Dave Van Sickle of the Examiner newspaper group penned an informative piece earlier in March concerning a primer on the problems that consumers are facing with the nationwide spread of ethanol. The piece was featured in over 30 newspapers across the country, including the Chicago Examiner and the Burlington Examiner’s Car Enthusiast section.
Van Sickle’s piece is an excellent primer on the history and development of ethanol in the national fuel supply and the problems it continues to cause for consumers.
Some points that Van Sickle makes include:
Ethanol as an oxygenate increases the oxygen content of fuel, to reduce emissions
Ethanol is an octane enhancer, but fuel blenders will use a lower octane base gasoline to end up with the same overall octane rating, so consumers don’t see any added benefit from that property
E10 commonly sees a 3.5-5.0% fuel economy drop for most vehicles
Water accumulation in fuel tanks strips the ethanol out of the blend in phase separation, dropping the fuel octane value by 2-4 points
Some additives to treat ethanol problems are better than others (we are partial to Mix-I-Go and Marine MXO), but whatever product you choose, beware of outrageous claims or guarantees. Many products guarantee claims that are impossible to fulfill.
Bell Performance is very happy to see writers like Mr. Van Sickle continuing to educate consumers on the fuel-related problems that many consumers are facing. Boating season is coming up, and boats are going to seeing the same problems as cars and trucks will with the ethanol blended fuels.
Check out some testimonials from folks who have enjoyed relief from their ethanol problems with the help of Bell Performance products:
This post was published on April 8, 2011 and was updated on November 6, 2019.