Motor fuel is stabilized by adding less than 2% of a tar fraction from peat, coal, torbanite or shale, said fraction containing sufficient constituents boiling between 200 and 325/sup 0/C, to inhibit gum formation. Low-temperature coal-tar fractions are specified. The preferred boiling ranges are from 225 or 250/sup 0/ to 275/sup 0/C. In examples, the quantity added was 0.01%. The fuel may be a cracked distillate of gasoline boiling-point range or containing gasoline, and may contain relatively large proportions of di- and tri-olefines. The material added to the fuel may be (1) the tar fraction itself; (2) its alkali-soluble constituents; (3) its acid-soluble constituents; (4) a mixture of (2) and (3); (5) a blend of (2), (3) or (4) with a normal tar fraction; (6) the residue after extraction with alkali; (7) the residue after extraction with acid and alkali.