E85 Fuel Safety

E-85 gasoline for cars and trucks was developed to fight air pollution and reduce oil consumption in MA and the rest of the US. But what is E-85? E-85 fuel is a mix of 85% ethanol, a grain-base alcohol, and 15% gasoline. The Flex-Fuel vehicles you see around Worcester are designed to use either normal gasoline or E-85 gas. Using E-85 gas results in lower harmful exhaust emissions in central Massachusetts. But not every car or truck can use this type of gas.

Some newer vehicle models sold in MA are specifically built to run on E-85 – the rest are not. All gas engines can run with up to 10% ethanol. A lot of WORCESTER gasoline does contain some ethanol. The problem comes when WORCESTER driver's without Flex Fuel certified vehicles put E-85 into the tank.

At an 85% concentration of ethanol, there is a huge potential for problems due to corrosion. Because of the chemical differences between ethanol and gasoline, special seals and gaskets are needed for Flex Fuel vehicles. In a normal engine, the ethanol in E-85 gas will eat away important seals and gaskets. This leads to gas and oil leaks.

MA fire fighting experts caution WORCESTER residents to only use E-85 if they know their vehicle is certified to handle it because of the potential for fires due to leaking fuel .

Additionally, Worcester garages and repair shops are being warned to have special fire extinguishers on hand that use the foam needed to extinguish ethanol fires as a precaution. Since starting-up an ethanol damaged engine can lead to hazardous fires.

Obviously, a hazardous fire isn’t something you want to have happen in your garage at home. If your car or truck isn't a Flex-Fuel certified vehicle, do not use E-85 in an engine that’s designed to run on unleaded gasoline only. If you have questions or want to find out how to determine if you vehicle can safely use E-85, go to www.e85fuel.com for more resources.

Give us a call if you have any questions.

AutoPro Import Repair
209 Stafford St
WORCESTER, MA 01603
508.757.1297