Fuel in Europe

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Johnwindwood
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Fuel in Europe

Post by Johnwindwood »

Guys

Here, I run the Excel on super unleaded without problems. We go to France a lot, and as some of you know we are going in the Lotus for the
first time in July. However, French petrol grading has changed. Their super unleaded is now E10 ethanol-which as we know does our rubber/plastic components no good
at all. So my question is will the Excel run OK on normal unleaded, or should I invest in an octane booster?
Many thanks.
Kind regards

John

John Windwood

1984 Lotus Excel (1985 MY wide body)
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amarshall
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Re: Fuel in Europe

Post by amarshall »

Johnwindwood wrote:Their super unleaded is now E10 ethanol-which as we know does our rubber/plastic components no good at all.
Umm, wrong (we started looking at this in 2012). Teflon is immune, the carbs are fine, and so is the engine. The only components open to question are the pipe from tank to pump - and the sample I've been soaking in ethanol for a few years shows no signs of damage yet, and the tank itself, because ethanol is hydrophilic and will result in a build-up of moisture if allowed to stand for too lang.

viewtopic.php?f=25&t=5705&hilit=ethanol

Mine's run on E10 many, many times without any signs of harm either.

And mine usually runs on 95 RON 'cos I'm cheap and it doesn't need ultimate power most of the time. It runs fine as long as the ignition timing is tweaked to allow for it.
https://www.lotusexcel.co.uk/
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Johnwindwood
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Re: Fuel in Europe

Post by Johnwindwood »

amarshall wrote:
Johnwindwood wrote:Their super unleaded is now E10 ethanol-which as we know does our rubber/plastic components no good at all.
Umm, wrong (we started looking at this in 2012). Teflon is immune, the carbs are fine, and so is the engine. The only components open to question are the pipe from tank to pump - and the sample I've been soaking in ethanol for a few years shows no signs of damage yet, and the tank itself, because ethanol is hydrophilic and will result in a build-up of moisture if allowed to stand for too lang.

viewtopic.php?f=25&t=5705&hilit=ethanol

Mine's run on E10 many, many times without any signs of harm either.

And mine usually runs on 95 RON 'cos I'm cheap and it doesn't need ultimate power most of the time. It runs fine as long as the ignition timing is tweaked to allow for it.

So to sum up, I'm fine using E10 over the holiday then? ;)
Kind regards

John

John Windwood

1984 Lotus Excel (1985 MY wide body)
1952 Austin Sheerline A125 Harold Radford Shooting Brake
1949 Austin Sheerline saloon (Parts car)
1997 BMW Z3 1.9

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amarshall
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Re: Fuel in Europe

Post by amarshall »

Johnwindwood wrote:
So to sum up, I'm fine using E10 over the holiday then? ;)
On the basis that I can delete this thread and keep the club's insurers happy if everything goes horribly wrong - yes. ;)
https://www.lotusexcel.co.uk/
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Johnwindwood
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Re: Fuel in Europe

Post by Johnwindwood »

amarshall wrote:
Johnwindwood wrote:
So to sum up, I'm fine using E10 over the holiday then? ;)
On the basis that I can delete this thread and keep the club's insurers happy if everything goes horribly wrong - yes. ;)
:lol:
Kind regards

John

John Windwood

1984 Lotus Excel (1985 MY wide body)
1952 Austin Sheerline A125 Harold Radford Shooting Brake
1949 Austin Sheerline saloon (Parts car)
1997 BMW Z3 1.9

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Re: Fuel in Europe

Post by tonypoll »

John, I have just returned from a 2,000 mile round France trip. And I've done similar trips over the past couple of years.
I fill up with their high octane petrol at the supermarkets (because they are usually the cheapest) and the Excel runs fine. I've a high compression engine so I always use the high octane stuff. I think it's 98 octane.
I think (but am not 100% sure) the E10 is only for 95 octane, so I never use this in the Excel. E10 is, however, just fine for 'normal' modern cars, and cheaper :-)

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Re: Fuel in Europe

Post by Esprit2 »

The negative affects of ethanol take place at a glacial pace. Symptoms only show up afters years of constant use, or in prolonged storage (ie, the E10 is allowed to get old and go bad in the tanks). Don't worry about the E10 for a brief trip to France, it won't have enough time to have any negative affect on your car's carbs or fuel system.

Just make a point to use a petrol grade with an octane level that is correct for your engine, and don't sweat the rest of the details.

As for the octane rating, the last I heard, the UK uses the "Research" octane number for the rating posted on the pump. But many countries use an average of the "Research" and "Motor" octane numbers, and post (R+M)/2 on the pumps.. which is a lower number. A specific petrol's octane doesn't change, but the number rating on the pump can be higher (Research) or lower [(R+M)/2]. Just know in advance which octane rating method is used in France, have your expectations calibrated accordingly, and buy the correct octane for your engine. For a short trip, octane is far more important than E10 or non-Ox (alcohol free).

Enjoy your trip.

Regards,
Tim Engel

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fueltheburn
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Re: Fuel in Europe

Post by fueltheburn »

If you want fuel without Ethanol then use Shell.
As far as I know, they are the only fuel supplier that still does not put Ethanol in their Super Unleaded.
Their Super diesel also is cleaner running than most.

The reason is the fuels are technically synthesized.
They are a gtl fuel - gas to liquid conversion. Using the gas as a base and adding on hydrocarbon molecules to create petrol or diesel is cleaner than starting with crude and cracking it until you shed the heavier molecules like bitumen etc.

Hence it leaves less deposits and burns cleaner.

The only problem with Ethanol in the fuel is it hygroscopic so attracts water and goes off quicker.
Tesco super lasts between 2-6 weeks before it's octane numbers drop. ( However whilst it is fresh ... It's one of the best)

Shell Super is good for around 6months + storage without octane numbers dropping.

One of mine has storage fuel currently in the tanks which is good for up to 5 years with little use.

Esprit2
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Re: Fuel in Europe

Post by Esprit2 »

Most of ethanol's negative affects take place very slowly. If the engine, carbs and fuel system are in good condition, then adding ethanol to the mix isn't going to cause immediate problems during a visit to a country where you will have no choice other than to use an ethanol-blended fuel. Don't worry about it.

The problem that occurs more quckly is the petrol going bad more quickly when ethanol is present. All petrol will go bad with age, forming varnish deposits as it does so. While non-Ox fuel (ethanol free) might last for 6 months in the fuel system during storage, an E10 petrol can go bad, forming enough deposits to fully plug the idle jets, in as little as 2.5 months. As long as the car is driven enough that the fuel is consumed long before it goes bad, that's not a problem. But for a Garage Queen that doesn't get driven much, or for a car that goes into storage over the Winter months, ethanol blended petrol is a big problem. It's best to use an ethanol-free petrol in that case.

Drive the car. You'll be happy, the car will be happy, and any one batch of ethanol-blended petrol won't be in the fuel system long enough to go bad and form deposits.

Regards,
Tim Engel

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