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Does Ethanol Fuel Cause More Harm Than Good?

As prices remain high at the gas pumps, drivers are looking for alternatives to regular unleaded gasoline. The industry is seeing the use of ethanol and other fuel additives to bring costs down and increase efficiency, but these items may cause hidden damages within car engines. It is important to compare various options and uncover the best fuel or additive to use.


Ethanol Fuel and Ethanol Additives

Ethanol Fuel PumpEthanol fuel is less expensive than conventional gasoline, but it is not as efficient. This means it’s slightly lower price does not make much difference to a consumer. Would-be environmentalists claim ethanol burns cleaner; however, a great deal of fossil fuels are used during harvesting and transportation, so it actually creates more global warming problems as it less efficient in the long haul.

Ethanol blends are popular as well. However, ethanol tends to absorb water from the atmosphere, which causes corrosion of fuel system parts. It loosens engine deposits that can block the fuel filter, carburetor, or injectors. It also has the power to dissolve plastic, rubber and fiberglass.


Gasoline with Additives

To gain efficiency with gasoline, numerous companies produce mileage-boosting additives, which manipulate airflow or enhance fuel burn. Tests prove most of these items provide little improvement, and certain additives may harm modern car parts. For instance, valves and sensors sometimes become damaged and need expensive repairs.

If a person is set on using an additive, it is wise to choose a product containing polybutene amine. This cleans carburetors, fuel injectors and intake valves. It may help restore an engine’s performance and lower a car’s carbon footprint.


Regular Unleaded Gasoline

With most cars, it is recommended to use regular 87 octane gasoline. A common misconception is that higher octane brings more cleaning additives. However, all grades of octane contain some level of engine cleaning detergents to guard against deposit build-up. This means it is not necessary to spend extra money on “supreme” grades of gas.

As automobile design has advanced, a car no longer requires high octane gasoline to function well. Some states have even removed their previous ethanol mandates. Most additives, including ethanol, tend to cause more harm than good to a car’s internal parts as well. Although pure ethanol fuel has a less expensive face value, its performance offsets the price difference and fails to make a dent in environmental problems. Regular unleaded gasoline appears the best and most convenient choice at the pumps.


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