Everything you need to know to safely manage E10 gasoline in your engines.
Fuel system and gas rules have changed - Precautions are necessary with E10 ethanol-blends of gasoline.

  • Ethanol is alcohol and will attract/absorb water into gas resulting in phase separation of fuel.
Due to the instability of gas containing alcohol, shelf life is less than 3 months.
  • Fuel Testers recommends testing gasoline for alcohol at the pumps before purchase.
Alcohol Fuel Test Kits will assure gas contains 10% or less ethanol.  ORDER a Gas Test Kit.
  • A profit motive exists to over-blend more than 10% (legal limit) ethanol into gas;
Due to government ethanol tax credits and subsidies supported by taxpayers.

Precautions/Tips For Use of E10 Gas

1. Test gas for alcohol presence and to assure it is below the legal limit of 10%.
Gas alcohol levels above 10 percent can cause major damage to many engines. The % of ethanol found at individual gas pumps vary and change daily with each gasoline delivery. Ethanol is usually added by the local fuel distributors/suppliers, not at the major gas brand company refineries.
Inexpensive portable Fuel Test Kits that check presence of water and alcohol in gas are now available.

2. Replace the gas in your fuel tank at least every 2-3 weeks.
The shelf life of E-10 gas is only 3 months (90-100 days) under ideal environmental conditions.

3.  Know the specific fuel laws for your state.
Many states still do not require the labeling of E10 gas at the pumps. View state ethanol labeling lawshttp://www.fuel-testers.com/state_guide_ethanol_laws.html

Note: In October 2010 the EPA approved an application from ACE, Growth Energy and 54 ethanol producers seeking to increase E10 to 15% ethanol.  In December '10 engine manufacturers filed a class action lawsuit to stop the increase. Plus debates continue on how to label pumps to warn consumers that engine manufacturers disapprove of E15 and use of this new fuel type will invalidate warranties for fuel system repairs...
4.   Check your owner's manual for fuel type recommended.  Older engines (prior to about 1998) and several other vehicles (e.g. marine, lawn equipment) do not permit the use of alcohol fuels. Engines that require higher octane grade fuels often experience drivability problems and part damage from the use of E10 gas.

5.  Prevent external water and moisture (high humidity) from coming in contact with E-10 gas. 

6. Ethanol-blend fuels will lower MPG in most engines; Fuel efficiency can decrease by 2-40%.  Maintain your engine to provide the best possible fuel efficiency. (Inflate tires, keep tuned, etc.). View more information on fuel efficiency and mpg of E-10 gas.

7.  Chose an octane level above 89, for an added level of security when purchasing E-10 gas.  If water contaminates (WC) your gas, the fuel will dilute and the octane level can drop up to 4 points.

8. Avoid all fuel additives and fuel system treatment products that contain ethanol or are alcohol-based,
Most octane boosters and fuel system cleansers contain alcohol.  View gas additive list.

9.  Become familiar with symptoms and effects of "bad gas", often caused by too high alcohol levels of gas.
Symptoms include varied malfunctions including stalling, hesitation, smoke released from exhaust, clogged fuel filters and carburetors, damage to fuel pumps, pistons and injectors, disintegration and dissolving of engine parts (especially rubber and plastic), drying-out of parts (hoses), and more.

10.  Save money - Contaminated gas can not be restored to the original composition. 
No miracle product or ingredient exists that will completely prevent all water absorption or safely repair phase separated (PS) gas. 

11. Frequently check gasoline tank for signs of Water Contamination (WC) and Phase Seperation (PS).
Two or three distinct layers will be seen after WC and PS occur.

12. Check engine manufacturer warranty for details and consequences of alcohol fuel use.  Most engine warranties exclude repairs caused by the use of fuel containing over 10% ethanol or water contamination.

13.  Install a water-separator filter (10 micron or better),

14.  Store E-10 and E-85 ethanol gas in clean and dry alcohol-resistant tanks.  Fuel discoloration indicates gas contamination, often caused from the release (cleansing) of rust, dirt and sediment from the gas tank walls.

15.  Properly discard any fuel that appears to have gone bad.

16.  Keep your engine well tuned and lubricated and follow the manufacturers recommended maintenance schedule.  Replace parts that are not resistant to alcohol. Plastic and rubber parts and hoses are most vulnerable.  Fuel system and pumps, piston and carburetor and timing may need changes to be compatible. Older engines often contain parts not designed to resist ethanol/alcohol.

17.  Be aware that "private" gas pumps (EG. marine fuel) are not always required to follow the same laws that pertain to public stations.  In most states private marine stations are "allowed" to sell non-ethanol gas, but many do not. This is usually because their fuel   suppliers no longer distribute non-ethanol gas and/or due to higher profit margin for E10 (due to goverment funded ethanol subsidies and tax credits).

18. Airplanes (all aircraft) are exempt from using ethanol blends and all alcohol fuels.

19.  Many types of engines are not designed for the use of alcohol fuel.  This may include older cars and outboards, lawn and other small gas-powered equipment.  Only during the past 5-10 years, have the manufacturers' re-designed engines, when necessary, to be compatible with E-10 gas.  View Manufacturer Ethanol Recommendations and Warnings.

20.  State laws vary widely regarding distribution and pump labeling requirements.  Some states mandate ethanol in conventional gas, some allow premium without ethanol, some do NOT require pump labeling to inform consumer when alcohol is added. It is important to know current laws in your area.

MORE INFORMATION Review our website directory/index for more ethanol and gasoline information.

Alcohol in E10 ethanol gasoline has caused engine problems & damage, especially to older vehicles and marine outboard boat motors.
E10 gasoline causes many more problems and disadvantages than benefits.  E85 fuels used only in flex fuel vehicles is far more advantageous.  E-85 flex-fuel is not a perfect solution, but it does help to decrease our dependence on foreign oil.

The United States must take the necessary steps to provide a beneficial type of alternative/renewable NON-petroleum fuel in the near future. Possibilities include hybrid automobiles, electric vehicles and future engines powered by wind/solar, hydrogen fuel cells, natural gas and more.

With all the negative consequences of ethanol (risk of parts damage, gas contamination, lower mpg, etc.) it seems ethanol is most beneficial (profitable) to the ethanol producers E.G. ACE, American Coalition for Ethanol and Growth Energy.

Consumers MUST Protect Their Right to Buy Gas WithOUT Ethanol - Sign Petition.

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