by Mark Daul
Outdoors in Niagara
In November 2011, this column wrote about the effects of E-10 gasoline in your boat, your automobile, lawn mower and farm equipment. Most of us have been lucky, especially those using the new fuel additives/stabilizers such as K-9, which is made right here on Balmer Road. There are several others right now such as 'Stabil' a well known, long regarded, readily available stabilizer, but be sure to buy the new one that is fit for E-10 gas.
We also wrote about the coming of E-15 gasoline soon to hit the market. Well, it did. Not here in Western New York at this moment, but look out, if EPA regulators have their way it will.
Automakers say they may void warranties for anyone using E-15 gasoline. This past summer, the EPA approved the use of E-15 gasoline in Nebraska, Iowa and Kansas. I think the EPA is using motorists in these states as guinea pigs to see how good their thinking is in allowing E-15. With the "green" push away from fossil fuels, you can be certain, regardless of how these people fare we'll have E-15 in our gas tanks, like it or not. So pay attention, there is a strong likelihood that additional states will soon have this too.
According to the American Automobile Association (AAA), and their research, "To date raises serious concerns that E15, a fuel blend consisting of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline, could cause accelerated engine wear and failure, fuel system damage and other problems such as false 'check engine' lights" ... "The potential damage could result in costly repairs for unsuspecting consumers."
AAA statements continue, "Five manufacturers (BMW, Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen) state their warranties will not cover E15 claims. Eight additional automakers (GM, Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo) state that E15 does not comply with fuel requirements specified in most owners' manuals and may void warranties. It is difficult to comprehend why the EPA would choose to ignore all these warnings."
I guess that is telling us something.
In June, the EPA approved the use of E15, and a handful of gas stations have begun to sell this fuel. There is a strong likelihood that retailers will market E15 in additional states soon unless regulators take immediate action to protect consumers.
I have had some people tell me alcohol based gasoline is still available in several locations around Western New York. Not so true. An EPA mandate as of Jan. 1 2011, requires all motor fuel must contain ethanol based fuels, and all do contain ethanol, it doesn't matter if it's a boat fuel, or whatever, and if you have an older engine (pre-2011) you had better pay special attention when E-15 arrives in WNY filling stations.
Ask any ASE certified technician what they think about ethanol based fuels, and they'll tell you what they see with just E-10 fuels, and now with the arrival of E-15, the damages to your fuel tanks, fuel lines, emission systems, and even your engine, all at your expense will be even greater.
The AAA states, "The simple truth is that E15 is a product not yet ready for public consumption, and government regulators have an obligation to suspend sales until these issues are addressed."
If you want to read more, check out the AAA website and FOX Business News also has a brief video on their website.