Just been chatting to the local dealer about servicing in general and he was pretty much sounding suicidal about the issues ethanol is causing, especially to small engines.
They are a marine workshop but also have a large side of the business dedicated to mowers/small agricultural/garden equipment and have noticed issues increasing with fuel related problems but he was apocolyptic about how this has multiplied over the past year - cannot stress enough how in his words it is an un-mitigated disaster not just with poor running but eating away fuel lines, pumps, tanks, seals and causing thousands of pounds worth of damage to older cars/bikes and an endless cycle of grief. The 15% ethanol that is now being added to many fuels (except perhaps BP Ultimate types?) is something they just don't know what to do about, E5 and E10 being bad enough - running them dry is no guarantee.
A search bring up endless reports:
Anyone add to this or looked into it more?
This report below is a bit windy but the recommendations below are not good.
6.1 Fuel System compatibility
6.1.1 Vehicle problems resulting from the introduction of E10
Based on the experience of other markets where E10 has been introduced it is estimated that the majority of vehicles ten years old or older will not be compatible with E10 due to fuel system material incompatibility issues.
Field experience, vehicle trials and laboratory testing have demonstrated carburettor vehicles and powered two wheelers will suffer problems due to material incompatibility, corrosion and drivability problems.
Field experience has demonstrated first generation spark ignition direct injection vehicles are not compatible with E10 due to fuel system material incompatibility issues.
Field experience has demonstrated that vehicles and petrol fuelled equipment fitted with glass fibre fuel tanks may suffer catastrophic failure due to the incompatibility of the glass fibre resin with petrol ethanol blends.
****In addition to vehicles considered here, this could affect other applications not directly considered by this report, such as lawn mowers and pleasure craft. ****
Some documents do exist that have limited lists of vehicles compatible with E10 but if doubt exists the vehicle operator should contact the vehicle manufacturer for clarification.
Fuel filter blockage and reduced life of exhaust gas after treatment systems, the latter due to enleanment causing increased exhaust gas temperature, may be issues but this cannot be determined from the information gathered during this project. Vehicle trials and engine tests will be necessary to clarify the situation.
6.2 Carburettor icing
The findings of this study suggest the introduction of E10 will not result in a fuel that is more susceptible to causing carburettor icing.
6.3 Number of vehicles affected
Based on vehicle age, approximately 8.6 million vehicles will be unable to run on E10. Additionally some thousands of relatively new first generation SIDI vehicles and powered two wheelers will be unable to run on E10. A more exact estimation is not possible based on information available.
Based on an average vehicle life of 13 years very approximately half these vehicles will still be in use when the proposed phase out of E5 takes place in 2013.
*****Vehicles ten years old or older, carburettored vehicles (including powered two wheelers) and first generation direct injection spark ignition vehicles should not be fuelled on E10 unless the manufacturer can state the vehicles are compatible with E10. *****
The automotive industry should produce a comprehensive list of vehicles compatible with E10. While it is acknowledged that some lists do already exist if in doubt the vehicle operator should seek clarification from the vehicle manufacturer.
E5 should not be phased out in 2013, its widespread availability should continue for the foreseeable future.
Consideration should be given to maintaining a specification for E0 fuel for historic and vintage vehicles.