Well, I'm sure you've all seen it on the fuel forecourt pumps now, all over the news and forums and Facebook posts a plenty and this post is a little bit late to the party as it's already happened but seeing as we still receive questions about E10 fuel and we still see the same question asked over and over again on the facebook groups (at least with forums you could pin stuff like this and not get lost in the ether) then we thought we'd write something a little more permenent to refer back to.
E10 fuel, what is it?
E10 fuel is normal common or garden petrol that has a higher concentration of Ethanol blended with it. E10 petrol contains 10% Ethanol.
What's all the fuss about?
Ethanol is more agressive than petrol so it shortens the life of some fuel system components, Ethanol also attracts water from the atmosphere so, over time you may get a small amount of water gathering at the bottom of your fuel tank.
What damage does it do?
Ethanol will degrade older types of rubber fuel system components a little quicker than older grades of petrol, that said you've been running around quite happily on E5 (Petrol containing 5% Ethanol) for years and your van didn't blow up did it?
The other slight issue is that if petrol/ethanol fuel mixes are left idle then it can attract water from the atmosphere and it can separate out leaving a layer of water at the bottom of the fuel tank which then could corrode but as my school boy physics and chemistry are anything to go by then don't you also need oxygen for corrosion to occur?
Also, petrol engines don't run particularly well on water!
What can I do to make my life easier?
Don't worry, it's really not a big thing, honestly.
You can regularly inspect the rubber parts of your fuel system for perishing and if you find any then take the oportunity to replace them with something a little more modern and suitable for modern fuel. All the fuel line assemblies we stock are assembled in house and use FPM hose which is suitable for up to 100% ethanol (E100).
VW Ethanol resistant fuel line kits here.
You could just use Super which costs more, granted but you'll be rewarded with less Ethanol, smoother running and better MPG, choice is yours!
If you are the T3 owner that has a normal day to day vehicle and parks their van up over winter then it's probably worth running the E10 as low as you dare then brim it with super for the laid up months.
Europe has been running E10 for ages, we're a bit behind but they all seem to be coping just fine so basically, keep on trucking!