Monday, February 21, 2011

Effects of E10 and E15 on Our Motors - A Layman's Understanding (02/21/11)

Hello Folks,

How many of us are fully aware of the effects that E10 gasoline has on our OB motors? I had some general knowledge and took precautionary action to prevent the negative effects by adding a water fuel separator and using Marine Sta-Bil on every fill up.

I got the call this past week from Lakeside Marine that the "E10 Boogie Man" caught up to me and my four stroke after five years despite all of my past precautionary efforts. I knew that I was having an issue this past summer when my motor would start up just fine, but stalled out on the initial throttle to back the boat off the trailer or to pull away from the ramp. After the boat was up and running, I seldom had a problem until we had that really hot spell this past summer.

E10 is 10% Ethanol Gasoline when it leaves the fueling stations. However, ethanol gasoline will attract moisture as it sits in the underground tanks. It can raise the ethanol level to an E12 or E13 by the time it enters our gas tanks. That is why we are diligent in using the water fuel separators and marine stabilizers. Most are good up to an E15 rating.

(Tip - Use high volume gas stations to get E10 that hasn't been sitting long in the underground tanks)

Even with all my prevention methods, E10 finally clogged my filtration system enough to warrant replacements to a tune of almost $300 with labor costs. It's not an easy job to do on a 115/80 four stroke and time consuming.

I was told that this is not a Yamaha, Mercury, Evinrude, etc. problem, but related to the properties of E10 Gasoline. It usually catches up to motors without the preventative measures within 2+ years. Those of us who take the precautions, 5 years.

E15 was approved by the DEP (Action started back in the Bush Era) and the bill was signed by President Obama. The actual E15 at the pumps was suppose to have started by the end of the 2011 summer. Not so fast there, Bucky... There are now many groups attacking the use of E15 and the Bill. Among them are the Marine Manufacturers. This may cause a delay in the distribution of E15... Maybe not!

Okay! So if E10 can absorb moisture and rise to E12 or 13, then soon to be E15 could rise to E18 or E19. Nothing on the market will work on ethanol that high in our OB motors. Hopefully, researchers are hard at work developing something to counter E15.

Of course, we use our purchase of E10 in a water environment... Hmmmm.

The longer the E10 sits in our tanks, the more chance that moisture will be collected.... Hmmmm.

Those who chose to ignore the warning signs of clogged fuel filters may eventually have one major problem. The worst may be that the "gunk" would break through the filters and blow out an injector. Now you're talking major bucks!

If the "E10 Boogie Man" hasn't caught you yet... Be Aware!

Stay safe,