This time we’re taking a look at Ethanol E10 Fuel and whether you should use at on any Australian vehicles. We’ll be updating with US vehicle compatibility shortly in the future.

What is Ethanol?

Ethanol is a non fossil fuel that is produced from a variety of agricultural crops such as sugar or grain. It’s essentially a greener fuel that could help reduce our greenhouse gases. E blended fuels

Marine Engines

Ethanol has a strong affinity for water as it attracts it. Never use ethanol in an outboard or inboard engine. You will have to buy the more expensive stuff.

E85

If your vehicle is not designed to run on E85 you could experience poor drivability and possible damage to the fuel system components. Vehicle manufacturers will not honor warranty if the fuel used contains more than 10% ethanol. Only SAAB is currently selling a vehicle designed to run on E85.

Testing by the Australian Government on E20 in 5 vehicles most common in the Australian fleet showed Engine and Emission control damage after 80,000km. Be very cautious if you’re tempted to use fuel with more than 10% Ethanol.

Engine computers would have to be mapped to use E85’s 35% lower energy content. Fuel injectors may have to be replaced to provide greater fuel flow, hoses and seals may also have to be replaced to cope with E85.

Ethanol or Not?

Is it safe to use Ethanol in my car?

Most new and many older model vehicles can run on “E10” blended fuel. Vehicle manufacturers and importers have provided the following information on the capability of their vehicle models to operate on ethanol fuel blends up to a maximum of 10% or E10 subject to the fuel meeting the octane requirements of the vehicle, complying with the relevant mandatory Australian fuel quality standards.

The information below provides technical reasons why some vehicles cannot or should not use E10 ethanol blend.

So, its up to the individual.

Why E10 is not recommended for some newer cars?

Australian Design Rules (ADR) are harmonized with international standards as specified in the UN ECE Regulations. The same requirements apply throughout the European Union.

New Vehicles certified to these standards will increasingly use advanced emission control technologies that strictly control the engines operation parameters and have therefore more stringent fuel quality requirements.

The maximum level of ethanol blended fuel in Europe is E5. Depending on what markets certain models are sold in, Australian vehicles may be built to either a European Specifications (E5 compatible) or some other specification that is E10 compatible. This is the reason recommendations regarding E10 suitability will differ from one manufacturer to another.

The use of E10 petrol in vehicles that are E5 compatible may also result in material compatibility problems in the fuel system.

Carburetor Equipped Engines

Vehicles made before 1986 vehicles were predominantly equipped with carburetor and steel fuel tanks.

The use of ethanol blended petrol in engines impacts the air/fuel ratio because of the additional oxygen molecules within the ethanol’s chemical structure.

Vehicles with carburetor fuel systems may experience hot fuel handling concerns. This is because the vapor pressure of fuel with ethanol will be greater (if the base fuel is not chemically adjusted) and probability of vapor lock or hot restartability problems will be increased.

As a solvent, ethanol attacks both the metallic and rubber based fuels lines, and other fuel system components.

Ethanol also has an affinity to water that can result in corrosion of fuel tanks and fuel lines. Rust resulting from this corrosion can ultimately block the fuel supply rendering the engine inoperable. Water in the fuel system can also result in the engine hesitating and running roughly.

Exhaust And Evaporative Emission Levels

Lean-out resulting from the oxygenating effect of ethanol in the fuel may affect exhaust emissions.

Fuel containing ethanol can increase permeation emissions from fuel system components, particularly those that have aged for nearly 20 years. Therefore the increased vapor pressure of fuel with ethanol (if the base fuel is not chemically adjusted at the refining stage) will lead to increased evaporative emissions.

Should I use E10 for my vehicle?

*Please note we have based this upon Australian models as this article is

Motor Cycles

BMW All motorcycles post 1986 are E5 and E10 Suitable.

Buell All motorcycles are E5 and E10 Suitable.

Honda Do not use E10 or E85 in Honda Motorcycles or (ATVs) All Terrain Vehicles.

Kawasaki Do not use E10 or E85 in Kawasaki Motorcycles or (ATVs) All Terrain Vehicles.

Piaggio Do not use E10 or E85 in Piaggio Motorcycles.

Polaris All motorcycles post 1986 are E5 and E10 Suitable.

Suzuki Do not use E10 or E85 in Suzuki Motorcycles or (ATVs) All Terrain Vehicles.

Yamaha Do not use E10 or E85 in Yamaha Motorcycles or (ATVs) All Terrain Vehicles.

BEFORE THE USE OF E10 IN MOTOR VEHICLES NOT ON THIS LIST YOU SHOULD CONSULT YOUR HAND BOOK OR MANUFACTURER TO CHECK IF IT IS SUITABLE. DO NOT USE ETHANOL BLENDED FUELS IN ANY MOTORCYCLE OR LAWN MOWER.

Australian Manufacturers All petrol engine vehicles since 1986 will operate satisfactorily on E10 except as listed below.

Holden The following vehicles DO NOT operate on E10 fuel:Apollo (1/87-7/89), Nova (2/89-7/94), Barina (1985-1994), Drover (1985-19987), Scurry (1985-1986), Astra (1984-1989).

Ford All petrol engine vehicles since 1986 will operate satisfactorily on E10 except as listed below. The following vehicles may not operate satisfactorily on E10 because of drivability concerns:Focus (2002-2004), F-series (1986-1992), Ka (ALL) Maverick (1988 1993), Mondeo (ALL), Transit (1996-2004).The following models DO NOT operate satisfactorily on E10:Capri (1989-1994), Courier 2.0-2.6 (All), Econovan (pre-2002), Festiva (ALL), Laser 1.3, 1.5 & 1.6 (ALL), Raider (ALL), Telstar (ALL).

Mitsubishi All petrol engine vehicles since 1986 will operate satisfactorily on E10:Mitsubishi vehicles with carburetor fuel systems manufactured before 1991 may experience hot fuel handling concerns and may experience a lower level of durability in some fuel system components.

Toyota All Toyota models manufactured locally or imported by Toyota Australia since 1987 will operate satisfactorily on E10 fuel except as listed below:The following models will not operate satisfactorily on E10 fuel due to material compatibility issues:Camry with carburetor engines pre July 1989 and Corolla pre July 1994. Supra-pre May 1993, Cressida-pre Feb 1993, Paseo-pre Aug 1995, Starlet-pre July 1999. Land Cruiser-pre August 1992, Coaster-pre Jan 1993, Dyna-pre May 1995 Tarago-pre Oct 1996, Hilux, Hiace & 4 Runner-pre Aug 1997, Townace-pre Dec 1998.

Vehicle Importers All Alfa Romeo vehicles imported since 1998 must run on minimum 95 RON fuel (premium unleaded fuel).

Alfa Romeo Post 1998 Alfa Romeo vehicles will operate satisfactorily on E5 ethanol blended fuel ( European Standard EN 228) E10 ethanol blend is NOT recommended as there are material compatibility and drivability issues. E10 may be used in emergency situations. E10 ethanol blended petrol is not recommended for earlier model Alfa’s due to material issues

Audi All current Audi vehicles must run on minimum 95 RON fuel (premium unleaded petrol).All Audi models since 1986 will run satisfactorily on E10 except as listed below:Audi A3 1.8L(Engine code “APG” 2000 onwards) and A4 2.0L(engine code”ALT”2001 onwards) will operate satisfactorily on E5 ethanol blended fuel(European Standard EN 228) However, E10 ethanol blended petrol is not recommended for these vehicle models as there are material compatibility and drivability issues E10 may be used in emergency situations.

Bentley All petrol engine vehicles since 1990 will operate satisfactorily on E10.

BMW All petrol engine vehicles since 1986 will operate satisfactorily on E10.

Citroen All Citroen vehicles are required to run on 95 RON fuel (premium unleaded petrol).Citroen vehicles will operate satisfactorily on E5 blended petrol (European Standard 228). However, E10 blended petrol is not recommended because of drivability and/or material compatibility issues. E10 may be used in emergency situations.

Chrysler All petrol engine vehicles since 1986 will operate satisfactorily on E10.

Daewoo GM Daewoo does not recommend the use of ethanol blended petrol.

Daihatsu The following models will operate satisfactorily on E10:Charade(September 2004 onwards), Terios (September 2004 onwards), Copen (October 2004 onwards), Sirion (November 2004 onwards).

Honda All Honda vehicles should use the fuel recommended in the owners hand book.The following models will operate satisfactorily on E10:Insight (2004 onwards), Civic range (including Civic Hybrid) – 2004 onwards; S2000 – 2004 onwards, CRV – 2003 onwards, MD-X – 2003 onwards, Accord & Accord Euro – 2003 onwards. Honda does not recommend E10 for other vehicle models because there may be drivability issues.

Hyundai Hyundai vehicles will operate satisfactorily on E10, but if drivability concerns occur revert back to 100% unleaded petrol.

Ferrari Ferrari does not recommend the use of ethanol blend petrol. E10 may be used in emergency situations.

Jaguar All vehicles imported and sold by Jaguar cars Australia since 1986 will operate satisfactorily on unleaded petrol containing ethanol blended up to 10% (E10) provided the fuel octane recommendations in the owners hand book are adhered to. To avoid any operational issues, the vehicles should also be maintained in accordance with Jaguar servicing procedures using genuine Jaguar replacement parts.In general, some pre – 1986 cars will operate on E10 ULP, however Jaguar Recommends that they do not use ethanol blended petrol due to the aging of the vehicle fuel systems. It is important however that Jaguar vehicles with carburetors do not use ethanol blended petrol.

Kia All petrol engine vehicles since 1996 will operate satisfactorily on E10 but if engine drivability concerns occur revert back to 100% unleaded petrol. Please refer to owner’s manual for further details.

Land Rover All Land Rover vehicles imported and sold by Land Rover Australia since 1986 will operate satisfactorily on unleaded petrol containing ethanol blended up to 10% (E10) provided that the fuel octane recommendations in the owners hand book are adhered to, to avoid any operational issues, the vehicles should be maintained in accordance with Land Rover servicing procedures using genuine Land Rover replacement parts.

In general, some pre – 1986 cars will operate on E10 ULP, however Land Rover recommends that they do not use ethanol blended petrol due to the aging of the vehicle fuel systems. It is important however that Land Rover vehicles with carburetors do not use ethanol blended petrol.

Lexus All models will operate satisfactorily on E10 except for the model listed below.The following model will not operate satisfactorily on E10 fuel:IS200 – pre May 2002.

Maserati Maserati does not recommend the user of ethanol fuel. E10 may be used in emergency situations.

Mazda Mazda 323 1.8L(1994 onwards), Mazda 323 2.0L (2001 onwards), Mazda2 (11/02 onwards), Mazda3 (ALL), Premacy (5/02 onwards), Mazda6 (8/02 onwards), 800M &Millenia (8/98 onwards), MX5 (1998 onwards), RX-8 (7/03 onwards), MPV (8/99 onwards), Tribute (ALL), and E series (2002 fuel injected models onwards) vehicles will operate satisfactorily on E10.All of the models not listed above do not operate satisfactorily on E10.

Mercedes Benz All petrol engine vehicles since 1986 will operate satisfactorily on E10.

MG MGF 2000 onwards), MG ZT (2002 onwards) and MG TF (2002 onwards) vehicles may operate satisfactorily on E10. However, use of E10 may affect engine calibration and emissions.

Mini All models will operate satisfactorily on E10.

Nissan Nissan vehicles manufactured from 1 January 2004 onwards are capable of operation on ethanol blended fuels up to E10 (10% ethanol) providing that blending of the ethanol component to the petroleum component of the fuel has been properly made at the fuel refinery (i.e. there is no “splash blending” of the fuel).For Nissan vehicles manufactured prior to 1 January 2004, Nissan Australia does not recommend the use of E10 fuel because of drivability concerns and/or material compatibility issues.

Peugeot All Peugeot vehicles are required to run on 95 RON fuel (premium unleaded petrol).Peugeot vehicles will operate satisfactorily on E5 blended petrol (European Standard 228). However, E10 blended petrol is not recommended because of drivability and/or material compatibility issues. E10 may be used in emergency situations.

Porsche Porsche does not recommend the use of ethanol blend petrol in any Porsche models.

Proton All petrol engine vehicles since 1986 will operate satisfactorily on E10 fuel.

Rover Rover 75 (2001 onwards), vehicles will operate satisfactorily on E10. However, use of E10 may affect engine calibration and emissions.

Renault All petrol engine vehicles since 2001 will operate satisfactorily on E10 but Renault does not recommend its use.

Rolls Royce All petrol engine vehicles since 1990 until 2002 will operate satisfactorily on E10.

SAAB All petrol engines since 1986 will operate satisfactorily on E10.

Subaru Subaru Liberty B4 (all year models) and Impreza WRX STI (1999 and 2000) do not operate satisfactorily on E10. All others since MY1990 petrol engine Subaru vehicles will operate satisfactorily on E10.

Suzuki Suzuki Alto, Mighty Boy, Wagon R+, Swift/Cino, Ignis Sport (1.5litre requires 98RON), Sierra, Stockman, Vitara, X-90, Jimmy (SOHC) and Super Carry vehicles do not operate satisfactorily on E10. Suzuki Baleno and Baleno GTX will operate satisfactorily on E10 but Suzuki does not recommend its use in these vehicles. Ignis (1.3Litre), Liana, Grand Vitara/XL-7, Jimmy (DOHC), Carry (1.3 Litre), Swift (2005 on) and APV vehicles will operate satisfactorily on E10.

Volkswagen All Volkswagen petrol engine vehicles will operate satisfactorily on E10 but Volkswagen does not recommend it.

Volvo All Volvo’s imported and sold by Volvo Australia since 1986 will operate satisfactorily on unleaded petrol containing ethanol blended up to 10% (E10) provided that the fuel octane recommendations in the owners hand book are adhered to, to avoid any operational issues, the vehicles should be maintained in accordance with Volvo Servicing procedures using genuine Volvo Replacement parts. In general, some pre – 1986 cars will operate on E10 ULP, however Volvo recommends that they do not use ethanol blended petrol due to the aging of the vehicle fuel systems. It is important however that Volvo vehicles with carburetors do not use ethanol blended petrol.