East Hartford CT Auto Repair Blog - How Ethanol Affects Your Engine

How Ethanol Affects Your Engine

Due to recent government bills that are being tossed on the table regarding the ethanol content in fuel, it is imperative that people who deal with engines on a daily basis give their input.

Recently, the U.S. government has had discussions on passing a bill that could double the ethanol percentage in fuel.   If the government is trying to implement non-dependency on foreign oil, this is probably not the best route.  If you own a flex fuel vehicle, a Mazda w/ Skyactive technology, an electric vehicle, or any of the like; you may be in good shape.  But for the rest of the 70% (I believe this statistic is still close) of the population that doesn’t own one of these, or an electric vehicle, this mandate could mean big trouble.  Ethanol is bad news for rubber, plastic, gas, fuel injectors, valves, catalytic converters; you name it, it’s bad.  Vehicles literally have to be tailored to accept these types of fuel.  If they are not, repair bills on your vehicles are likely to increase drastically in the years to come.

If you have been to our repair facility, you know that we also fix all lawn and garden equipment as well as vehicles.  If you have been spending more than you are used to in the past 10 years on your lawn and garden equipment being repaired for fuel related problems, it is not a coincidence.  One of Ethanol’s chemical properties literally pulls moisture out of the air, which results in gas/water separation.   What cannot be adequately compressed and combusted?…..you guessed it….water!

There is some light at the end of the tunnel to help you; there is a chemical enzyme called Star-Tron that can drastically reduce ethanol related problems.  A more in depth look on this subject to come, but just to get the wheels turning and know you are not alone; we sympathize w/ you the consumer.

Quick Tip: After using any lawn and garden equipment in or out of season, turn the fuel shut-off to the off position and let the engine run itself out of gas.  Then store the machine until next use, and just open the gas valve again.  This will keep gas from sitting in the carburetor and keep moisture from accessing the fuel.  If you do not have a fuel shut-off on the machine, we can install one for you at very little cost, and your problems with fuel will be vastly reduced, likely non-existent.  Case-in-point: guess how often this mechanic had to fix his small engine equipment for a fuel problem….NEVER!  More to come…

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