E10 Fuel Pump

E10 Fuel and Classic Cars

Very shortly E10 fuel will be readily available at all petrol stations throughout the UK, but there are major concerns about what potential issues may arise for classic cars.

What is E10?

Basically, E10 contains Ethanol which is added to petrol to make it burn more cleanly, therefore having a more positive effect on the environment reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 20% compared to petrol.

It has been suggested there could be a number of issues with classic car engines and particularly older fuel systems.

Some of the issues many classic cars will have is that the materials used at the time could be subject to failure or breakdown because of the use of ethanol. Materials such as epoxy resin, cork and nylon are to name but a few. Ethanol can also oxidise and corrode components that are made of aluminium and brass which can be found in fuel systems and engine cylinder heads.

It is also worth noting that the fuel and air mixture is leaner which can affect the performance and more importantly the running temperature of the engine.

To help you keep your car healthy we have listed below some key points:

  • Check whether your car is eligible to use E10 fuel. You can use the Government E10 tool here.
  • If your car is not eligible, use the super unleaded fuel as the rule of thumb, the FBHVC recommends that vehicles manufactured before 2000 and some from the early 2000s that are considered not compatible, should use super unleaded fuel.
  • With the recent changes to not requiring an MOT for historic vehicles, this sometimes means that your car is not inspected regularly so it is very important with the use of E10 fuel, your fuel system components are inspected on a regular basis.
  • It’s good practise to replace parts with ethanol safe options as part of the long-term upkeep of your car
  • As with most cars, they don’t like to sit around long term, so it’s good practise to run your car up regularly to ensure that the fuel in it is regularly replaced with fresh petrol.
  • If you are considering using a specialist corrosion inhibitor petrol additive, the recommendation is that elastomer and gasket materials are replaced before running your classic on E10.
  • If the vehicle is to be laid up or stored, it would be good practise to replace E10 petrol with ethanol free petrol.

You can view FBHVC’s full stance on E10 with some more handy advice for you and your classic car, please visit their article here.

The information contained in this blog should be used for information only and is not intended to be taken as advice with respect to any specific or individual situation and therefore cannot be relied upon.

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