E-15 Fuel Blend Cause For Caution

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 18,466
    AAA discusses the new E15 fuel blend and shares their concerns about the new fuel blend.

    John Nielsen: Alternative fuel use is gaining momentum, but one new fuel coming to the market could spell disaster for you vehicle. Let's take a look at how E15 gasoline is changing the fuel game. The EPA recently approved a new gasoline blend containing 15% ethanol to reduce our dependency on foreign oil and increase the use of domestically sourced biofuels. Named E15, this blend is only approved for use in flex-fuel vehicles in 2001 or newer light cars, light-duty trucks, and SUVs. Use in any other application is prohibited and may cause fuel system or even engine damage. Do not use E15 in any other gas-powered device, like a boat, a plane, motorcycles, lawnmowers, or any other gas-powered tools. Despite EPA approval some studies suggest that even vehicles approved for E15 use may encounter problems with the fuel. Potential issues include erroneous check engine lights, the deterioration of fuel system rubber components, early fuel pump failures, and accelerated engine wear. Unless E15 has been approved by your vehicle's manufacturer using it could void your new car warranty. At the gas station make sure you select the proper fuel. If the owner's manual for your vehicle says it's safe to use E15, feel free to do so. However, if your car is not on the approved list or its makers does not recommend using this fuel, avoid any pump with an orange attention E15 sticker on the label. AAA has urged halting the sale of E15 gasoline until further research has been completed and additional consumer information is made available to help prevent potentially harmful misfueling. In the meantime, pay attention at the pump to avoid making what could be a costly mistake.