- New for 2009 - Consumer reports: Engine damage due to contaminated E10 gasoline.
Over the past few years we have received thousands of reports from consumers who believe their engines were unnecessarily damaged due to E10 fuel gas contamination.
We have copied some reports here to inform others who may have expereinced a similar problem;
The best method to treat gas that is grossly contaminated is to remove and discard fuel and replace with new, fresh high quality gasoline.
Prevention is your best method to avoid costly engine damage from contaminated gasoline.
Common signs of gas contamination:
Stalling, hesitation, inability to start engine; Vapor lock or fuel starvation; Corrosion and rusting of engine parts; Clogging of fuel and water separator filters; Piston/bore failure through knock/pre-ignition; Reduced octane symptoms; More.
Note: The reports we receive are from the public, usually submitted by email or mail. We have no way to confirm the accuracy of information submitted; Reports included here contain the exact content that was submitted (including typos) - Although we do remove unimportant details and all personal identifying information.
For information purposes only - We strongly advise you to use common sense and your own personal and/or mechanical judgement before drawing any conclusions from reports you review below.
Fuel-testers believes that many of the problems reported could have been avoided if the engine owners had followed all precautions necessary with E10 gasoline.
Sometimes the engine damage was a direct result and consequence of owner unknowingly purchasing contaminated fuel at their local station -And fresh high quality E10 would not have caused the same type of problem. Occassionally damage was due to engine type not being designed to run on ethanol blends of gas, common in older engines and/or marine motors.
Consumer Reports of Contaminated Gas & Engine Damage
Gas that is water contaminated separates into 2 or 3 visible layers - Water (and ethanol) drops to the bottom of tank.
Engine type: Briggs & Stratton, Small gas-powered equipment. Location: Maine Initials: C.P.C. Date: 1/18/2009
" Motor siezed after running gasoline with 10% ethanol -Reporting that my 3 year old woodsplitter with a Briggs & Stratton 6.5 hp motor seized up. Oil was fine and could not figure out what or why until I found this website. Not very happy. Please advise. "
" Hello I currently drive a 93 Altima, and my car has been stalling ever sense using ethanol e-10, I was using gas at a gas station Gate (March 2008), had regular gas no ethanol and car ran fine,but they converted to ethanol and my car started to stall with black ehaust from tail pipe.
I have been to sunaco, race trac- their gas is worse car does not even stay started runs one minute and dies. Shell, texico. BP, at all these places my car still stalls on their fuel
I looked in my hand book and ethanol is not recommanded to be safe for my car, It does state I can use oxygenate fuel, Methanol of 5% but if driveability problem accour to stop using and switch to non-oxygenated blend fuel.
I have been mixing water and e-10 together and notice the ethanol fuel and water mix goes to the bottom so I drained the water mix out, and filtered the gas and placed the gas into my car (not the water mix) and my car runs good I have been doing this for 6 months
with no problem, and i noticed my mpg went up, from 31 to 39, interstate miles and I noticed the ethanol water mix is oily to the touch I think this kills the spark or dampens the vapor mist from the injectors when injected to the combustion chamber which causes car to stall, Thank you for your time M.L. "
Follow-up Email received on 2/20/2009:
" Thank you for your reply its helpful. I have attached my owners manual page, my be this can help you to help me.
I know some car manufactures recommend ethanol of 10, but not on my car. it has methanol fuel of no more then 10%, the thing it states if stalling, to switch to non-oxygenate-blend fuel.
I live in Florida, I have asked the gas stations, as well as the distributor and so far I'm told all stations here in Fl has 10%ethanol,
Florida has the ethanol everywhere. I dont hate ethanol, I just wished the government would have given us a choice. or ethanol and non ethanol fuel. I had all filters replaced I even brought new fuel injectors, and the fuel pump is new, replaced monthly. for they die out, for some reason. I have replaced the idle control valve by Nissan. I even had Nissan put a new ECM for the car and still runs the same.
I use 93 octane when I add water, then strain off the water ethanol mix, doing this my car runs fine with no problems. there are reports of 40% ethanol by local shops. your right i may have to test the gas.
I was thinking getting the ethanol conversion kit, I hope this will fix my problem. it gives a second pulse of fuel to the engine so it has a correct ratio. this makes sense to me. Nissan told me ethanol has a lower vapor rating then gas, and the vapor is different.so needing more fuel to run by the computer. thank you M.L. "
" ETHANOL DAMAGE TO MY TWO HONDA OUTBOARDS - I have two 1997 Honda 90 hp outboards on my boat. They have always run perfectly and I take good care of them. The marina where I keep my boat recently advised that they could no longer buy non-ethanol mixed gas. So I was forced to add ethanol mixed gas the last time I added fuel. I have two 62 gallon tanks built into my boat, one for each engine. I added 20 gallons of the ethanol mixed gas to each tank. I drove the boat over to the slip and left it for a week before returning for my next short fishing trip. I started the engines and departed the marina. I was moving slowly, about 3500 RPMs on the engines, when about 1/8th of a mile from the marina, both engines quit running. I finally got one engine restarted, and limped back to the marina. I got my boat to the mechanic who always works on it within 2 days. All eight of my carburetors (4 on each engine) are corroded and pitted. This boat has always run perfect. I am very angry at this one-size-fits-all mentality in forcing ethanol into all gas in Washington State. What a waste. S.S. "