Should I use E10 fuel in a classic car?

I'm now coming across contradictory information regarding the use of E10 fuel in classic car engines. I was under the impression that it was a big no no due to the higher ethanol content absorbing water and severely damaging/destroying rubber components in the fuel system. The engines that I'm specifically concerned about are a carburetted 1970s Rover V8 and a fuel injected 1980s Porsche 911, both of which, I'm sorry to say, spend more time in storage rather than being used. What is the current thinking?

Asked on 12 May 2023 by John Ward

Answered by David Ross
The use of E10 fuel in classic car engines is a topic of debate among enthusiasts and experts. There are some potential issues to consider.

Ethanol is known to have hygroscopic properties, meaning it can absorb water from the atmosphere. This can cause corrosion, fuel system blockages, and damage to rubber components in the fuel system, such as hoses, seals, and gaskets. These issues can be especially problematic in older vehicles with fuel systems that were not designed to handle high ethanol blends.

Some experts recommend using it only if the fuel system has been upgraded to handle the higher ethanol content. This could include replacing rubber components with ethanol-resistant materials, such as Viton, and installing a fuel pressure regulator to prevent fuel vaporisation.

Alternatively, some classic car owners choose to avoid E10 fuel altogether and use lower ethanol blends, such as E5 or E0, or even non-ethanol petrol. However, it's important to note that lower ethanol blends may not be widely available or may be more expensive.
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