Is 10% Ethanol a problem, can I do anything about it?

   / Is 10% Ethanol a problem, can I do anything about it? #1  

smartguyz

Gold Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2003
Messages
488
Location
Beaverton, Oregon
Tractor
JD318, Power-Trac PT425 with scuffed-up green paint.
Hi guys,

For those of us running smaller gas units, like the 425 I have, is 10% ethanol a problem? I think of this every time I go to buy gas for the 425, and see that the pump says "10% Ethanol added".

I am well-aware that the Kohler (and the Robin) are designed to work with regular unleaded gasoline with no additives, to my knowledge.

I am certain that 10% Ethanol creates a hotter-burning mixture, possibly leading to burned valves and other bad things.

What say you? Any empirical evidence that this stuff is bad, and is there anything we can do about it? Additives, etc.?

-Rob :)
 
   / Is 10% Ethanol a problem, can I do anything about it? #2  
Hi guys,

For those of us running smaller gas units, like the 425 I have, is 10% ethanol a problem? I think of this every time I go to buy gas for the 425, and see that the pump says "10% Ethanol added".

I am well-aware that the Kohler (and the Robin) are designed to work with regular unleaded gasoline with no additives, to my knowledge.

I am certain that 10% Ethanol creates a hotter-burning mixture, possibly leading to burned valves and other bad things.

What say you? Any empirical evidence that this stuff is bad, and is there anything we can do about it? Additives, etc.?

-Rob :)

I have been running all of my small engines on E10 for years with no ill effects

It's pretty tough to find fuel around here that doesn't have some ethanol in it
 
   / Is 10% Ethanol a problem, can I do anything about it? #3  
Most of the higher octane fuels do not have ethanol - so you could use mid-grade if available.
Mike
 
   / Is 10% Ethanol a problem, can I do anything about it? #4  
Locally, I have noticed some small individual stations are starting to offer no-alcohol gas. They advertise it that way, apparently trying to lure business away from the chains. 10% ethanol lowers mileage enough to be noticeable. I imagine some people will switch to the alcohol free stuff, if it doesn't cost too much.
 
   / Is 10% Ethanol a problem, can I do anything about it?
  • Thread Starter
#5  
Most of the higher octane fuels do not have ethanol - so you could use mid-grade if available.
Mike

That's interesting. I thought everything (all grades) had the Ethanol.

-Rob :)
 
   / Is 10% Ethanol a problem, can I do anything about it? #6  
Most of the higher octane fuels do not have ethanol - so you could use mid-grade if available.
Mike

Here if you can get it with out it is lower octane
 
   / Is 10% Ethanol a problem, can I do anything about it? #7  
That's interesting. I thought everything (all grades) had the Ethanol.

-Rob :)

They do here. All the common brands have the stickers on all the pumps.
 
   / Is 10% Ethanol a problem, can I do anything about it? #8  
Locally, I have noticed some small individual stations are starting to offer no-alcohol gas. They advertise it that way, apparently trying to lure business away from the chains. 10% ethanol lowers mileage enough to be noticeable. I imagine some people will switch to the alcohol free stuff, if it doesn't cost too much.

Interesting you say that. I just drove up to New York last night to pick up a bandsaw I got on ebay and saw lot's of stations with those sign's out in New Jersey and New York. Around here there's still plenty of stations that sell real gas so I don't have to search all around for it.

One note on Ethanol is that from some of the studies I have read it looks like Ethanol increases the amount of deposits in injectors. There are a couple of studies going on now to try to see why it is happening.
 
   / Is 10% Ethanol a problem, can I do anything about it? #9  
Most of the higher octane fuels do not have ethanol - so you could use mid-grade if available.
Mike

In some cases the stations only have two tanks, one regular and one premium. The mid-grade is created by blending at the pump, so if ethanol is in the regular then it is in the mid-grade too, although at less concentration if the premium is ethanol free.

Interesting note- it apparently takes less premium than regular in a mix to equal the mid-grade. IOW if regular is 87 octane and premium is 93 octane it takes less than 50% premium to make a 90 octane mix.
Nice little profit center for the station owner since most charge in the middle for mid-grade, around here anyway.
 
   / Is 10% Ethanol a problem, can I do anything about it? #10  
Back to the original question: No, E10 won't hurt your engine.

When ethanol is blended at the blender to get E5.7 (CA average) or E10, or whatever, the hydrocarbon mix is altered, including the additive packages. 87 E10 is still 87 octane. It doesn't run hotter. 100% ethanol is around 105 octane, and helps the blender "stretch" the octane components of the fuel. In California, only one supplier has ethanol free gasoline, and it is not adverised.

For those of you old enough to remember the fuss over the switch from leaded to unleaded, a similar brouhaha is going on with the inclusion of ethanol in gasoline. It is a new, to many people, fuel, and lots of odd things are being attributed to the ethanol- e.g. flying cows, off the line acceleration, pink elephants, massive HP gains, decreased fuel economy, altered emissions, kangaroos in upstate NY(to my knowledge, only the latter two or three are true).

This is a plea for common sense. Look at reviews at national organizations, like Consumer Reports. Don't believe all that you read in the media, especially the internet.

Do believe that a great number of petroleum chemists spent a lot of time and money getting gasoline ethanol blends that work. Why? Because a lot of money was riding on it.

If the fuel can be demonstrated to be bad, the oil company that created the blend is liable for the damage. Given the number of cars on the road, that is not something that they would want to have happen. I'm not saying that one brand of gasoline may or may not be better, but I am saying that if someone is disparaging the fuel, they better have real, statistical data with large numbers of engines. "Ah had a buddy whoz gran pappy had this ol engine that jus plain melted..." Don't believe me- go read data at ASME, CR, EPA, CARB, etc.

Bottom line:
  • worry about the brand,
  • worry about how fresh the fuel is, and
  • worry whether or not the stations' fuel tanks were just filled (which is bad because it stirs up debris- give it a day to settle again).
  • Don't worry about whether it has ethanol in it.
Why using brand X, my first car went 287,000 miles...Oh, wait that's anecdotal... :)

Happy tractoring folks...

All the best,

Peter
 
 
Top