Why you should avoid filling up your gas tank with ethanol-laced fuel
by: Jonathan Benson
New guidelines recently put forth by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for automobile fuel could spell disaster for your car's engine. The Environmental Working Group (EWG) reports that the EPA is set to approve E15 automobile fuel, or fuel that contains up to 15 percent ethanol, which is so damaging to car engines that many car manufacturers have put out warnings that using it will void car warranties.
For many years now, the federal government has been incrementally mandating that gas stations around the country sell E10, an up to ten percent ethanol-blended gasoline, for the purpose of supposedly reducing emissions. The theory purports that ethanol burns cleaner than pure gasoline, and requires less petroleum to produce than typical fossil fuels.
But this theory has been debunked by reality, which has shown that even ten percent ethanol-blended gasoline produces lower mileage per gallon, and gradually destroys engines over time. Ethanol-laced gasoline has also been shown to produce more pollutants than pure gasoline, which is a complete contradiction to the claims made by the pro-ethanol industry for why adding it to gasoline is supposedly beneficial.
"Ethanol is more corrosive and burns hotter than gasoline, properties that could cause some engines to stall, misfire and overheat," wrote EWG in a recent press release. "Fuel with higher ethanol blends emits more nitrous oxide and formaldehyde than gasoline, lowers mileage and damages fuel tanks and pumps."Millions of drivers could destroy their engines by improperly fueling their cars with E15
As bad as E10 is, E15 is far worse. According to EWG, E15 is so damaging to automobile engines that using it can void their warranties. And even though the EPA intends to approve E15 only for vehicles manufactured after the year 2000, pump labeling requirements around the country are so patchy that many drivers will likely mistakenly pump the wrong fuel into their cars.
Most of today's vehicles simply have not been designed to properly run on ethanol-blended fuel, whether it is E10 or E15. But using anything above E10 in most conventional vehicles is almost sure to cause immediate and serious problems, whereas using E10 and below is more likely to cause longer-term problems that show up later.
"Instead of approving a fuel that will pose health and safety hazards and damage engines, the U.S. should invest in energy efficiency measures and research and development for truly sustainable biofuels," said Sheila Karpf, a legislative analyst with EWG. "The high cost of replacing or repairing engines will be tacked onto corn ethanol's other costs -- including higher food prices, increased soil erosion and polluted water supplies."
When fueling your vehicle, always be sure to read the pump carefully to ensure that you are getting E10 fuel or less. If possible, try to find pure gasoline -- some states still sell pure fuel, which will protect the life and integrity of your engine, and even help improve your gas mileage by up to 25 percent.
Here is a helpful resource for finding ethanol-free gas near you:http://www.buyrealgas.com/
If a pump is not properly labeled, or you are confused as to which fuel is dispensed from which pump, always be sure to ask the attendant for assistance. It is always best to be safe rather than sorry, as one mistake could cost you thousands of dollars in repairs.
Here are some other helpful precautions and tips about E10 gasoline:http://www.fuel-testers.com/ethanol_engine_precautions.html
Also, be sure to check out the 2012 EWG Ethanol Report:http://www.ewg.org/report/ethanolSources for this article include:http://www.ewg.org/report/ethanol/presshttp://www.fuel-testers.com/ethanol_fuel_history.html