Ethanol attracts water and separates (phase separation) in fuel to create a corrosive mixture that settles on the bottom of fuel tanks. Over time, ethanol-blended gasoline can corrode metal fuel components and deteriorate plastic and rubber fuel system components. In addition, oxygen in ethanol-blended fuels causes gasoline to decay faster, leaving varnish and sludge deposits over time.
These and other ethanol-blended fuel-related issues may result in engines that will not start or that run poorly, and may even ruin engines and other fuel system components. In extreme circumstances, an engine running on phase-separated fuel may run out of control, posing serious danger to the operator.
The following symptoms may occur when using E15 fuel:
- Softening, cracking, swelling, drying of rubber and plastic components
- Corrosion of the metal fuel system components
- Water absorption which leads to fuel becoming more corrosive
- Phase separation, which can completely ruin engines and fuel systems
- Shorter life of the fuel with higher amounts of oxygen
- Leaner running, causing heat problems