Dealing With Ethanol in Your Fuel Tank

Reprinted from Moss Motors British Motoring Magazine /Winter 2010

 1. Use a fuel stabilizer when you put gas in your British car.

Most of us donít drive our classic cars on a daily basis, so the short gasoline/ethanol life of 30 to 45 days in a vented tank, or 90 days in a closed tank, is a problem. In order to extend the life of your carís fuel and delay the phase separation that will eventually occur, you can add a fuel stabilizer to your tank every time you put fuel into it if youíre not sure youíll use the gas within the product life span.

 220-360 E-Xtend Ethanol Gasoline Treatment (8 oz.)

E-Xtend doubles the fuelís life to about 60 days in a vented tank, and about 180 days in a closed tank. It also contains antioxidants and degumming agents to fight sludge and prevent resin/gum deposits in the fuel tank. As a result, the fuel filter stays cleaner longer and the engine runs better. For fuel with 10 percent ethanol, the ratio is one ounce of E-Xtend for every six gallons of fuel, so one 8-ounce bottle will treat 48 gallons of fuel. The longneck bottle makes it easy to pour into the filler neck.

 2. Test your tank periodically for water presence and phase separation.

When youíre not driving your car and putting fresh gas into the tank, or after the car has been sitting over the winter, you can test your tank to determine if water is present or if phase separation has occurred.

One test method is loosening the fuel tankís drain plug and capturing a small sample of fuel from the bottom of the tank in a clear container for inspection. Since water collects at the bottom of the tank, you should be able

to see the two layers if water is present there will be a pink layer of gasoline on the top, and a clear or white layer of water and ethanol on the bottom. It looks a lot like unmixed salad dressing. You can use a test kit on the drain sample if it appears mixed up. If your tank construction allows a dipstick (a dowel or rod works well) to go from the filler neck all the way to the bottom of the tank, you can use a test kit for easier and

more reliable results. (This test method wonít work on car  models with a bent filler neck unless you can figure out a flexible dipstick that hits the tank bottom.)

 220-362 Water Probe Indicator

Simply apply the Water Probe Indicator on the end of the dipstick; it turns red where there is water in the fuel tank. For example, if thereís a half-inch of water in the tank, the stick shows a half-inch of red.

 3. Add an emulsifier to treat separated fuel layers.

If you find water in the tank and phase separation has occurred, you can add an emulsifier to the fuel to remix the gasoline, ethanol and water. (Note that if thereís an excessive amount of water, you may have to drain the contaminated fuel from the tank.)

 220-355 E-Zorb Ethanol Gasoline Water Remover (16 oz.)

E-Zorb emulsifies the water/ethanol layer at the bottom of the gas tank created by fuel phase separation. The water and ethanol mixes back into the rest of the fuel in the tank. The water passes with the gasoline through the engine and is released as steam. The fuel regains the octane (up to three points) that was lost when most of the ethanol separated from the gasoline. The ratio is one ounce of E-Zorb for 20 gallons of gasoline/ethanol. The one-pint (16 oz.) bottle will treat 320 gallons of fuel. Youíll have to agitate the fuel and emulsifier in the tank by rocking the car from side to side, and bouncing it up and down. Make sure your suspension can handle this!

Be sure to check out the Moss tech video on Dealing With Ethanol at mossmotors.com.