Is ethanol a threat to your classic car?

Ethanol and classic carsThe use of ethanol-blended gasoline has been commonplace across the country. Devised to wean the nation off of fossil fuels and improve air quality, E10 and now E15 blends are regularly pumped into the fuel systems of almost every car on our roads.

While newer vehicles are manufactured to tolerate these blends, the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) is sounding the alarm to what it claims are potential engine-ruining effects of these blended fuels in classic cars and high-performance vehicles and the inclination of Congress to further expand ethanol use.

In a 2011 release posted on its website, SEMA states that “…ethanol attracts moisture, leading to increased water formation that can create formic acid and corrode metals, plastics and rubber. Newer vehicles, engines and exhaust systems may have been designed to work compatibly with E10. They may even tolerate E15; however, the materials found in many older vehicles and certain high-performance equipment will not endure the corrosive effects, especially if the vehicles are not regularly used.”

SEMA has been active in pursuing legislation to remedy what they see as a serious issue. To learn more about this and other legislative campaigns visit their SEMA Action Network page.

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