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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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