New E10 fuel may form a ‘corrosive mixture’ which could damage classic cars

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Nigel Elliott, fuel specialist at the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) said the new petrol is likely to affect “three main areas”. Most importantly, they warn the new fuel may form a “corrosive mixture” in incompatible classic cars which could have a massive effect on vehicles.

They also warned of possible damage to car “pipes and seals” which could have an effect on vehicles.

He said: “There are three main areas; the first one is materials compatibility.

“Here we are talking about the elastomers, these are flexible pipes, seals etc…”

He added: “The other one is corrosion, the ethanol is slightly acidic and quite conductive.

“In the presence of water it can form a corrosive mixture which will promote particularly galvanic corrosion.

“Where you have dissimilar metals so perhaps brass and a zinc diecast carburettor housing, or aluminum, you will get corrosion if the fuel is wet.

“The other area is because the ethanol contains just under 35 percent oxygen by weight.

“There is quite a bit of enleanment with E10.

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“So, it will lean out the mixture of the vehicle but that can be adjusted and corrected.”

The RAC has previously warned cars built before 2002 are generally incompatible with the new fuel.

E10 parts were only mandated from 2011 meaning many older vehicles may also be unable to run the petrol.

Estimates show around 600,000 vehicles may be incompatible at launch and should use the older E5 fuel at pumps.

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