Classic car owners warned new 2021 E10 fuel could lead to corroded tanks and vehicle fires
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Classic car expert Nigel Woodward says E10 fuel can attract water to fuel tanks which can build up and eat away at the seals. This can cause tanks to split leading to horrendous fuel leaks in a major safety concern for owners.
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Mr Woodward, MD of Classic Motor Cars said he had been amazed only a few people had tried to find a solution to the issue.
He said: “It’s definitely not scaremongering. There’s been a number of cases where cars have sadly caught fire because of fuel leaks.”
He added: “The ethanol content of E10 fuel is hygroscopic. It attracts water.
“Classic cars typically do very little mileage, tend to sit around quite a lot and if there is still some fuel in the tank that can potentially cause a build of water in the bottom of the petrol tank and then corrode the petrol tank.
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“All of that stuff is very easily dealt with but it is definitely something people need to consider.
“We’ve been absolutely amazed that nobody or very few people have picked it up and tried to find a solution to it.”
New E10 fuel is set to be introduced as the standard grade at UK petrol stations from 2021.
The current E5 fuel will continue to be sold at forecourts but this will be through the higher octane grade and more expensive.
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However, the government has previously said the protection of E5 fuel at the forecourts can only last for five years before being reviewed.
Any further extensions will be “considered” but there is every chance this may not be approved as more motorists switch to electric cars.
The RAC warns up to 600,000 vehicles would be incompatible with the new fuel which could leave thousands unable to use their cars as they currently are.
Mr Woodward says his garage are available to convert original classic cars into E10 safe machines which can help many owners preserve their vehicles.
He warns key parts such as the fuel pump and carburettors would need to be switched but ensures drivers would “not have to worry” about which fuel they could use.
Speaking exclusively to Express.co.uk, Mr Woodeard added: “As E10 fuel becomes more prevalent, in order to be able to enjoy their car and not have to worry about where to pick fuel, having their car converted so it will run safe on E10 fuel is a good thing.
“We’ve done a lot of work on this and we have got kits available to convert most British classic cars to make them E10 safe.
“In fact on a bespoke basis, there’s no reason at all why we couldn’t convert any classic car to run safely on E10 fuel.
“We have an E10 proof fuel hose, an E10 proof gasket to make the carburettors, E10 proof fuel pumps are available. We can convert pretty much any car to run on E10 fuel.
“Take something like an E-type. To make that car run safely on E10 fuel we would change the fuel pump and we would change the fuel lines, the head gaskets, the carburettors.”
Mr Woodward has reassured drivers the updates would not run the risk of devaluing their model.
Many collectors only purchase models which can ensure vehicles are left in their original conditions.
Even the slightest upgrades can risk knocking thousands off the overall car value as they would be deemed a modification.
However, adapting a car will avoid this risk as the changes will not change the overall specification of the classic.
Mr Woodward told Express.co.uk: “The fuel lining appearance looks identical to the original fuel line and the fuel pump looks identical to the original.
“It has no effect on the appearance of the car. It doesn’t change the technical specification of the car, it’s just a material change on those components.”
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