Classic cars may ‘run better’ and suffer less damage with new E10 fuel

Mr Ricrado launched the UK’s first alcohol fuel, Cleveland Discol, in 1928 which was sold for 40 years up to 1968. 

Mr Ireland told Express.co uk: “The thing to remember is ethanol petrol and alcohol in petrol is not new. 

“It was originally launched in a fuel called Cleveland Discol, I think it was around in the 1930s. 

“If you think about it, those cars although they were the new cars of the day, they are the classic cars of today and they were running on ethanol blended petrol without any problems at all.”

Many experts have warned of the devastating effect of new E10 fuel suggesting that up to 600,000 cars may not be able to run the fuel. 



Classic car owners may find this vital part ‘degrades more quickly’ when E10 is launched

Classic car wonders may find rubber inside their petrol tanks becomes “degraded” by ethanol blended fuel which can lead to consequences. Paul Ireland, fuel researcher and author of Classic Engines: Modern Fuel has warned the ethanol fuel could make target rubber “go hard” which may lead to leaks. 

“The main thing is that you’ve just gotta keep yourself aware, ‘my petrol holes may have leaked, let’s have a sniff of the car when we get in it, if we smell petrol we’ll investigate’.”

However, he reassured road users that damage would be “very cheap” to replace with a complete set of rubber hoses available for around £50.

He said the rubber in older models was “going away” anyway and that the problem would not be a “big issue”.

He told Express.co.uk: “If you’ve got an old fuel hose from the 1940s and you run an ethanol petrol through it, it will probably make it degrade more quickly. 

“But the point is if it’s that old it might degrade in one year rather than three years and as I say they are pretty cheap to replace. 

“There are bits in the fuel pump and sometimes rubber components in the carburetor so you’ve got this non metallic component which can be degraded by ethanol but they are also degraded by petrol anyway. It is an issue but it’s not a big issue.”

E10 fuel will contain more ethanol than previous petrol making up ten percent of the total product alongside 90 percent octane. 

There are fears that this extra ethanol could cause a range of issues to models which have not been built to use the fuel. 

This includes any vehicles built before 2002 but there are fears some models built before 2011 could also be affected. 

Tests conducted by the Department for Transport have backed up Mr Ireland’s analysis as they revealed rubber was particularly affected by the new fuel. 

They identified issues with the new E10 fuel including issues such as degradation of fuel holes and seals, blocked fuel filters, damaged fuel pumps and corroded carburettors. 

They also noticed that injectors became blocked and the fuel tanks had become corroded. 



New E10 fuel could cause ‘burned pistons’ and valve damage due to high ethanol mix

New E10 fuel is set to be launched across petrol stations next year but owners could run the risk of suffering “burned valves” or “burned pistons”, according to an expert. Paul Ireland, researcher and author of Classic Engines: Modern Fuel has warned cars are built with a “precise mixture” of air and petrol which could be disturbed.

E10 fuel is made up of 90 percent octane and 10 percent bioethanol fuel which is higher than the five percent used in standard E5 fuel currently. 

This means cars will run with higher percentages of ethanol which could cause a vehicle to run weak – potentially leading to serious consequences. 

Mr Ireland warned the damage could lead to burned out car parts which could be expensive for motorists to replace. 

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Mr Ireland said: “Because ethanol blended petrol has oxygen in it, a petrol engine has to run with a precise mixture of air and petrol and if it doesn’t, it doesn’t run properly. 

READ MORE: Petrol car owners could have tank destroyed with one water drop

Road vehicle specialists at Fiix have revealed engines which run lean could also lead to a range of further car issues.

Weak running cars will have less power than it had before with experts warning of “sluggish acceleration” and a “lack of power” form the vehicle. 

Specialists also warn drivers could have trouble starting their car at all which could be a risk to road users. 

However, Mr Ireland says owners can reduce the damage caused by the extra ethanol with a simple change. 

He told Express.co.uk: “With variable jet carburetors it’s incredibly trivial to make minor adjustments you need to run on E10. I mean it’s literally about a 30 second job.”

There has been much concern regarding the introduction of E10 petrol with warnings over the possible damage the new fuel could cause when launched. 

Tests conducted by the Department for Transport (DfT) revealed the new petrol could cause problems such as degradation to the fuel hoses and seals. 

The DfT analysis also highlighted how the fuel could cause blocked fuel filters, damaged fuel pumps and blocked injectors. 

Corrosion could also be an issue with tests revealing carburetors and fuel tanks can be affected by the new mix. 

Experts have warned cars built before 2002 should not use the new E10 fuel but it could affect cars made up until 2011. 

It has been estimated that around 600,000 cars may not be eligible to run the fuel when it is launched. 

However, the RAC says that although using the new fuel in an incompatible car could cause cars to run a little rough, it would not be a disaster.

The DfT states that the “vast majority” of petrol vehicles in use today are fully approved for use with E10 fuel. 



New E10 petrol changes will ‘add to fuel costs’ for all owners according to DfT analysis

E10 fuel changes “will add to fuel costs” with an estimated price rise of around 1.6 percent for all drivers according to the Department for Transport’s impact assessment. It is believed some owners may see costs rise by as much as eight percent as many will be forced to purchase premium fuel to keep their cars on the road. 

Quick analysis from Express.co.uk predicts petrol owners could see prices rise by £1.22 every time they fill up their car based on current averages. 

RAC Fuel Watch says the current average cost to fill up a five litre fuel tank is £60.97 meaning a two percent rise would see over £1 added to total costs. 

However, incompatible owners who are expected to pay eight percent more for fuel when E10 is introduced could see petrol prices rose by almost £5. 

Analysis has shown an extra £4.88 would be added onto the overall cost of filling a 55 litre tank as they are forced to pay for premium fuel. 

READ MORE: Classic cars may need extensive upgrades when E10 fuel is launched

“However, as the energy content of the fuel will also decrease, motorists will have to buy more litres of fuel. 

“Overall fuel costs for petrol cars are therefore estimated to increase by 1.6 percent as a result of moving from E5 to E10.”

The report adds: “Our central estimate is that fuel costs for E10 compatible petrol cars will increase by around 1.6 percent for E10 incompatible cars. 

“[Costs will rise] by around eight percent for owners of incompatible cars who are assumed to purchase E5 ‘super grade’ petrol as an alternative to E10.”

DfT analysis has revealed incompatible drivers will pay an extra £33million in 2021 to top up their cars as many pay for premium E5 fuel.

The RAC has previously revealed there are around 600,000 incompatible cars still being used on the roads. 

Experts have warned it is not just classic car owners who are set to be affected with many modern cars also unable to use the fuel. 

Anyone owning a car made before 2002 are advised to not use the new petrol but it can still affect car’s built up to 2011. 

Analysis from the DfT has revealed the number of incompatible cars is set to almost half over the next decade. 

They say there will be around 520,000 non compatible cars on the streets in 2021 but this will fall to just 278,000 by 2030. 

Older vehicles cannot use the new E10 fuel due to fears the higher ethanol petrol could damage a vehicle.

Tests by the DfT have revealed the new fuel can degrade the car’s fuel hoses and seals and lead to blocked fuel filters. 

Fuel pumps could also be damaged and carburetors corroded which can lead to expensive vehicle repairs. 

The tests revealed car’s injectors were blocked and fuel tanks were corroded with analysis revealing rubber is particularly affected by the new fuel. 



E10 fuel changes: These cars ‘will be hit worse’ by new petrol introduced next year

E10 fuel changes may not be compatible with up to 600,000 classic cars after fears the new bioethanol petrol could damage key parts. Incompatible cars can continue using existing E5 fuel for the time being being the government has said it can only guarantee its sale for five years after E10 is introduced. 

Many may decide to upgrade key car parts to modern specification to run on the new E10 fuel. 

However, owners of large engined cars will still need to pay a premium for E10 fuel even if they upgrade their vehicle. 

Switching to the new fuel is likely to see an increase in petrol costs for all motorists with prices set to rise by up over one percent. 

The Department for Transport’s impact assessment revealed the introduction of E10 “will add to fuel costs paid by motorists”. 

Spraking to Express.co.uk a spokesperson revaled that many owners only used their cars for less than 1,000 miles per year so a small rise would not be felt by many topping up regularly. 

They said: “I don’t think classic car owners would be that worried about a small increase in prices at the pumps.

“Most classic car owners do less than 1,000 miles per annum in their cars and generally only use them for six months of the year.”

Cars built before 2002 are not advised to use the new fuel at all while some models built up to 2011 may also be affected. 

Tests conducted by the Department foTransport have identified a range of issues when older cars use the new E10 fuel. 

Issues include degradation to fuel hoses and seals, blocked fuel filters, damaged fuel pumps and corroded carburetors.



Classic car owners can prevent new E10 fuel corrosion damage with these simple tools

Classic car owners can reduce the level of damage to a car and keep their vehicle on the road by simply adding fuel additives to their cars. These additives can help lubricate certain areas of the cars and prevent corrosion across key areas of the vehicle. 

Classic Oils says the tool is a unique formula which protects against valve seat recession under all driving conditions. 

Classic Oils claims the stabiliser prevents use of E5 and E10 petrol in classic cars, motorcycles and pre 1996 petrol vehicles. 

They say the liquid will protect against corrosion and keep fuel systems clean when using the new petrol. 

Modern classic vehicles should use other additives which are friendly with catalytic converter devices.

A spokesperson said: “Replacing some engine parts could become more common, however there could be options to use fuel additives. 

“So even if E10 does become the standard, there will be ways and means to keep classic cars on the road.”

Experts have previously warned many owners of modern vehicles may be able to use the new fuel if they have had extensive modifications. 

They say many drivers may have had to replace valve seats and fuel lines with more durable alternatives which may mean E10 can run on their cars. 

However, advanced mechanical alterations could cost motorists anywhere from hundreds to thousands of pounds. 

Department for Transport tests have identified a series of issues with E10 fuels when used in incompatible vehicles. 

Problems include degradation of fuel hoses and seals and blocked fuel filters. 

Carburettors may be corroded, injectors could be blocked and fuel tanks could be damaged with the new fuel. 

The RAC has previously warned up to 600,000 cars may be incompatible with the new petrol when it is launched. 



Classic car engines ‘may struggle to ignite’ when new E10 fuel changes come into effect

Classic cars are incompatible with the new fuel which is set to be introduced at forecourts from 2021. The changes could mean accidentally filling up a tank with the new petrol could have consequences for owners unaware of the risks.  

The issue stems from the higher amount of ethanol inside the new fuel which could act as a corrosive to some of the car’s metal and plastics. 

The rate of damage all depends on whether engines have been adjusted to deal with modern fuel which means some restored older vehicles could be safe. 

Holts Auto also says motorists who have not managed to get key parts refitted may be able to use lubricants to reduce the risk of damage.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, a spokesperson said: “While some car owners are concerned about the effects of E10, the problem of corrosive fuel isn’t a new one.

“For vintage car owners, unleaded fuel itself has been an issue since it was first introduced, because it’s not compatible with engines which were originally designed to run on leaded petrol.

“Because of this, some classic car owners may already be accustomed to modifying their engines for fuel reasons, or else using additives to maintain fragile components. 

“For example, many drivers have had to replace valve seats and fuel lines with more durablealternatives as a means of running their car safely on standard unleaded. 

“Others use lead additives each time they fill up to make sure that components stay well maintained and lubricated.

“For this reason, the introduction of E10 may not be as a big a problem as some drivers fear.”

Current E5 fuel will remain on forecourts for the immediate future as the new E10 petrol is slowly accepted by road users. 

However the government has already warned the sale of E5 can only be protected until 2026 when a review would be needed to assess its overall demand. 

At this stage, E5 could then be removed from forecourts which may push motorists into car updates or buying a new vehicle. 

Holts Auto has warned the long term effects of using E10 fuel will be hard to understand for the time being as many owners simply avoid using ethanol fuel for risk of damage. 

This could mean the extent of car damage and the effect it could have on many older vehicles may still be relatively unknown. 

A Holts Auto spokesperson said: “It’s not yet clear to what extent E10 fuel will impact the performance and integrity of classic cars. 

“Currently, classic car owners will make an effort to avoid biofuels because of the corrosive properties of ethanol, so it’s hard to know what the long-term effects of using E10 in an older car will be.”