New E10 fuel changes could ‘degrade’ classic cars and ‘dry out’ rubber seals

E10 biofuel: Department for Transport explains why it’s ‘better'

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YouTube mechanics, Lights Up Lights Down says the new petrol will “cause cracking” and “lead to brittle behaviour on old seals”. They explained this was down to the properties of ethanol which is known to damage rubber and metal.

The new petrol will use up to 10 percent ethanol instead of the five percent currently used in E5 fuel.

Ollie, one of the mechanics at Lights Up Lights Down and an expert Mazda MX-5 restorer said ethanol “pulls water” into the solution which will “dry out” rubber seals.

He said: “Ethanol is known to really degrade rubber in exactly the same way and for the same reasons as metals.

“It pulls the water out from any surrounding conditions into the actual solution itself.

“Rubber or any composite form of it is an organic compound and gets quite a lot of its properties from its hydration nature.

“When you take away the water from inside these materials, effectively what you’re going to do is dry out the rubber and cause cracking and any kind of brittle behaviour you see on old seals.”

However, Lights Up Lights Down suggested this already happens with normal petrol which is a “harsh chemical”.

They explained drivers do not need to do anything extra to keep their car in good condition except for simple regular maintenance.

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He said: This already happens on petrol on its own as it’s already a harsh chemical and material itself.

“What you need to be doing is no more than you are already doing when maintaining your fuel system.”

Ollie also warned corrosion rates on cars would not be as bad as others had made out.

He said corrosion rates for cars running E40 and E60 fuel were miniscule, meaning E10 should be fine for normal drivers.

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