Are you ready for E10 petrol?
E10 fuel is now available at fuel stations across the UK as standard unleaded. Compared to the previous standard E5 (‘97+ octane) fuel, E10 petrol contains up to 10% ethanol and produces less C02 emissions overall. Whilst E5 fuel is still available, some stations will now offer it as a premium alternative at a slightly higher cost. Whilst many motorists have expressed concerns over how compatible this will be with older vehicles, this change also applies to petrol lawn mowers and tools.
Can I use E10 fuel in older vehicles and mowers?
Whilst E10 fuel won’t cause an immediate issues in older machines, the extra solvents present can cause the gradual deterioration of internal parts when used in the long term. One solution for this is to include petrol additives and fuel stabilisers such as the Spaldings Fuel Treatment which can help stabilise the new fuel and prevent part corrosion.
How do fuel stabilisers work?
Fuel stabilisers such as Spaldings Fuel Treatment do not remove ethanol, but instead contain chemicals create a protective layer against corrosion and prevent reactions caused by mixing metals in fuel.
Can I mix E5 and E10 petrol?
The RAC have advised that mixing these two fuels is okay. In the event of using E10 with an old vehicle, simply dilute with 30% E5 when possible.
Are my mowers / power tools compatible with E10?
The government have advised owners of mowers and power tools such as chainsaws to check their manual or contact the manufacturer before attempting to use E10 fuel. If not suitable experts have warned E5 fuel could cause erosion and engine faults and this could be seen more quickly than in vehicles due to the times tools may be left between uses.
Even if your machine is E10 compatible, it is advised not to leave E5 fuel sitting in cans during winter or wet seasons as it may attract moisture from the air which can cause damage to mower engines.
Where can I buy E5 fuel?
Whilst some supermarket chains such as Asda have reportedly stopped selling E5 fuel, it will still remain available at most dual-pump stations. If in doubt, most of the leading fuel stations have a list of stations that are still selling E5 fuel online.
Further guidance is available at: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/e10-petrol-explained