If you didn’t already know this, now you do…
While Paul Cowland is a best known as a presenter for Salvage Hunters: Classic Cars, his 20-plus years working in the auto industry has involved buying, trading, and restoring many classics. In other words, the man knows his stuff, so many look to him for advice. That’s why when he recently sounded the alarm against putting E10 fuel in classic cars, people paid attention in a way they haven’t before.
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Most enthusiasts already know about the dangers of E10 biofuel. We’ve warned about it back when it first became available in the UK market. Here in the US we’ve already had plenty of experience with the stuff as well as the E15 blend, which is why they’re hated by many gearheads.
Thankfully, Cowland is helping to warn his countrymen. The TV star says E10 can affect classic cars by “eat(ing) a lot of their seals” while also dissolving the fuel lines. Those are things you just don’t want to deal with, especially if a sudden fuel line burst leads to a fire.
Classic cars weren’t designed to be run using ethanol – that’s just a fact. You really should avoid the stuff if you’re driving something older. Cowland recommends for his fellow Brits to seek out Super Unleaded at gas stations like Esso. He claims some of the pumps don’t dispense fuel with any ethanol in it. The man says if he’s “out and about” where he’s not sure where ethanol-free fuel is available, his “safeguard” is Castrol Valvemaster.
We recommend doing some research before you just start filling up the tank on your classic ride. With E10 finally hitting the UK market in September of 2021, British enthusiasts are still adjusting to the change. Biofuels are supposed to help cut vehicle emissions, however they can be corrosive to certain gaskets, fiberglass, rubber, metals, and even plastics. Adding to the fun is the fact they can absorb water like crazy, meaning you get condensation buildup in fuel tanks if you keep your hobby car parked during the winter.
Photos via IMDB