The Trouble with Ethanol

The Trouble with Ethanol

Here are some of the comments we’ve found online regarding ethanol in the fuel supply of internal combustion engines. The evidence is undeniable, ethanol is not good for engines but great for the business of reconditioning fuel injectors.

“Ethanol is a solvent that attracts water. These two properties can lead to clogged filters, inadequate lubrication in two-strokes and low octane conditions that can damage engines.”

. . . “Ethanol has been linked to the weakening of fiberglass gas tanks, as well as clogged fuel filters and carburetors. E10 has a shorter shelf-life than gasoline and also attracts water, causing yet another set of problems. But most alarming is the deterioration of certain gas tanks.” . . .

“The resin released by ethanol makes its way through the fuel system where it sticks to valves and other internal engine parts. The buildup of this sticky black substance has bent pushrods, clogged intake valves and ruined some engines. Affected engines may run rough, stall or bog down under load.” . . .
Boat U.S. Magazine July 2006
“Employees at the shop regularly rebuilt carburetors gummed up from the so-called “varnish” that builds up from unstabilized gas left sitting in engines. But since ethanol started being added to fuel sold in Florida in 2007, the power equipment pros were seeing something new: metal parts crusted up, plastic parts stiffened and cracked, and everything rubber, including the tips of needle valves, deteriorated.”
Consumer Reports.org June 24, 2009
Los Angeles, April, 2008 “A class action lawsuit charges that major oil companies are manufacturing and selling ethanol blended gasoline that damages marine fuel tanks, engines and other components.

“The price of gas is bad enough, but selling gasoline that dissolves gas tanks is a new low even for the oil companies,” said Brian Kabateck, the lead attorney on the case. “The oil companies know this fuel is corrosive, but they’re keeping consumers in the dark to pump up their profits. The cost to the consumer is thousands of dollars in repairs.”
Consumeraffairs.com April 2008 and kbklawyers.com
The latest news is that starting in 2011, gas stations will start selling fuel with 15% ethanol content, up from the previous 10%.

EPA says tests show E15 won’t harm 2001 and newer vehicles, which have hoses and gaskets and seals specially designed to resist corrosive ethanol. But using E15 fuel in older vehicles or in power equipment such as mowers, chainsaws and boats, can cause damage and now is literally a federal offense.

“If drivers mistakenly put E15 in their tanks and their vehicles aren’t designed to burn it, they could risk damaging their engines. Car and truck owners with questions may contact their dealership’s service department to determine any fuel restrictions,” according to a cautionary note today from the National Automobile Dealers Association.
USA Today