E10 Petrol – How to Protect Your Vehicle

Petrol stations across the UK will switch from E5 to E10 petrol in September, the Department for Transport has confirmed.

To protect against the dangers of E10 petrol it is recommended to use a fuel stabilizer, such as STA-BIL, to prevent the fuel from degradation. The increased ethanol content in the new standard fuel can cause numerous problems with engines, especially on older vehicles.

E10 Petrol - How To Protect Your Vehicle

What is E10 Petrol?

E10 is a biofuel that is made up of 90% regular unleaded petrol and 10% ethanol. The current standard unleaded in the UK, E5 contains up to 5% ethanol.

To make E10 petrol, standard unleaded petrol is mixed with ethanol which is made from materials that include low-grade grains, sugars and waste wood.

This type of fuel is already used across parts of Europe, the US and Australia.

Why is E10 Petrol the new standard in the UK?

The new greener fuel is predicted to reduce CO2 emissions by 750,000 tonnes per year. This is the equivalent of taking up to 350,000 cars off the road.

It’s suggested that CO2 emissions from petrol cars should drop by around 2% with the switch to this new type of fuel.

This is part of the UK government’s climate-change targets, which also includes a ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars from 2030.

Is my car/motorcycle compatible with E10 Petrol?

E10 petrol isn't compatible with some older cars and classic vehicles. RAC estimate as many as 600,000 vehicles in the UK aren’t compatible with the new fuel.

Cars that were produced up until as recently as the early 2000s may not be compatible with E10. The higher amount of ethanol can cause significant damage to components in older vehicles.

You can check if your vehicle is compatible with E10 here.

The Problem with E10 Petrol

The high ethanol content in E10 petrol can cause numerous problems in vehicles.  It can corrode brass, copper, lead, tin, zinc, rubber, plastic and fibreglass parts. These parts are commonly found in older machines.

Ethanol absorbs water from the atmosphere. This can create condensation in fuel tanks, fuel lines and carburettors. It can also cause corrosion in brass, copper, lead, tin and zinc components.

It can eat through rubber, plastic and fibreglass. This means hoses and seals are likely to deteriorate more quickly because of the higher concentration of ethanol in E10 petrol.

Tests carried out by the Department for Transport have identified a series of problems. These include the degradation of seals and fuel hoses, corroded carburettors, blocked fuel filters, damaged fuel pumps, blocked injectors and corrosion in fuel tanks.

How to protect against E10 Petrol

Fortunately, STA-BIL’s range of fuel stabilizers can combat the effects of ethanol.

STA-BIL Storage Fuel Stabilizer, which is for vehicles that are stored for periods of more than 30 days, prevents the fuel in the tank from deteriorating and stops the above issues from happening. 

It protects against all the dangers of ethanol and E10 petrol (it in fact protects against ethanol blends up to E85). STA-BIL Storage removes water from the petrol tank and cleans carburettors and fuel injectors.

STA-BIL Storage - E10 Fuel Additive

For vehicles that are used on a daily basis STA-BIL 360 Protection guards against ethanol damage and maintains performance. This fuel additive offers comprehensive protection by using a PEA fuel system cleaner, industry-leading corrosion inhibitors, and water removers.

STA-BIL 360 Protection cleans carburettors, fuel injectors, and intake valves and keeps fuel fresh for up to 12 months.  

STA-BIL 360 Protection - E10 Fuel Additive