All gas engines can run with up to 10% ethanol and in fact a lot of Slidell gasoline does contain some ethanol. The problem comes when well meaning Slidell without Flex Fuel certified vehicles put E-85 into the tank.
At an 85% concentration, the potential for problems arises. Because of the chemical differences between ethanol and gasoline, special seals and gaskets are needed for Flex Fuel vehicles. In a normal engine, the ethanol in E-85 gas will eat away important seals and gaskets. This leads to gas and oil leaks.
You can imagine the fire hazard caused by leaking gasoline. LA fire fighting experts caution Slidell to only use E-85 if they know they vehicle is certified to handle it.
In fact, service and repair center owners are being warned to purchase fire extinguishers that use the special foam needed to extinguish ethanol fires as a precaution in case starting-up an ethanol damaged engine leads to a fire.
Obviously, this isn’t something you want to have happen in your garage at home, either. If you have a Flex-Fuel certified vehicle, feel free to protect the environment by using E-85 gasoline. If not – please do not use E-85 in an engine that’s designed to run on unleaded gasoline only. If you have questions or want to find out how to determine if you vehicle can safely use E-85, go to www.e85fuel.com for more resources.