Read This Before You Fuel Up This Winter

January 3, 2017

What’s worse than getting coal in your stocking? Having trouble with your engine-powered winter equipment, thanks to the ethanol mandates.

Unexpected water issues in your engines such as gum formation and engine corrosion could be the result of higher levels of ethanol being blended into fuel due to the Renewable Fuel Standard. It typically takes 30 to 45 days for ethanol to separate from gasoline in your tank, creating large concentrations of water molecules that form together and degrade fuel quality.

Because of increased moisture in the air during the winter months, higher ethanol-blends must be replaced in your engines more often, since ethanol attracts water. This could mean trouble for those who have filled their tanks with E15 or E85. Higher ethanol-blends in your snowmobiles, snow blowers or other equipment with an engine, can quickly start causing damage because of the extra moisture from the weather. It only takes 1 tablespoon of water to contaminate a gallon of E10 fuel.

Earlier this year, the Environmental Protection Agency acknowledged the risk of misfueling with higher ethanol fuel blends when it called for a four-gallon minimum from pumps that dispense E10 and E15 fuels from the same hose.

To prevent your engines from the out-of-control ethanol mandates, be sure to clean out your summer motor equipment, and be cautious at the pump about your fuel choice for winter equipment. To be safe, it’s recommended that fuel be replaced every two to three weeks to avoid water-related engine problems — that’s six times during the three months of winter.

Don’t let the government fool you — the ethanol mandates are dangerous for small engines. This broken policy can cause expensive repairs and equipment replacements.

Let your legislator know how the Renewable Fuel Standard is damaging your equipment and urge to reform the ethanol mandates.