Classic Thunderbird Club International
Gil's Garage
Gil Baumgartner
CTCI Authenticity Chairman
Revisiting Fuel With Ethanol

As most everyone knows it is extremely difficult to find gasoline that does not contain ethanol in most parts of the country. Only about 4% of all gas stations in the U.S. have gasoline without ethanol. There is a website http://www.buyrealgas.com that list ethanol free gasoline availability by state. All states are listed. I will give two examples California and Nebraska. California listed five and Nebraska listed only seven stations that offered gasoline without ethanol. 96% of all gasoline sold in the United States contains ethanol.

Today’s fuel blends contain at least 10% ethanol. To make situation worse the EPA is starting to push E85 fuel. It has started to show up in some states. I highly recommend reviewing the following video for full detail: http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/2000862202001. It is a very informative news report on the effects of using E85 in cars older than 2012.

E85 was developed to use in Flex fuel vehicles. "Flex fuel vehicles in the United States are optimized to use E85, a gasoline-ethanol blend containing 51 to 83 percent ethanol, according to the U.S. Department of Energy".

Never use E85 fuel in any type of vehicle unless it was designed for flex fuel.

Since 96% of all gasoline contains at least 10% ethanol certain precautions must be taken to prevent damage to the fuel system and engine components. If the fuel is allowed to set unused a process call phase separation or oxidation occurs. When phase separation or oxidation occurs moisture is attracted into the fuel system causing corrosion in the gas tank, fuel lines, as well as the fuel pump, carburetor and injectors etc. In addition the use of oxidized fuel can create deposit buildup on the valve stems and guides resulting in stuck valves in the cylinder head.

Numerous companies have developed products that will prevent the oxidation of fuel if properly used. Listed below are two online companies that offer fuel system protection additives.

The fuel additive No-Rosion Fuel System Optimizer is available on line at http://www.no-rosion.com. The company also has other products that are beneficial in maintaining fuel, oil and cooling systems. Read about all their products at their website or call 847-477-9262 and ask for data sheets.

Bell Performance also offers a commercial grade gas and ethanol treatment called Ethanol Defense. As well as other products that are beneficial in maintaining fuel and oil systems. http://www.bellperformance.com Phone 877 231 6673.

In addition the most commonly available fuel stabilizer, Sta-bil can be purchased at most auto parts stores. Review the types of Sta-bil additives at http://www.sta-bil.com or http://www.goldeagle.com/brands/sta-bil.

Today’s fuel will degrade into a harmful product in as little as three months. When Tetraethyl was used as an octane booster it did not degrade as quickly. For overall fuel system protection especially if your car is not being use frequently it is highly recommended that a Fuel System protection be added to the fuel. Optimizer additives will prevent moisture and oxidation, which have a negative effect on fuel systems and other engine components.

If your vehicle is used frequently, not allowed to set for long periods of time and the fuel is replenished frequently it is not necessary to use the additive with each tank of fuel. However I recommend occasional usages to remove any moisture that may have accumulated due to oxidation. In California we have been using fuel with ethanol for many years without negative results unless the vehicle is left idle for long periods of time. In simple terms use it or lose it. This comment applies to all automotive systems that require some type of fluid including braking and cooling systems.

Gil Baumgartner

Last modified: June 30 2015