Classic Car Club of America


Oregon Region




Technical Articles

Oregon Region Classic Car Club of America - all rights reserved.



In Oregon the mandatory pumping of gasoline with 10 percent ethanol also known as EI0 gas begin (February 1st 2009) throughout northwestern Oregon. All gas stations in Oregon are required to sell the EI0 blend.

Note: You can still (at a premium price) get non-e10 fuel at select stations.


Alcohol is an excellent cleaner, solvent, anti-freeze and most important, ethanol is hygroscopic, meaning it will absorb large amounts of water.


This may be great news for the environment, but the Oregon Marine Board points out there's a potential glitch for boat owners. The problem is ethanol is a solvent, and will loosen sludge in your tank and fuel lines, clogging fuel filters, carburetors and injectors," according to a Marine Board news release.


They also point out, ethanol absorbs water extremely well, which is a problem because boat tanks are vented outside.


Hmm you say we are driving old cars not boats. Good point but if you look closely you will see that our old cars can suffer the same effects as older boat motors.


There is lots of data out that says a 10% blend with ethanol will not hurt your car engines. This is no doubt true for cars manufactures after the mid to late 80ties.


The problem with our old cars is three fold, First: The rubber parts of our fuel systems was not designed to deal with ethanol as solvent.


Secondly: Ethanol is a solvent and will also loosen old sludge and deposits which will  end up in our fuel filter and or carburetor.


And third: Ethanol can cause a motor to run lean on fuel, due to the fact water will not burn and will take the place of fuel.

Vapor lock (fuel starvation) is more common when using ethanol fuels


Among the precautions being recommended:


·     Run a non-alcohol fuel stabilizer in your car's fuel system at all times. This is recommended for engines that sit for more than a few weeks."

·     If you winterize your car and don't plan on using it for a while, run the tank down to almost empty and then add fuel stabilizer. Then, the following spring, refill the tank with fresh gasoline. Note: You should still add fuel stabilizer and run the engine long enough to get the stabilizer through the carburetor.

·     Or, keep the tank full to pre­vent any condensation from occurring. It's important to avoid water intrusion into your fuel system. Note: You  should still add fuel stabilizer and run the engine long enough to get the stabilizer through the carburetor.

·     If you do not have a fuel filter installed, now is a good time to do so. Keep a stock of spare fuel filters handy. Change them annually.

·     Rubber fuel lines older than the mid-to-late 1980's should be inspected and may need to be replaced.

·     This goes for fuel pumps as well. The fabric used in older pumps was not designed to deal with Ethanol.

In Summary, E10 fuel is a mild version of blended fuels and probably not a serious problem for our old cars. But the above precautions recommended are good and will help us from having on the road breakdowns even if we manage to avoid using E10 fuel.

If you want more information then you can check it out at: