THE conversation around fuels, technology and conservation can sometimes get confusing. It doesn’t matter if you are running a motorcycle, watercraft, snowmobile, outdoor power equipment or a car—trying to balance the need to keep your engines running well with a concern for the environment can sometimes get complicated.
To help, here are some points to consider:
For starters, remember that most gasoline contains up to 10 percent ethanol, a type of alcohol that is renewable and blended with gasoline to help reduce exhaust emissions and our dependency on fossil fuels.
However, ethanol is also a solvent and ethanol-blended fuels, such as E10, can remove accumulated fuel tank debris, which can enter the fuel system and engine. Ethanol can affect fuel system components. It contains sulfate salts that corrode fuel system metals, and its solvent properties can cause hoses and gaskets in engines to shrink or become brittle over time.
Also, moisture is in the atmosphere and ethanol attracts moisture. If the amount of water absorbed into the fuel reaches just 0.5 percent of the total content, the ethanol/water mix can settle to the bottom of the fuel tank, where it can be ingested into an engine. This is called phase separation and it can prevent an engine from running properly or at all.
Also, it’s important to remember that gasoline has a short shelf life of about 30 to 90 days. Over time, the fuel can degrade and become a contaminant. All this can lead to engine damage.
How to avoid ethanol-related engine problems
The good news, according to Steve Friedrich with Yamaha Motor Corporation, U.S.A., is there are some practical solutions. First, buy fuel from a name-brand, reputable source and always try to buy from the same place. Avoid fueling when the station is taking delivery from a tanker. Hundreds of gallons of gas dumped into the tanks will stir up sediment that can end up in your fuel system.
Finally, regularly use a fuel stabilizer and other fuel additives that are formulated to help address these ethanol-related issues, and use it with anything that runs on gas like a motorcycle or ATV, yard equipment or cars and watercraft.
For example, two new products, Fuel Med RX and Engine Med RX, have metal corrosion inhibitors that help protect engines from the effects of using fuels with ethanol. Both are sold at Yamaha dealerships nationwide.
For additional information, go to www.yamalube.com.
North American Precis Syndicate