Fuel Injector Cleaning for Today's Marine, Automotive, and MotorSports
Optimum Performance Matters

Phone: 910-612-9731
Email: info@injectorrenew.com
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 WHAT WE KNOW - WE WANT YOU TO KNOW

Many Boat Owners, in recent years, have unknowingly used gas, blended with too high (unsafe) levels of ethanol alcohol. Running on gas with over 10 % alcohol in a marine engine will cause performance problems, and can also cause permanent damage to your marine motor.

Understanding the dangers and effects of alcohol gas, in addition to following all the necessary marine fuel system precautions, is now necessary to avoid any problems with E10 gasoline.

There has been much controversy, misinformation and confusion since the recent (2006) increased distribution of ethanol gasoline in the United States.

Recent marketing gimmicks by some fuel additive companies have confused boaters even more.  These ads falsely claim their new products can "fix" or repair ethanol water-contaminated fuel...Phase-separated fuel cannot be fixed, and it must be discarded.

Even high level, reputable government authorities, have recently published information that conflicts with previous articles and bulletins written years ago on ethanol.

Marine manufacturer fuel recommendations (eg. owners manuals), which in the past, often warned against using alcohol fuels, now document that up to 10 % ethanol in gas is acceptable.

As more people are using E10, the necessary precautions and dangers are becoming more apparent and better documented.

Increased knowledge and following all the necessary precautions can spare you from most of the inconvenience and problems with alcohol gas.All reputable authorities agree, that running on ethanol alcohol above 10 % will cause motor damage and/or performance issues with gas-powered engines, and it is always unsafe to run on contaminated fuel. Prevention is your best weapon against ethanol gas.



Read: MARITIME MOONSHINE  
THE JAR ON THE LEFT: FUEL WITH 10% "STATED" ETHANOL RIGHT OUT OF A BOAT. THE ETHANOL HAS SETTLED ON THE BOTTOM WHERE MOST FUEL IS PUMPED, THE FUEL IS ON THE TOP.  THE JAR ON THE RIGHT:  FUEL WITH MINIMAL ETHANOL FRESH OUT OF THE PUMP FROM A GAS STATION.


 Fuel + Ethanol = THE FACTS

1. The legal and manufacturer recommended limit for ethanol in conventional gas is 10%. The actual percent ethanol found at individual pumps/stations varies, and will change with each (daily) fuel delivery.

Note: On April 21st, 2009 the EPA received an application from ACE, Growth Energy and 54 ethanol producers seeking to increase E10 to 15% ethanol.

Ethanol is usually added by the local fuel distributors/suppliers, not at the major gas brand company refineries. Gas stations are not legally required to monitor gas daily for accurate/exact percentage ethanol.

2.  Several states still do not label pumps (E10 sticker) when ethanol alcohol is added to gas, including:

District of Columbia, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada,

New Jersey, North Carolina, and Ohio; New Hampshire may soon discontinue labeling.

3.  Ethanol is an ethyl alcohol, renewable fuel and is used to oxygenate gas. Ethanol is a solvent, cleanser, degreaser, drying agent, antifreeze and octane enhancer. Petroleum oil fuel that contains ethanol will attract and absorb water; Oil (gas) and water do not mix.  

4. Before switching to E-10, make sure to remove all gas from tank if containing MTBE. Also, remove all water, dirt, rust, and sediment from tank.  Replace parts that are not resistant to alcohol. Plastic and rubber parts, hoses, and seals are most vulnerable.  To be compatible with higher oxygen content of ethanol-blended gasoline, fuel system parts and pumps, piston and carburetor, oxygen sensors, may need to be changed or adjusted.

5.  Replace the gas in your fuel tank at least every 1-3 weeks.

Shelf life of E-10 fuel is only about 3 months in an ideal environmental (low humidity) storage conditions.

6.  Choose a higher octane premium E10 gasoline (91-93) when your engine is at greater risk; Extended storage, lives in a water environment, vented fuel tank in humid environment, etc. Lean, water-diluted fuel drops octane and causes fuel starvation.

7.  Know the symptoms and negative effects of high alcohol and/or water contaminated gas.

 ENGINE DAMAGE AND MALFUNCTION CAUSED BY ETHANOL OFTEN INCLUDES:

Stalling, hesitation during acceleration, clogged fuel filters and carburetor, damage to fuel and VRO pumps and pistons, damage to fuel injectors, disintegration and dissolving of engine parts (especially rubber and plastic), drying-out and cracking of parts, hoses and seals, and much more.

8. Frequently check gasoline for signs of water contamination (WC) and phase separation (PS). Two distinct layers can be seen after WC/PS.  Alcohol and water combine and drop to the bottom of tank leaving an upper petroleum octane deficient layer. PS gas is contaminated and should not be used.

9.  Prevent external water and moisture (high humidity) from coming in contact with E-10 gas. 

Keep engine well lubricated to prevent water damage and rusting.  Check that fuel lines are sealed and intact. If available for your engine, install a water separator filter of 10-12 microns.  

10.  Safely Removing Water from Phase Separated E10 Fuel:

Be aware that when E10 gas is phase-separated, the bottom layer contains both water and "octane-enhancing" ethanol. When you remove the water/ethanol lower layer, the upper petroleum layer becomes octane deficient. Drop usually equals 2 to 4 octane points. Running an engine on below recommended octane will cause drivability issues and parts damage (e.g. piston/valve damage).   

11.   Check your engine owner’s manual for recommended fuel type and octane rating. 

Many older engines, luxury cars, classic cars, lawn and other small gas-powered equipment and several marine and motorcycle engines often prohibit or warn against the use of E10 and other alcohol gas blends.  Marine engines have greatest risk for water absorption, corrosion, parts disintegration and engine damage.

12. Use caution when choosing gas additive products to "prevent" or "fix" E10 gasoline problems. Watch out for deceptive advertising by numerous new ethanol "miracle" product companies. Ethanol already in fuel (up to 10% legal max) often replaces your need for additional additives since it is a powerful solvent, cleanser, antifreeze, octane enhancer and water absorber

13. Avoid alcohol-based fuel additives and gas treatment products with  E-10 fuel.  Too much alcohol will increase your risk for engine damage. All current major engine manufacturer warranty statements prohibit use of gas with over 10% ethanol. (Excludes FFV's). Damage will not be covered when cause is contaminated gasoline.  Octane boosters, fuel system cleaners and conditioners often contain ethyl alcohol.

14.  Never use E85 fuel (85% alcohol) in an engine not designed for it. Check vehicle gas cap for E85 label.

15. Know the specific fuel laws and E10 labeling laws for your state. State-by-state laws vary widely and have changed often since the widespread distribution of ethanol. In 2008, several states passed laws to add ethanol to all public gas supply. Other states are now passing laws to leave ethanol out of premium gas...

This information is a general guideline only for conventional gas-powered engines using E10 gasoline.

 WHY DO BOATS HAVE MORE PROBLEMS WITH ETHANOL?

Boaters, often store gas in tanks longer than recommended for E10 (90 days). Cars, unlike boats, usually replace fuel every week or two, which will successfully prevent the possibility of water-contamination/phase separation.

Boat engines live in a water environment. Alcohol is a magnet to moisture increasing absorption of water into fuel tanks.

Ethanol's adverse effects on boat motors involve all types of performance issues and disintegration and deterioration, drying and clogging of engine parts. Signs and symptoms of ethanol problems and damage include:

Stalling, prematurely worn engine parts, rusting, clogging of fuel filters and carburetor jets, release of gunk and sludge throughout the engine, frequent water-contamination/phase separation of fuel, and eventually engine breakdowns and death.

Ethanol can cause a motor to run lean on fuel, due to water will not burn, which will take the place of fuel.

Vapor lock (fuel starvation) is common when using ethanol fuels.

Alcohol fuels are very prone to phase separation, when the weight of the ethanol and water will sink to the bottom of the fuel tank and get picked up by the motors fuel system. (Even small amounts of water can harm the fuel system).

The initial symptoms, (of using a higher than acceptable concentration of alcohol in fuel, is usually engine stalling when you demand acceleration (WOT).

You'll notice other performance issues, such as increased stalling, misfire, hesitation and difficulty maintaining boat speed during trolling.

The long term dangers of ethanol (and other alcohol-blended fuels) are many, including deterioration of parts (rubber, aluminum, fiberglass etc.), rusting, fuel system clogging, and other varied damage to engine parts and components. Older engines are more prone to ethanol alcohol damage.

The most reported and troublesome issue with marine engines and ethanol fuel has been regarding the decomposition of certain fiberglass gas tanks. There really is no solution to this issue, other than to replace the tank (very costly, time-consuming project); Lining or sealing the tank, for added protection, is sometimes possible.

 CAN YOU USE REFORMULATED GASOLINE IN MARINE ENGINES?

Always check fuel laws for updates and revisions, and follow recommendations of engine manufacturer and/or a certified mechanic. 

Marine engine manufacturers have indicated that the use of reformulated gasoline in their engines is acceptable, although some offer special instructions if you use reformulated gasoline. You should always check your owner's manual for any specific instructions.

As a boat owner or operator, there are a number of simple things you can do if you are concerned about using reformulated gasoline in your marine engine:

Be sure that your engine is properly tuned. The best thing you can do to make sure that your boat engine will operate properly on reformulated gasoline is to have your engine set to your manufacturer's tune-up specifications.

Minimize Water Contamination. Water contamination occurs when water is introduced into the fuel tank, and can be caused by improper storage conditions at the distribution center or retail station or by accidental introduction of water during refueling.

Reformulated gasoline contains chemical oxygen additives commonly called oxygenates. These oxygenates are either alcohols or ethers. Currently, the most common oxygenates used are ethanol, which is an alcohol, and Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE), which is an ether.

By nature, alcohol tends to have a greater affinity for water than ether-based oxygenates. If a fuel containing ethanol is used under conditions where water contamination is likely to be a factor, precautions should be taken to avoid such contamination. Of course, water contamination of any fuel blend should be avoided.

Many oil companies are providing, or working to provide, clear labels for gasoline pumps to let you know which oxygenate is in the reformulated gasoline you're buying. If the pump isn't labeled, ask the service station attendant for information about the additive used in their gasoline. However, if you haven't had water contamination problems with conventional gasoline in the past, you shouldn't have a problem using either type of reformulated gasoline. 

 OUTBOARD MOTOR CARE

It's easy to keep your outboard in tip-top shape, even if you're not a mechanic. A little TLC and preventive boat motor maintenance facilitates safe boating and can keep your motor running well and reliable for years to come.
  • After Every Trip After every outing, flush out the engine. This doesn't just apply to salt water adventures, but to fresh water outings as well.
  • Buy a set of "rabbit ears": two flexible rubber seals connected with a metal clamp. Slip the apparatus onto the lower unit where the water is picked up and attach a garden hose.
  • Start up the engine and let the water pump do the rest. (Practice safe boating and remember to stay clear of the prop and make sure no one tries to shift the motor into gear.)
  • While you're flushing the motor, check the water pump to make sure it has good water flow. Carefully put your finger through the stream of water. It may be warm, but it shouldn't be hot. If the output is not strong, you may have some debris stuck in the outflow tube. Immediately shut down the engine to prevent overheating and damage.
  • Insert a small piece of wire into the flow tube and work it back and forth. Start the engine again and check the output. If that doesn't solve the problem, you may need a new water pump.
  • After flushing the engine, disconnect the fuel line and allow the engine to burn all the fuel in the carburetor.
  • Once you've finished the flushing and run the engine out of fuel, be sure to turn off the key and, if you have a battery switch, turn it off.
  • Take the engine cowling off and check for fuel or water leaks. If you find leaks, consult your safe boating mechanic.
  • Wipe everything down and spray with an anti-corrosive like WD 40 or Quick-lube. Be sure to lubricate all the moving parts such as the shift and throttle cables, carburetor valves, etc.
  • Replace the cowling and wipe it down. Keep a canvas or plastic cover on the engine between trips.
  • Always use fresh fuel. At the end of the season, boat motor maintenance should include draining your tanks and taking the fuel to the proper recycling authority. 

 Regular Maintenance Tips

  • Periodically check the fuel line for cracks and worn spots.
  • Make sure the fuel primer bulb is not cracked and is pliable.
  • Make sure the fuel-line fittings seat properly and don't leak.
  • Check the clamps on the fuel line for rust or corrosion.
  • Check the fuel tanks for damage and corrosion.
  • Check the tank vent to make sure it aspirates properly.
  • Check regularly for water in the fuel. 

 Marine Fuel Tax Refunds - Write It Off

Recreational boaters who purchase fuel for use in their boats may be eligible for a full or partial refund of the taxes paid on the fuel: These taxes are usually used to repair highway damage caused by the wear and tear of automobiles.

Because boats do not cause this damage, many states apply the tax on marine fuel to boating programs through the Aquatic Resources Trust Fund. In states where the money is not applied to these programs it is usually put into the highway improvement fund. 

A number of states, recognizing that it’s unfair to use boaters’ tax dollars for highway improvement, offer refunds on marine fuel taxes. Procedures and qualifications vary by state, but typically, a boater will need to save his/her fuel receipts as well as complete some type of paperwork (often available online).

 BOAT ENGINE DANGERS AND PRECAUTIONS

Many Boat Owners have unknowingly used gas, blended with unsafe levels of ethanol alcohol. Running on gas with over 10 % alcohol in a marine engine will cause performance problems, and can also cause permanent damage to your marine motor and repairs due to this damage may not be covered under the terms of your warranty.

Understanding the dangers and effects of alcohol gas, in addition to following all the necessary marine fuel system precautions, is now necessary to avoid any problems with E10 gasoline. There has been much controversy, misinformation and confusion since the recent (2006) increased distribution of ethanol gasoline in the United States. Recent marketing gimmicks by some fuel additive product companies have confused boaters even more. These ads falsely claim their new products can "fix" or repair ethanol water-contaminated fuel...Phase-separated fuel can not be fixed, it must be discarded.

Even high level, reputable government authorities, have recently published information that conflicts with previous articles and bulletins written years ago on ethanol. Marine manufacturer fuel recommendations (eg. owners manuals), which in the past, often warned against using alcohol fuels, now document that up to 10 % ethanol in gas is acceptable.

As more people are using E10, the necessary precautions and dangers are becoming more apparent and better documented. Boaters looking for instant answers and solutions will not find them. Increased knowledge and following all the necessary precautions can spare you from most of the inconvenience and problems with alcohol gas.

 PREVENTION-- YOUR BEST WEAPON AGAINST ETHANOL GAS

E10 is a gasoline blended with up to 10 % ethanol alcohol and is now in widespread use in the U.S. Ethanol, ethyl alcohol, is made from corn, sugar and other grains. Alcohol is an excellent cleaning agent, solvent, anti-freeze and most important, ethanol is hygroscopic, meaning it will absorb large amounts of water.

Government regulations and laws for ethanol fuel use and labeling differ from state-to-state, and are constantly changing. The most serious boat engine problems, resulting from ethanol E10 use, have mainly occurred due to illegal amounts of ethanol (over 10 %) being incorrectly added at the gas station pumps, by the delivery truck drivers. Since using over 10 % alcohol gas is dangerous, it will invalidate all marine company engine warranties.

Many ethanol problems, reported by boaters appear to be due to their lack of knowledge/information on how to properly manage alcohol fuels. Many boat engine breakdowns in recent months are directly related to the mismanagement of E10 gas.

Several older engines can not use any fuels that contains alcohol. Eg. Certain fiberglass tanks, mostly manufactured prior to 1992, will decompose from alcohol. Fortunately newer outboard engines (past 5 years) have been designed to be more compatible with alcohol fuels.




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