The new E10 formulation will contain 10% ethanol derived from sustainable resources. The additional ethanol will result with small reduction (estimated to be 1%) in the miles per litre being achieved by the petrol powered engine. Ethanol can increase rate of oxidation so it is recommended that the engine is lubricated with robust crankcase oil. Ethanol is not compatible with some seals/rubber compounds in the injection system. The bio-ethanol attacks the fuel systems leading to leaks and blockages. This corrosion also affects some Pre-2005 Direct Injection petrol pumps, however, cars manufactured after 2011 are supplied with seal materials that are compatible with ethanol. Most cars and motorcycles manufactured since the late 1990s are also approved by manufacturers to use E10. Ethanol is more hydroscopic (absorbs moisture (water) than petrol thus E10 will degrade faster than E5 if it is left in the tank and it is recommended that you use Super Unleaded E5 if you don’t refill regularly. This recommendation also applies to plug-in hybrid cars that are driven frequently in electric mode only. We recommend that E10 is stored no longer than 1 month otherwise you may experience starting problems. Owners of petrol powered lawnmowers are advised to empty the tank before winter and preferably use E5. The following vehicles, however, may not be compatible with E10 petrol:
• Classic, cherished and older vehicles.
• Some specific models, particularly those from the early 2000s.
• Some mopeds, particularly those with an engine size of 50cc or under.
• Light aircraft that currently use E5 petrol known as MOGAS
You can check whether your vehicle is approved to use E10 petrol using the UK government’s website, which covers cars, motorcycles and mopeds. Go to: www.gov.uk/check-vehicle-e10-petrol.
If in doubt, continue to use E5 (97+ octane) petrol.
What to do if you put E10 petrol in a non-compatible vehicle: Simply fill up with E5 (‘97+ octane) petrol next time.
Using a single tank of E10 petrol in a vehicle that is not compatible should not be a major problem. Just make sure you fill up with the correct E5 (‘97+ octane) petrol grade next time.
New vehicles manufactured from 2019 onwards should have an ‘E10’ and ‘E5’ label close to the filler cap showing the fuel(s) they can use.
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