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Thread: AAA Warning on Ethanol

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  1. #31
    Registered User rxcrider's Avatar
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    Aug 2010
    North Ridgeville OH
    Quote Originally Posted by rickyD View Post
    That's exactly one of my points. The fuel systems are already designed to tolerate alcohol in the mix. How likely is it the designers of those systems specified for an absolute max at 10%. O rings, gaskets, seals, plastic parts, etc. that will survive 10% will fail at 15%? Not likely IMO.

    Here you're talking about variables and contaminants and they can never be accounted for. Modern fuel systems are isolated from the atmosphere so water take up by the ethanol should not be significant.
    Components which were designed to survive for a reasonable period of time in E10 may fail sooner in E15.

    Water absorption can occur before you pump a drop into your tank and no fuel system is isolated from the atmosphere. If it was, you'd have a vaccuum in your tank as soon as you started riding. Outside air filling the void in the tank as fuel is consumed may be filtered through a carbon canister, but that doesn't remove humidity.

    If you have a fuel injected engine with a closed loop system that was designed to run on E10, it can probably accomodate E15 without too much trouble. If the design was marginal and you were maxing out the trim, fuel injector flow or pump capacity with E10, E15 may push you over the edge. Open loop and carbureted engines may require modification to run properly on E15. Unfortunately, those modifications may be illegal.

    Fuel pumps, injectors and intake valves are lubricated by fuel. Ethanol provides less lubrication than other gasoline components and may reduce component life as the percentage is increased.

    E15 isn't an absolute evil, but it will cause issues for some engines. Don't assume that if an engine was certified to run on E10 that it was optimized for it. It may have already been on the edge at 10% and 15% ethanol may push it over.
    Last edited by rxcrider; 12-13-2012 at 06:35 PM.

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