". Four men enter suspended animation in a cave after a gold robbery and sleep for 100 years. When they wake up, their car starts up and can be driven with no problem.
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* ''Series/TheTwilightZone1959'' episode "[[Recap/TheTwilightZoneS2E60TheRipVanWinkleCaper The Rip Van Winkle Caper]]". Four men enter suspended animation in a cave after a gold robbery and sleep for 100 years. When they wake up, their car starts up and can be driven with no problem.
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problem.[[note]]Yet only the skeleton is left of one thief whose case was broken open by a rock.[[/note]]

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* Taken to ridiculous extremes in ''Literature/BattlefieldEarth,'' when Jonnie and friends manage to find working fighter jets and get them flying using ''1000-year-old'' fuel.


This is basically a SubTrope of RagnarokProofing, in that something leftover from the old society still works despite it being impossible. Sometimes this is {{handwave}}d through AppliedPhlebotinum, but often it just assumes that audiences think gasoline is eternal... probably because audiences [[RealityIsUnrealistic learned it]] [[ArtisticLicenseChemistry from them]].

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This is basically a SubTrope of RagnarokProofing, in that something leftover from the old society [[BreakOutTheMuseumPiece still works works]] despite it being impossible. Sometimes this is {{handwave}}d through AppliedPhlebotinum, but often it just assumes that audiences think gasoline is eternal... probably because audiences [[RealityIsUnrealistic learned it]] [[ArtisticLicenseChemistry from them]].


* ''ComicBook/UncleScrooge'': In "Chugwagon Derby" by Creator/CarlBanks, Scrooge reveals that as young man he bought a horseless carriage when they were first becoming available. However, after discovering that he could walk faster than the car could drive, he hid it away in a barn; afraid that people would laugh at him for his foolishness. However, after Donald shows him how you can make money in vintage car contests, he goes and hauls it out from under the pile of old harness where it is hiding. He comments that it runs on a mixture of kerosene and whale oil and, to his delight, he discovers there is still $1's worth in the tank. The fires the car up and it starts immediately. As the story was first published in 1961, the car and fuel would have had to have been sitting there for about 60 years.

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* ''ComicBook/UncleScrooge'': In "Chugwagon Derby" by Creator/CarlBanks, Creator/CarlBarks, Scrooge reveals that as young man he bought a horseless carriage when they were first becoming available. However, after discovering that he could walk faster than the car could drive, he hid it away in a barn; afraid that people would laugh at him for his foolishness. However, after Donald shows him how you can make money in vintage car contests, he goes and hauls it out from under the pile of old harness where it is hiding. He comments that it runs on a mixture of kerosene and whale oil and, to his delight, he discovers there is still $1's worth in the tank. The fires the car up and it starts immediately. As the story was first published in 1961, the car and fuel would have had to have been sitting there for about 60 years.

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* ''ComicBook/UncleScrooge'': In "Chugwagon Derby" by Creator/CarlBanks, Scrooge reveals that as young man he bought a horseless carriage when they were first becoming available. However, after discovering that he could walk faster than the car could drive, he hid it away in a barn; afraid that people would laugh at him for his foolishness. However, after Donald shows him how you can make money in vintage car contests, he goes and hauls it out from under the pile of old harness where it is hiding. He comments that it runs on a mixture of kerosene and whale oil and, to his delight, he discovers there is still $1's worth in the tank. The fires the car up and it starts immediately. As the story was first published in 1961, the car and fuel would have had to have been sitting there for about 60 years.
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See also BottomlessFuelTanks, which is particularly for VideoGames.


In RealLife, gasoline is a very refined and volatile product. Creating usable gasoline (or any other petroleum-based fuel) requires extracting petroleum from the ground, and separating the various elements of it by carbon chain in an oil refinery. Gasoline is meant to be used soon after production, and has a usable shelf life of about 3-5 months. With fuel stabilizer, you can get a few more months out of it, but no matter what you add or how you store it, storing it for more than a year is out of the question. After that, it starts to break down and vaporize, becoming completely unusable (and also reducing to gunk—usually called "varnish" in the trade, though it’s not exactly the best thing to waterproof your wooden table—that has to be cleaned out of the engine). But in today's modern world of nigh-ubiquitous motor vehicles, this is rarely a real problem.

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In RealLife, gasoline is a very refined and volatile product. Creating usable gasoline (or any other petroleum-based fuel) requires extracting petroleum from the ground, and separating the various elements of it by carbon chain in an oil refinery. Gasoline is meant to be used soon after production, and has a usable shelf life of about 3-5 months. With fuel stabilizer, you can get a few more months out of it, but no matter what you add or how you store it, storing it for more than a year is out of the question. After that, it starts to break down and vaporize, becoming completely unusable (and also reducing to vaporize. The non-volatile component left behind is a useless gunk—usually called "varnish" in the trade, though it’s not exactly the best thing to waterproof your wooden table—that has to be cleaned out of the engine).engine. But in today's modern world of nigh-ubiquitous motor vehicles, this is rarely a real problem.


* In ''VideoGame/TheLastOfUs'', Bill gives Joel some siphoning equipment to get gasoline out of cars for his truck he just gave him. These cars should be too old to have any usable gasoline though.

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* In ''VideoGame/TheLastOfUs'', Bill gives Joel some siphoning equipment to get gasoline out of cars for his truck he just gave him. These Since the game takes place 20 years after the end of civilization, these cars should be too old to have any usable gasoline though.gasoline.








* ''Film/TheBookOfEli''. It's been thirty years since a nuclear war that wiped out civilization, yet vehicles are still running on gasoline from before the apocalypse.



* ''Film/TheBookOfEli''. It's been thirty years since a nuclear war that wiped out civilization, yet vehicles are still running on gasoline from before the apocalypse.

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* ''Film/TheBookOfEli''. It's been thirty years since a nuclear war that wiped out civilization, yet vehicles are still running on gasoline from before the apocalypse.

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