It really is a wonderful gift from the government…
For those of us living in the United States, ethanol-laced gas has become a hiss and a byword for so many reasons. Even the environmentalists are increasingly realizing the detriments of the stuff. Now drivers on the other side of the pond are learning why we curse the stuff as they grapple with the reality of E10 fuel in the UK.
Of course, the US has problems with too much ethanol, as evidenced here.
A new report from UK news outlet Express highlights growing concerns about E10 causing damage to seals and other components in classic car engines. Previously, the UK only had E5 fuel, so doubling the amount of ethanol has increased incidents of trouble.
However, one expert Express talked to claimed regular “petrol” damages rubber gaskets in classic car engines anyway. He told the outlet, “What you need to be doing is no more than you are already doing when maintaining your fuel system.” In other words, the guy seems to feel the concern over E10 fuel is overblown, saying corrosion won’t accelerate much more if drivers put that fuel in their tank.
Since we have E85 in certain parts of the US, Americans are unfortunately quite familiar with the possible detriments of adding a little bit of ethanol to fuel. Of course, if you own a flex fuel vehicle it doesn’t cause any problems. As for the lower-level blends, newer vehicles generally can handle them without many if any issues. However, even a little bit of the corn juice can cause problems in classic cars.
As you likely already know, ethanol will draw in moisture from the surrounding air, which is part of the problem with using it in fuel. It can be corrosive not only to rubber but also metals and plastic. Critics have also argued it increases air pollution and is detrimental to food production.
Image via Alejandro Barron