If you are a car enthusiast or if you simply want to get the highest performance from your vehicle, you’ve likely read about the effect that ethanol has on your engine. This substance, which is commonly mixed with gasoline sold at commercial stations around the United States, can hinder performance by leaving residue on values and other engine parts. It can also hasten corrosion in your fuel system.
For boats, jet skis, chain saws and other motors that you don’t necessarily use daily, the problem with ethanol gas can be worse. Ethanol, which is refined from grain like the alcohol used in liquor, draws moisture from the gasoline and can separate and cause performance issues or damage to the engine if allowed to sit idle in the gas tank for weeks or months.
One good way to prevent these things from happening to your engines is to seek out and use ethanol free gasoline.
What is Ethanol Free Gas?
Ethanol free gasoline, as the name implies, is 100% pure gasoline (with no ethanol added). Sometimes called E0, ethanol free gas is sold at a minority of gas stations in the United States and has developed something of a cult following. There are even websites and apps designed to help you find places to fill your tank with E0.
Most gasoline you buy in the United States is E10 (meaning it has 10 percent ethanol in it). However, federal law is encouraging gasoline refineries to produce E15 gasoline to help reduce America’s dependence on foreign oil producers.
While finding one of the only 12,000 or so gas stations that sell ethanol free fuel may be challenging, you can get the same effect by adding an ethanol treatment to your fuel tank. This affordable additive put in every time you fill you tank allows you to reap the benefits of ethanol gas (burning cleaner and higher octane) while avoiding the performance and corrosion issues associated with ethanol.
Understanding the different gas grades
There are basically three grades of gasoline sold today in the United States. These are…
- Premium gas — Premium gasoline, which arguably offers better performance than regular gas and is required by some vehicles, is
a 89 octane, E10 mixture.
- Regular gas — The least expensive option at the pump is usually called “regular” and is usually
a 87octane, E10 mixture.
- Recreational (ethanol free gas) — So-called recreational gas is
a ethanol free, 90-octane fuel designed for use in boats, jet skis and other marine motors. Currently, it is only available in a handful of states. It is typically designated at the pump as REC-90.
Uses for ethanol free gas
While REC-90 gas may be legally used for any gas-powered motor, it hasn’t been tested extensively on automobile, truck and motorcycle engines. It’s primary use is in engines where gasoline is likely to sit more than the 30-day shelf life of gasoline with ethanol added. That includes a wide range of recreational and home-improvement engines, such as boats, jet skis, power tools, chain saws, lawn mowers and lawn care equipment, and generators.
Ethanol free gasoline may be worth the drive, especially for your marine and home improvement motors. However, since it’s availability is prohibitive for most Americans, Gold Eagle’s fuel additive and fuel stabilizer products can give you the protection and performance of ethanol free gas without having to drive for hours to fill up your tank.