E10 Gasoline Explained: Check Tool, UK Price & Is It OK For Your Car?

E10 petrol has been rolled out at UK service stations, replacing the older E5 unleaded petrol in an effort to help drivers reduce their carbon footprint. Although the E10 represents a step forward for a greener automobile, you may have heard that some cars are not compatible with this new type of fuel. To answer all of your E10 gasoline questions, we’ve put together this guide to walk you through everything you need to know.

What is E10 fuel?

E10 is a new variety of gasoline that is a blend of 90 percent traditional gasoline and 10 percent ethanol. The ethanol added to the fuel has been derived from materials such as inferior grains, sugars and wasted wood.

E10 fuel has been adopted as the new default unleaded gasoline found in pumps across the UK, and its implementation will help reduce CO2 emissions by up to 750,000 tonnes per year, which is equivalent to removing 350,000 cars on the road. E5 gasoline previously on sale on UK service station forecourts contains no more than five percent ethanol – E10 contains twice as much, but it could cause problems for some cars.

Is my car compatible with E10?

All petrol cars built from 2011 onwards are E10 compatible, but the DfT has previously estimated that 700,000 vehicles in the UK are not. Older vehicles, such as classic cars, are incompatible with the new fuel and will suffer from filling with the wrong mixture.

The RAC estimates that around 28,000 older VW Golfs and 18,000 Mazda MX-5s cannot use the E10 due to its higher ethanol content which could damage rubber, alloy and plastic parts. The Association of European Automobile Manufacturers (ACEA) says all BMWs can use the E10, but warns that this is not the case for cars from all manufacturers. Almost any Mercedes model can use E10, but the C200 CGI and CLK 200 CGI manufactured from 2002 to 2005 cannot. Nevertheless, the E10 has been sold in Europe, notably in France and Belgium, alongside the E5 for several years.

If you are unsure whether your vehicle can use the new fuel, a E10 compatibility checker can be found on the website of the Department of Transport. This is the best way to check before you start using E10.

What if my car is not compatible with E10?

Owners of vehicles incompatible with E10 gasoline should not be too worried, as an E5 blend is still available at most service stations labeled as a “super”, “premium” or “performance” blend.

A spokesperson for the UK Petroleum Industry Association explained: “If the owner of a classic or expensive car is not sure whether his vehicle is compatible with (E10), he can avoid potential difficulties by using the super. quality ”. The problem is, you’ll pay a bit more for these premium fuels, and it’s always best to check that the pump is labeled E5 before you refuel your car.

What happens if my car cannot run on E10 but I refuel by mistake?

If you accidentally fill a car with E10 when it needs E5, some internal vehicle components may suffer. Additional solvents in fuel can damage fuel pumps, lines, and carburetors, especially in the long run.

If you accidentally fill your car with E10, it probably won’t be the end of the world. The risk is related to corrosion and this tends to be caused by repeated use. There is no problem mixing E5 and E10 fuels in your car’s tank and the RAC recommends that if you accidentally fill your car with E10, you should top it up with E5 after using a quarter tank to dilute negative effects.

Gasoline E10: Q and A

Here’s our quick summary of the big questions surrounding the UK’s switch to E10 gasoline…

Q: Why was E10 introduced?

A: The additional bioethanol in E10 comes from crops, which absorb carbon dioxide (CO2) as they grow. Switching to E10 is estimated to equate to a 2% reduction in CO2 per car, with the Department for Transport (DfT) expecting E10 to reduce UK CO2 emissions by 750,000 tonnes per year, which is equivalent to taking 350,000 cars off the road.

Q: Can my car run on E10?

A: New cars built from 2011 must be compatible, and most companies were way ahead of the legislation. But the DfT estimates that 700,000 UK cars are incompatible with E10 because of its higher ethanol content which could damage rubber, alloy and plastic parts. Go to the DfT Compatibility Checker (www.gov.uk/check-vehicle-e10-petrol) if you are concerned.

Q: What should I do if my car cannot use the E10?

A: The E5 is still offered as super unleaded. People with incompatible cars should use super unleaded, although this comes at extra cost. Protective additives are also available.

Q: What if my car cannot run on E10 but I refuel by mistake?

A: Cars that can’t use E10 should still work, but the extra solvents in the fuel can damage fuel pumps, lines, and carburetors, especially in the long run.

Q: Why is the E10 already in gas stations?

A: Stations were to make E10 their standard grade of unleaded gasoline by September 1, 2021. Gasoline labeling rules are strict, so if you see E10 on the pump, that’s what you get. .

Q: Will E10 gasoline cost more?

A: E10 gasoline will not be more expensive than the E5 unleaded gasoline it replaces, but it will increase the refill cost for owners of those cars who cannot use the E10 because they will be forced to use premium unleaded gasoline which will remain E5.

Q: Will my car use more fuel with E10?

A: The DfT claims that using E10 gasoline may “slightly reduce” fuel economy, but only by about 1%.

Q: Does E10 reduce the CO2 of the exhaust pipe?

A: There may be a slight reduction, but this is likely to be offset by an increase in fuel consumption. The real CO2 savings come from crops grown for fuel.

Q: What is ethanol?

A: Ethanol is a form of alcohol, and the ethanol contained in gasoline E5 and E10 is bioethanol, which means that it is a renewable fuel derived from the cultivation and fermentation of cultures. such as sugar, wheat and corn. Increasing the ethanol content in gasoline results in a reduction in carbon dioxide because ethanol produces less CO2 than gasoline when it is burned and because crops are grown to produce it, it absorbs carbon. CO2 from the atmosphere.

Q: What if you use E10 in an incompatible car?

A: The consequences of using a car incompatible with E10 can be serious, as James Elliott, editor of Auto Express’s sister title, Octane, explained: “These fuels do a quick job of rubber and fuel lines in older cars. It happened on one of my classics when a

section of the fuel line died prematurely and started spitting gasoline all over the place. I was lucky that he was spotted and was able to be brought to safety there, but I’m afraid not everyone is so lucky. All fuel damaging gaskets and lines that prevent fuel from reaching the hottest parts of the engine pose a serious fire hazard and a potential hazard to classic cars and their owners.

Check out our guide on Euro 6 emission standards and how they could affect you


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Virginia C. Taylor