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Preference for Ethanol-Gasoline Blended Fuel By SUZUKI Dealer
|Author||Topic: Preference for Ethanol-Gasoline Blended Fuel By SUZUKI Dealer|
posted 03-30-2015 01:47 PM ET (US)
I just heard something yesterday that made me wonder about gasoline and ethanol-gasoline blended fuel. I have a new 2014 Suzuki 115-HP four-stroke-power-cycle eoutboard enigne. Two times now I have had trouble with it as a result of water in the fuel tank. I found the trouble the first time: a leaking vent hose. But the second time I think I bought bad gasoline. I use two different fuel stations, both [sell] ethanol-free gasoline, and one (or both) may have had water in the fuel. When I told this to the Suzuki dealer he told me to only buy gasoline at a marina or buy ethanol-gasoline blended fuel and add a treatment. [The Suzuki dealer says] ethanol-free gasoline sits in the underground tanks much longer than ethanol [fuel]s and develops condesation. Since the gasoline in the tanks is not turned over as much, you are more likely to get get [fuel] contaminated with water. He suggested treating ethanol-gasoline blended fuel. And yes I have a nice [fuel-water] separator, but apparently is was maxed-out after one use. [Seeks] opinions [about the opinion of the Suzuki dealer].
By the way, I bought a new 6-gallon tank so I could get on the water yesterday and it had a read-me-first" sticker on it which read, "Do not be concerned with the expansion of the tank." Mine was in the sun with 5-gallons of gasoline in it for about two hours and looked like a very large basketball. I know about the new EPA regulations, but how can you not be concerned about a round gas tank that should not be round?
posted 03-30-2015 06:12 PM ET (US)
Non-ethanol gasoline will not turn over as fast as ethanol gasoline because it costs about $0.25-per-gallon more than 10-percent-ethanol blend, and the less expensive fuel works fine in most engines.
Non-ethanol gasoline will allow the condensation to drop to the bottom of the tank where you can pump it out with a thief pump. Quality-run fuel stations will monitor for water and pump it out when necessary. Ethanol gasoline will hold the water in suspension.
Marinas in colder climates turn-over a lot of fuel in the summer, not so much in the winter. Gasoline service stations are pretty constant in turn-over.
When I bought my new kicker motor, it came with the new EPA vent system and will blow up also in the sun. I was told to disconnect my fuel line from the motor when not in use to prevent gasoline being forced into the motor when it is not running.
posted 03-30-2015 07:41 PM ET (US)
I don't have much faith in the Suzuki dealer's recommendation (to prefer to buy ethanol-gasoline blended fuel in preference to pure gasoline fuel). I put more faith in John's comments than the Suzuki dealer. John is in the fuel supply business. I assess the quality of the fuel and who is selling it.
Here in Michigan there is a state law that requires gasoline wholesalers to make pure gasoline available to marina fuel docks, and many fuel docks have it. They call it RECREATION 90 or REC90; it is 90-octane.
On the highway in Michigan it is just about impossible to find a gasoline service station selling pure gasoline. They are very few and far between. Curiously, the ones I have found are usually near a popular lake on which a lot of outboard boats are running. If I get fuel for the boat on the highway, in just about every instance I get ethanol-gasoline blended fuel.
In Wisconsin, near the Apostle Islands, I found a very busy highway service station that was selling pure gasoline. It was available from every pump, and many motorists were buying it. In Michigan, the last time I found pure gasoline on the highway (at the Four-Mile-Road exit of I-75, just south of Grayling, it was sold only from one pump, and it looked like it got very little use.
posted 03-31-2015 05:51 AM ET (US)
I have a 2002 Suzuki DF-115 on my Outrage; it sat with 1/2 tank of 10% ethanol regular gas all winter in Indiana so it went through many freeze/thaw cycles. I tend to agree with your Suzuki dealer's advice, fresh blended fuel was little chance to absorb water to the absorption capacity of the 10% ethanol in the blend. I assumed my fuel was a mess so I added Drygas and Techron before I used it. It ran great after I changes the spark plugs which had over 300 hours on them...As an aside, right now I'm in Port St. Joe, Fl and both gas stations, Chevron and EXXON, were out of regular gas last night, supporting the "freshness" argument.
posted 03-31-2015 07:11 AM ET (US)
The flaw in the theory to prefer ethanol-gasoline blended fuel because it can hold more water in solution occurs when the amount of water becomes too great to stay in solution. The water then comes out of solution and so does the ethanol with it, leaving a much more dangerous fuel consisting of gasoline without enough octane and an alcohol-water mixture that is corrosive. If you are getting fuel with water in it already, you are getting bad fuel. If that fuel was originally gasoline, the gasoline is still good. If that fuel was originally ethanol-gasoline blended fuel, the gasoline that remains is no good and the water-alcohol mix is worse than just water.
posted 03-31-2015 02:29 PM ET (US)
I've seen E10 fuel turn to gel in about 2 months, so one had better be running the boat frequently to avoid the E10 fuel sitting around too long. I treat ALL of my boat fuel, and typically top up with ethanol-free fuel before winter storage. I treat this, too, in order to minimize [problems].
posted 03-31-2015 06:52 PM ET (US)
And older engines are not made to run on ethanol, it damages carb gaskets and destroys anything made of rubber or neoprene that is not rated for ethanol. I never use it in anything but a car rated for ethanol. No small engines of any kind.--Don
posted 04-01-2015 11:57 AM ET (US)
I never add anything to my outboard engine's fuel that is not recommended by the outboard engine manufacturer. The manufacturer of my outboard engine only recommends two products for adding to fuel, and I use them as the manufacturer recommends. I don't understand this penchant for creating one's own brew of chemicals in the fuel tank. Many of the additives used for fuel for winter storage contain alcohol. It seems quite odd to go out of the way to buy pure gasoline as a fuel for winter storage, then to add your own alcohol to it. Similarly, it seems odd to add alcohol to fuel that is already a blend of gasoline and ethanol.
posted 04-01-2015 10:30 PM ET (US)
There is a very basic difference between today's two-cycle [outboard] engines (like an E-TEC) and four-cycle [outboard] engines. The E-TEC engines are in a class by themselves; there are no automotive equivalents. Almost all of the four-cycle engines are adaptations of automotive engines. So, fuel treatments that one would use for a car in winter storage would, plausibly, apply to a four-cycle outboard engine of the same vintage. Anyway, I'm going to use a stabilizer when I lay her up and a fuel dryer when I bring her out in the Spring.
posted 04-03-2015 09:30 AM ET (US)
I would not characterize today's four-cycle outboard engines as being adaptations of automobile engines. All the present-day outboard engines I can think of are purpose-designed and purpose-built, with the exception perhaps of a few models from Honda and one rather crazy monster V8.
posted 04-03-2015 10:32 AM ET (US)
Yes Honda likes to adapt their technology right though the entire chain of products. Some of us are really keeping an eye out for the possibility of the turbo 4 engine to utilized in their automobiles and then marine engines. The new small/midsize truck Ridgeline to be re introduced next year was talked about showcasing that particular engine but from most reports published the engine is just not ready yet. It will likely get a earth dreams 3.5 V6 but highly tuned for better torque at lower rpm. 280 possibly 300hp. 9 speed transmission to run on Regular Unleaded fuel.
posted 04-03-2015 03:53 PM ET (US)
The new Honda engine could, and I emphasis "could" be interesting. However, differences in the duty cycle between a marine engine and an automotive may be too significant to overcome.
Regards - Don
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