free hit
counters
E10 Fuel in Esprit - Esprit Chat - The Lotus Forums #ForTheOwners Jump to content


E10 Fuel in Esprit


Recommended Posts

Apologies if this has been discussed before.

With the E10 fuel becoming more  normal from September 2021.  Will we have problems fueling the Esprits.

Mine is an 86 Turbo.  It is seldom used and I always top up fuel with a fresh 'gallon'  before using after long periods idle.

Will we be able to run Esprits  with E10 fuels?  Not sure if super unleaded (98 RON) will be going down E10 route.

Has anyone done any research on this?....

Lotus say the modern cars will be ok with E10.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Upgrade today to remove Google ads and support TLF.

All car manufactured after 2011 will be fine with E10. The increase in ethanol tends to corrode pipes and the like mostly (happy to be corrected).

Older cars therefore don't take to it well, because of older rubber hoses. And especially not great to be left standing for long periods with it in the system. I suspect it burns hotter as well.

Super unleaded will stay E5, so you're fine but you have to stick with Super, which I'm assuming you're using anyway.  Govt has committed to another 5 years for Super being E5 and I suspect that they will do the same again in 5 years.

But, longer term, engine modification might be required.

That's my take, but I'm not an expert.

Sudders and Dany

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Gold FFM

At the moment Super Unleaded will remain non E10 in the UK. There are also various other threads on this topic floating around, so might be some further details on those as well - not sure how to link!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've been researching this on and off for the last few years because of the various vehicles I have and these are my current conclusions for what it's worth.

Firstly the more aggressive nature of E10 fuel attacking seals, hoses and to a lesser extent brass components. Old seals, hoses etc. designed for leaded petrol will probably fail faster with E10 than E5 but most replacement seals and hoses are already ethanol resistant so only really an issue if still using very old ones and/or they may need replacing more often. Ethanol also attacks brass/bronze but very slowly, in practice this is probably not a significant issue.

Secondly the way the fuel burns. Ethanol burns hotter than petrol, producing more power, but is significantly less fuel efficient so needs more fuel. The two tend to cancel each other out in practical terms so mpg actually doesn't alter much. But the more ethanol in the fuel, the richer the mixture needs to be. The effect with E5 is minimal but at E10 and above unless the mixture is modified the engine will run lean with the potential for damage. In cars with an ECU that monitors and adjusts the fueling situation this isn't an issue as it happens automatically (for the Esprit that means the SE or later which matches the table above). But carb cars should have their jetting modified. I doubt that's any more complex than going up one or two sizes on the main jets. Ignition timing might need slight adjustment also. 

Plenty of countries have been running E10 for years with few problems, and those that have had problems seem to have found solutions. Some countries run even higher levels of ethanol. I've not heard of anybody having to stop using their car because of it.

So my take on it is that it's something to be aware of but nothing to be too worried about.
 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think the other reason carb cars are 'incompatible' is more due to the fact they are vented to atmosphere and therefore suseptible to evaporation and sticky residues, rather than the materials used in carb/fuel injection systems.  Clearly regular use will alleviate this.    However certain machinery definitely has issues with the solvent effect of E10 fuel.   EG the plastic floats used in Amal carbs need replacement with ethanol resistant versions.  Only time will tell what else may fail.  I also guess more older cars will start going up in flames...  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

On 02/07/2021 at 13:14, Mark Blanchard said:

If you want to be totally safe, use Esso 99 Premium.  It is ethanol free, even though it say E5 on the label.

Except in Devon, Cornwall and some parts of the 'north' according to 

https://www.pistonheads.com/gassing/topic.asp?t=1928894

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Lots of red diesel - here in Devon.....Although I always get petrol for the Evora from the Esso petrol station (that is next to Sainsbury's - as there is no queue and super unleaded is on each pump. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Water washing apparently reduces octane and makes the fuel more corrosive.

This from Mike B on flyer forum who is a fuel chemist.

Quote

The BS EN228 specification already incorporates both premium and super unleaded grades. For both grades, with regards to ethanol, the two "E" sub-specifications in fact relate to 2.7% and 3.7% max oxygen content fuels, with maximum ethanol limits of 5 and 10% respectively.

The labels on forecourt pumps form part of the spec. E5 doesn't necessarily mean 5% ethanol - it means the fuels conform to the 2.7% maximum oxygen content specification which amongst other parameters, allows for any ethanol content between 0% and 5%. E10 means 3.7% oxygen content with any ethanol content between 0 and 10%. It was deemed that E5 and E10 labels would make things easier to understand :D

The fact that super unleaded used to be largely ethanol-free but now largely isn't is not due to refineries closing - it is a shift from alternative bio components such as from ETBE to ethanol due to a "sustainability index" (SI) now incorporated in fuel mandates. ETBE generally has low SI, Ethanol can have a high SI depending on manufacturing process and feedstock source.

As for the earlier question about the affect of removing ethanol (which can indeed be done by water washing), the residual fuel will have a significantly lower octane. It will also be very likely to be somewhat corrosive (as metal deactivator additive will also be removed by water washing)

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

Although we now know much more fully the harmful effects of ethanol on fuel systems, back in The Day the Federal (HCi) owner’s manual noted “a mixture of 10% ethanol (grain alcohol) and 90% unleaded gasoline may be used” (20).

My how hindsight changes things!

1986 Esprit HCI (Bosch-injected)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Gold FFM

Our S2 is very original, even down to the sicker on the fuel cap - "Do not use fuel containing ethanol " 

E10.JPG.855e11b5748cbc6f2c870af476111849.JPG

We only use super unleaded usually use Tesco momentum 99 (or Shell Vmax) in all the Esprits, but will keep an eye on the information on the pump handle for sure.  

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry to say, but both Tesco momentum 99 and Shell Vmax normally contain Ethanol. In the UK the only Fuel guaranteed Ethanol free is Esso Synergy 99 as confirmed by their website and regular correspondence. "Although our pumps have E5 labels on them, our Synergy Supreme+ 99 is actually ethanol free (except, due to technical supply reasons, in Devon, Cornwall, North Wales, North England and Scotland).

BP refuse to confirm that any their fuel is ethanol free, but regular testing seems to show that their supply is much the same as Esso, i.e. ethanol free except Devon, Cornwall etc.

All other major fuel suppliers put Ethanol in both their regular and super petrol. Some very small brands are often ethanol free such as Murco, but even they no longer guarantee it, so you need to test each batch if you want to be certain.

These days Vmax is very weird petrol, some of the additives seem to evaporate very quickly giving high octane when fresh but significantly lower after a couple of weeks.

E5 or E10 labels only indicate up to 5% or 10% ethanol, so even if ethanol free it is currently labeled E5. As no refinery in the UK currently is geared up for producing E10, I'd bet that even when the E10 switch comes that for many months or even years even though it will say E10 on the label it will be E5 coming out of the nozzle! 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

BTW it's easy to test for ethanol, if you have a long thin clear container that you can seal, something like a test tube is ideal.

Pour in a cm or so of water, mark the level on the tube. Add about 10 times the amount of fuel. Seal the tube and shake well.

Leave a few hours to settle so the fuel and water separate out. If you still have the same quantity of water it's ethanol free, if you have less water than you started with, it contains ethanol.

If you can't wait that long then various instant testing kits are available at a price, such as https://contest.techbriefs.com/2017/entries/sustainable-technologies/7655

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Gold FFM

Agreed. This has been debated in Porsche club circles and Esso confirm their Synergy+ is ethanol free, at least until the next round of regulation changes which I think are due in late 2022/2023. I believe Esso are the only ones to guarantee this and the Porsche Club now have a deal for an Esso Fuel card that also gives you extra discounts on their petrol in the summer months.

Long time Lotus admirer, recent owner

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...
4 minutes ago, Barrykearley said:

Stickers on the pumps are one thing - what’s actually being dispensed is another.

yes, as long as it is not diesel....Sent an email to my son to remind him not to use E10 in his K series engine.

  • Haha 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Gold FFM

Interesting that Lotus are saying the Elise/Exige with the K-series is not compatible with E10 because JLR have it listed as compatible for their K-series cars from 1996 on. Wonder what the differences with the Lotus fuel system is?

I've read that the T4 has an option to configure the K-series to run on higher Ethanol levels, but I've not had a look on my T4 to see if that is the case myself.

Norfolk Mustard S4s #1 :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

×
×
  • Create New...