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AAA warns about using 30-proof gasoline

December 3, 2012 - Rob Weaver
You already know drinking and driving don't mix. But apparently, neither does moonshine and motor vehicles.

AAA reports automotive experts warn vehicle damage and voided warranties may result from filling up with E15, a gasoline blend that contains up to 15 percent ethanol. Ethanol made from corn is essentially the same thing as moonshine.   AAA wants the fuel industry to stop selling E15 until motorists are better protected.   Most likely your vehicle already has gas containing up to 10 percent ethanol -- E10 -- in its tank. In June, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency approved selling E15 gasoline for use in flex-fuel vehicles as well as passenger vehicles model year 2001 and newer. That covers nearly half of the 240 million automobiles in use.     But, AAA notes, automakers only OK using E15 use in less than 5 percent of vehicles. That means unless you own a flex-fuel vehicle, a 2001 model-year or newer Porsche (you wish), a 2012 or 2013 GM or a 2013 Ford, you shouldn't put E15 in it.

“Automotive engineering experts say sustained use of E15 in unapproved vehicles could result in significant problems, such as accelerated engine wear and failure, fuel-system damage and false ‘check engine’ lights for any vehicle not approved by its manufacturer to use E15,” AAA reports, adding:   • BMW, Chrysler, Nissan, Toyota and Volkswagen all say their warranties will not cover fuel-related claims caused by use of E15.

• Ford, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo have stated that the use of E15 does not comply with the fuel requirements specified in their owner’s manuals and may void warranty coverage.   While AAA lobbies regulators to suspend sales of E15, motorists should keep an eye on pump labels and read their owners manuals to avoid E15 issues.   And avoiding moonshine for personal consumption is probably a good idea, too.


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