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November 30, 2012

Ethanol use is good. Or bad. Read on

Will the use of ethanol damage vehicles on the road today -- and make it harder for repair technicians to do their jobs?

The American Automobile Association (AAA) says the danger is there.  A recent AAA survey reveals "a strong likelihood of consumer confusion and the potential for voided warranties and vehicle damage as a result of the Environmental Protection Agency’s recent approval of E15 gasoline."

According to the AAA, 95% of consumers surveyed have not heard of E15, a newly approved gasoline blend that contains up to 15% ethanol. "With little consumer knowledge about E15 and less than 5% of cars on the road approved by auto makers to use the fuel, AAA is urging regulators and the industry to stop the sale of E15 until motorists are better protected."

The Renewable Fuels Association (RFA) doesn't agree.

In response to the AAA survey, RFA CEO and President Bob Dinneen says AAA is biased.

"If AAA weren’t so deep in the Big Oil politics, they would stop manufacturing concern about the efficacy of ethanol blend use and report enthusiastically about ethanol’s consumer gasoline price savings. Their misplaced concern today, that E15 should be further tested before being offered for sale reflects a pathetic ignorance of EPA’s unprecedented test program before approving E15 for commercial use.

"The fact is, E15 has been the most aggressively and comprehensively tested fuel in the history of the agency. The miles driven on E15 equate to 12 round trips to the moon and back without a single failure, unless you want to count the deer that was killed on the test track! E15 is a safe fuel, as evidenced by the fact auto manufacturers are now providing warranty coverage for it.”

To read more about AAA's survey results and conclusions, click here.

Modern Tire Dealer and www.moderntiredealer.com will stay on top of this continuing story line in order to make sure you and your customers are aware of future problems and possible fixes.

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comments

  1. Troy | December 03, 2012 at 10:54AM
    Talk about "in the pocket of", Bob Dinneen's comments certainly are what you'd expect from the president of an Association which exists solely to perpetuate the outright subsidies and payoffs ethanol producers currently enjoy. The bulk of automobile manufacturers DO NOT extend warranty coverage to non "Flexfuel" rated vehicles for the use of E15; most have indicated that use of E15 in non Flexfuel vehicles will, or can be, grounds for the denial of warranty coverage. Aside from the fact that the AAA is right about the extremely small percentage of vehicles that are ACTUALLY rated by their manufacturers for E15, we also should be considering the consequential damage of our flawed national corn-based ethanol policy. Food prices being driven up, environmental damages done by the ethanol production process, increased fuel consumption of "alcohol enhanced" fuels necessary to cover the same distance vs. 100% gas, and now the reality of vehicles being damaged by this "energy policy".

    It makes no sense, whatsoever, except to those like Mr. Dinneen whose organization and those it represents profit handsomely thereby.

  2. stan | December 03, 2012 at 11:17AM
    Hey Bob, it's not about savings - it's about the crazing & cracking alcohol does to rubber & plastic parts over time. The studies are flawed & slanted. Call BoatUS and ask them fr all the evidence they have on ethanol effects on boat engines (same as car engines Bob). warranties voided, etc.

  3. Mike | December 03, 2012 at 02:28PM
    Amen to the above and what about the fact that I can get just a little more than 2-miles per gallon "LESS" on my return trip from the grandkids house 300 miles away. How much diesel is used just getting the "E" to the refineries so they can blend it. More fuel wasted I will say!

  4. brian | December 03, 2012 at 06:07PM
    You should see all the damage I see on motorcycles/scooters/atv's that I work on!!!!! Even at 10% it destroys the intake manifolds and fuel systems. I have been a bike mechanic for years. I suggest race gas such as turbo blue for any vehicle that sees infrequent use or long storage.

  5. brian | December 03, 2012 at 06:09PM
    You should see all the damage I see on motorcycles/scooters/atv's that I work on!!!!! Even at 10% it destroys the intake manifolds and fuel systems. I have been a bike mechanic for years. I suggest race gas such as turbo blue for any vehicle that sees infrequent use or long storage.

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