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E15 Gas- Possible Hazards

If your vehicle is pre-2012 and you are filling up your tank with E15, AAA warns you to stop! AAA (The American Automobile Association) is encouraging the EPA to place a halt on the sale of E15 until further testing can be done, and consumers can be educated.

E15 gasoline contains a higher volume of ethanol- up to 15%. Previously, the amount of ethanol in motor vehicle gasoline could not exceed 10%. The most common type of gasoline found is called E10- this makes up 90% of gasoline available for purchase in the US, and E10 gasoline can contain up to 10% ethanol. E10 has been around for more than 30 years. Ethanol in gasoline is derived mainly from corn. It is advertised as better for the environment and country since it claims to reduce greenhouse emissions and our dependence on foreign oil. However, E15 gasoline provides you only one third the energy per gallon that non ethanol gas provides. This means filling up more often.

Potential problems include damage to the emissions systems and engines of older vehicles. Nissan, Toyota, Chrysler, BMW and Volkswagen have stated that they will not cover fuel-related warranty claims caused by using E15. Other automakers such as Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, Honda, and Ford have also declared that using E15 can potentially cause corrosive damage to fuel lines, gaskets and other parts of the engine. They have also stated that warranties will be voided if E15 is used.

Basically, unless your vehicle specifies that it is a Flex-Fuel vehicle, and it is manufacturered prior to 2012, hold off on the use of E15. When a motorists' organization like AAA makes claims of this magnitude, we must take them seriously. More extensive, unbiased studies of E15 are being proposed and until those stuides are concluded, refraining from the use of E15 is recommended.