E10 Compatability - Alfa's response - Alfa Romeo Forum
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E10 Compatability - Alfa's response

Hi All

After the recent publicity and stories about E10 (as standard unleaded will become) being incompatible with older engines and older than current Alfa's not being on the list - here is what Alfa have said to me this evening. (I asked)

The 2.0 JTS is NOT compatible with E10, seek out current standard up to E5 and use it, do not use E10. Essentially this applies to the 1.6, 1.8 and 2.0 TS, the JTS. I don't know about the v6 but a lot of similar components were used in the fuel systems (where the problem is) so i assume the answer is a no for them too.

Great, eh?

We have no plan, therefore nothing can go wrong (much)

And i Have finally put piccies of the silver one on!!
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How much of the above and how much is your comment?

Difficult to tell without any " " quotes...!
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Can you add an additive to E10, to make it usable..? Like the lead supplement you had to put in the unleaded petrol, when that first came out..?
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No.. the Ethanol is the problem. It's corrosive and attacks various plastics and rubber.

I'm not actually all that convinced by AR's response, since we're in the area of corporate liability if they get it wrong, so they will only trot out the safe option for the time being (which is to use fuel that you know doesn't cause any problems).

It doesn't mean E10 will cause a problem .. just that AR has not tested it and therefore cannot sanction it.

Who has an old '45/6 that we can test it on (apart from me ) and what bits are affected if the E10 really doesn't like the Alfa fuel system?


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I'm not actually all that convinced by AR's response, since we're in the area of corporate liability if they get it wrong, so they will only trot out the safe option for the time being (which is to use fuel that you know doesn't cause any problems).

It doesn't mean E10 will cause a problem .. just that AR has not tested it and therefore cannot sanction it.
Exactly.

We need to hear from the guys in Brazil etc that have been running far higher % of Ethanol for years (E85 I think). They are probably laughing wondering what all the fuss is about 10% ...!
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I'm pretty sure the USA have had it for a while now as well. There are lots of worries in the classic vehicle scene as it rots fibreglass/plastic tanks and gums up carbs really quickly if the vehicle is left unused as its more volatile. Apparently its also very good at stripping off the pour-in petrol tank liner stuff. I suspect the additives sold are geared towards fuel stabilisation rather than protecting seals etc. My personal view is that fuel injected cars will be fine. After all, I'd be extremely surprised if standard o-rings and fuel line are attacked by ethanol. As said above, the issue seems to relate mainly to some plastics. I'm not sure what could be attacked on fuel injected cars. There was a whole heap of scare stories when unleaded was introduced and the impact ended up quite minimal. My old Villiers engined lawnmower has continued to run happily on unleaded so I'm not going to worry too much about my old Volvo when E10 comes in. My motorbikes with carbs are going to be another matter though.....

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I'm pretty sure the USA have had it for a while now as well.
Yes, but Alfa hadn't sold anything in the USA since the 164 in 1995.
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Would throwing in a bottle of octane booster, or a pint of parrafin, sort it out..?
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Would throwing in a bottle of octane booster, or a pint of parrafin, sort it out..?
No.
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No.
Short and to the point....
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The unleaded petrol issue was that some older engines had soft valve seats and they used the lead in the petrol to cushion the valve on the seat. No lead meant that these engines saw accelerated valve seat wear. Owners had to fit new (harder) valve seats or find an additive that did the same job as lead but wasn't banned ("as poisonous" is a different matter... )

Most additives have phosphorous in them, from memory.. which does the cushioning job almost as well as lead.

The problem with Ethanol is that it is an additional ingredient, rather than something that can be solved by an additive. You would have to take the ethanol out...

But most cars should be okay on it.. If there is 5% ethanol in the benzina already, then the seals, plastics and rubber used should be fairly or completely ethanol tolerant. If stuff fails because of the extra ethanol, then it will be a gradual failure rather than an instant one.

Replacement gaskets, tubes, seals, pipes etc. will be made out of ethanol resistant material.. so unless you have an old car and use old stock parts to replace the one(s) that have been eaten by the ethanol, you should be okay.

I'm not sure if ethanol is slightly corrosive.. as has been mentioned.. so you could have metal items being attacked by it as well as plastic. Potentially anything made of alloy could be attacked since it's softer and is made from different metals some of which could be less ethanol tolerant.

The good news is that Fiat Group have been making bi-fuel and ethanol powered vehicles for decades... and since the same parts fit on loads of different cars and are probably all made by the same few component manufacturers, the vast majority of them will be accidentally ethanol compatible anyway..

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I would have thought the JTS will be fine - not because it was designed for it, but because all affected parts will have gone wrong long before ethanol becomes a problem.
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Hey, I have been using something like E20-E24 in my 2.0 TS cf2 Alfa 156 for about 10 years and 186.000Km ( About 100K miles...) - There is no 100% pure petrol here in Brazil, it has always some percentage of Ethanol ( from 20 to 24%, depending on year)..
So there is nothing to be afraid on using E10...at least on the TS engine!! And our Alfas here in Brazil do not differ mechanically from the European ones....just some spring/damper rates are different!
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Brazil has it's own line of alfas though. Unsure what the differences ar though.
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Brazil has it's own line of alfas though. Unsure what the differences ar though.
The Brazil specs are all in ePER.
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I know, but it doesn't state what the differences are and I'm not gonna trawl through eper to try and find out
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The big problems that higher ethanol petrol has seems to be:-

1. It attracts moisture.
2. It looses it's octane rating and "goes off" much quicker than low or 0 ethanol fuel.
3. Quicker "gumming" up of the small carburettor jets when vehicles are stood.

I don't live in the states and haven't used high "E" rated fuel but the yanks are, I believe, on E15. I spend a bit of time on the Triumph Trophy (motorbike) Yahoo forum and our American cousins suffer from corroded fuel tanks and stale fuel after leaving their bikes stood in the garage for the winter.

So I think the biggest problem will be the collectable cars that only come out in the sun and the GTAs that are kept as toys.

The best 2 options that the yanks who park the bikes up over winter have found are either:-

1. Add a fuel stabiliser and brim the tank. Run the engine to make sure the stabiliser gets to the carbs or injectors. Store the bike / car.

OR

2. Drain the tank and carbs and leave the fuel tank filler open.

It is the water (hygroscopic) effect that causes the greatest damage. As it's a bit tricky draining the fuel from an injected engine I guess the best option for a laid up injected car is option 1.

Finally, we are "only" going to E10. The yanks are on E15. That is 50% more ethanol than us and their carburettor fitted bikes seem to suffer more than injected ones.

Last edited by kandlbarrett; 08-01-12 at 17:16.
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