With the UK government consulting on increasing the ethanol content of petrol to 10 per cent (E10), specialist British oil, lubricants and treatments manufacturer Millers Oils say owners of older vehicles are justifiably concerned about damage to their fuel systems.
Millers Oils is addressing the issues with several technologies to help combat the corrosive characteristics of ethanol.
Furthermore, the products are endorsed by the Federation of British Historic Vehicle Clubs (FBHVC) following independent testing.
“Since UK fuel providers first introduced the current level of five percent ethanol, we have been supplying a range of products to combat its corrosive effects,” said Martyn Mann, Millers Oils Technical Director and former President, UK Lubrication Association.
“The prospect of doubling the ethanol content, to ten percent, will greatly magnify the problem and make the use of appropriate additives essential for keeping older vehicles running optimally.”
The damaging effects of ethanol are widely recognised, even in the government’s own consultation documents.
They include corrosion of fuel system components, particularly as moisture is readily absorbed into ethanol, incompatibility with many seal materials, and chemically attacking non-metallic fuel tanks.
Millers Oils’ premier fuel additive, VSPe, helps combat the corrosive characteristics of the current E5, the proposed E10 and also provides additional benefits; it is an effective lead replacement, protecting against valve seat recession on unhardened seats, and an octane booster, adding up to 2 octane numbers (20 points) to unleaded fuel.
It also helps to combat detonation, carburettor icing and, because it contains an anti-oxidant, fuel deterioration.
For the ultimate protection during long-term storage, Millers Oils developed Tank Safe.
Designed to be added to the fuel tank contents prior to ‘laying up’ a vehicle, the additive combats fuel deterioration, as explained by Mann.
“By running the vehicle for a few minutes with Tank Safe added prior to storage, maximum corrosion protection is ensured throughout the fuel system, whether carburettors or injection,” he said.
“We have been developing products for vehicles of all ages for many years, to help their owners keep them on the road for longer,” Mann continued.
“The likelihood of increasing levels of ethanol in fuel is causing concern throughout the classic vehicle movement and will make the use of appropriate additives increasingly important in the future.”