Avoid Ethanol Fuels


Avoid Ethanol Fuels

It must have been somebody’s idea of a joke to add corn-based fuels to regular gasoline. The gasoline composition now set at 10 percent ethanol is slated to go to fifteen percent in the near future. More of a bad thing is not good.

This feat of petro-chemical engineering has not only managed to deplete the overall supply of corn to the human food supply chain, but it’s also hurting the agricultural industry via livestock feed and causing food prices to escalate. And to top it off, the fuel itself is ruining combustion engines designed to run on full bore petroleum. That is progress?

Though it is widely reported now that internal engine damage is limited to small engines found on lawn maintenance equipment (ATVs, UTVs, marine engines and such), automotive mechanics will tell you it negatively impacts all regular vehicle engines as well.

The condition of damage worsens as well when equipment using these fuels is stored during the off season, i.e. as lawn mowers, outboard motors on boats, and ATVs after hunting seasons. Ethanol fuel left in the fuel lines, tanks, and carburetors of such equipment tends to solidify into a gummy mess to the point of non-operation. Repairs are expensive.

I first noticed this impact on my own Honda 400 ATV. It began to start poorly and run sluggishly. After some time of non-use, I had to use more choke and more throttle to get it running in idle. Even then, the engine ran rough and often choked to quitting when the throttle was applied. A friend recommended finding some full octane non-ethanol gas.

After some reading research, I learned that it would take 2-3 fuel tanks of regular non-ethanol gas to get my ATV running somewhat back to normal. That recommendation was spot on. I also added a quarter tank of fuel supplement designed to offset the effects of ethanol during the off season summer months. Indeed, after a couple tanks of regular gasoline (unleaded) the Honda now starts up better and runs better with time.

You may have to search around to find a gas station that sells at least one pump of non-ethanol fuel. I bought two gasoline approved plastic gas “cans” to keep a supply on hand. If you are experiencing rough running engines, hard starts, and poor idling, then switch to non-ethanol fuel and add the gas supplements.

Avatar Author ID 67 - 1110376493

Award winning outdoor writer/photographer since 1978. Over 3000 articles and columns published nationally. Field & Stream Hero of Conservation in 2007. Fields of writing includes hunting most game in American, Canada, and Europe, fishing fresh and saltwater, destination travel, product reviews, industry consulting, and conservation issues. Currently VP at largest community college in Mississippi in economic development and workforce training with 40 years of experience in Higher Education. BS-MS in wildlife sciences from MO. University, and then a PhD in Industrial Psychology. Married with two children and Molly the Schnoodle.

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