Petrol drivers issued with E10 Christmas warning

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David Bilsborough, Business Owner at Cheshire Cars claimed many vehicle owners “won’t be able to run on E10”. He warned that any drivers who are “experiencing problems” with their vehicles could be suffering from the effects of the newly introduced fuel compund. 

Mr Bilsborough claimed: “It certainly is the case that in some cars you will only be able to use E5.

“You won’t be able to run them on E10 without serious risk and serious damage to your engine.

“For some people, you will need to just use E5.” He added: “If your car is experiencing problems it could be to do with the new E10 fuel. It has 10 percent ethanol in it, weakening the mixture.”

Jonathan Barbara, Managing Director of Parkers MOT, also previously warned that he had seen a range of fuel-related issues in recent months.

He warned the risks of E10 damage would only worsen in the months ahead, especially at times over Christmas and winter.

He previously told Express.co.uk: “Possibly there will be times over Christmas where we don’t use our cars as much.

“Most definitely, without a shadow of a doubt, give it six months to a year we are going to see some bigger problems coming along.

“Most problems can be rectified in a service. But some of them won’t be. I imagine some of them will probably kill a car cost-wise.”

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Tom Hixon, Head of Instructor Support at Bill Plant Driving School, added to those claims saying that there is “growing speculation” surrounding E10.

Mr Hixon said: “The reasoning behind this concern is justified, as the increase to 10 percent renewable ethanol in E10 is likely to attract water to your vehicle.

“This is a cause for concern as increased water vapour may lead to accelerated corrosion and damage to the vehicle’s system.”

Mr Hixon continued: “Increased levels of water vapour in the engine and fuel may also cause the fuel to freeze in extreme temperatures.

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“There are also concerns surrounding the acidic levels held by ethanol which could lead to faster decay of metal components within the vehicle.

“These fears surrounding E10 are understandable, but unlikely to occur as long as the car is not left for long periods of time.

“If you intend on leaving your car stagnant throughout the colder months, either aim to fill your tank up completely to leave less space for water vapour to enter, or syphon what’s left in the fuel tank and leave it empty throughout these colder months – this will help avoid decay caused by trapped water vapour.”

Generally, the RAC says older models built before 2002 should not use the new E10 fuel compound.

However, E10-compatible parts were only made mandatory on cars since 2011 meaning many newer cars may also be affected.

Insurance experts at Hagerty warned ethanol can “eat through rubber” and other key parts.

They warned cars’ fuel hoses and seals were likely to “perish more quickly” due to the new compound.

The Department for Transport, however, stressed that 95 percent of vehicles are compatible with E10.

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