and it eats things away – including parts of your car!
While everyone and their dog are in a mad rush to recommend that we convert to alternative fuels sometimes, some very important facts are being overlooked.
One of those important facts is that when you add ethanol to normal fuel it becomes corrosive. Here in Australia that level of corrosion is kept down because of the relatively small percentage of ethanol that is added to our fuel. But it is still enough to cause problems to fuel lines, injection systems and other parts of the motor.
In America where the push to use ethanol is even greater they have two types of ethanol fuel – E10 and E85. The numbers refer to the percentage of ethanol in the fuel that people buy. E10 has 10% ethanol while E85 has 85% ethanol and the higher the number the more corrosive the fuel mix is.
The Americans understood that and so if you have a vehicle that will handle E85 you will also have a heavily modified vehicle that won’t suffer from those corrosive properties. However, someone forgot that E85 just doesn’t magically appear in your fuel tank.
It needs to be stored in big storage tanks at the gas stations and it has to pass through piping and pumps to actually get into a vehicle’s fuel tank and it seems that no one bothered to think about the corrosion that E85 would cause to those gas station storage tanks, pipes and pumps.
But now they are and for some installations it’s way too late.