E10 fuel: Classic car owners may have ‘trouble’ starting their cars after storing them

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Nigel Elliott, fuel specialist at the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FHBVC) warned of the dangers of keeping a full petrol tank in classic cars this winter. He added it was “always handy” to leave a bit of space in the tank if drivers store their historic vehicles for the winter.

He said motorists could then “splash in a bit of fuel” after winter instead of running on old petrol.

He said: “There have been many debates on laying up cars and what’s the ideal thing to do.

“Keep the tank at least two-thirds full, obviously exposure to air and oxidation and water ingress from humidity changes.

“But also the danger is on a completely full tank, when you come to start the vehicle you’ve lost some of the lighter ends of the fuel.

“They have evaporated and you will have some trouble getting the vehicle going.

“It’s always handy to leave a bit of space in the tank you can splash in a bit of new fuel to increase the volatility.”

The warning comes months after the Historic and Classic Vehicle Alliance (HCVA) issued a warning for drivers planning to store their classic vehicles.

They have urged road users to use ethanol-free fuel or E5 petrol before storing a vehicle to prevent any possible risks.

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Ideally, drivers should instead consider draining their fuel tanks completely before storing away for a long period of time.

Malcolm Mckay, spokesperson for the HCVA, warned leaving fuel in tanks could be a “corrosion” risk.

He said: “Corrosion will take place inside a half-empty steel fuel tank whatever the fuel used if left standing for months in a humid atmosphere.

“It is best to brim the tank before short-term storage and to use ethanol-free fuel if possible or at worst E5, with the anti-corrosion additive.

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