Preventing Ethanol Headaches

 

Preventing Ethanol Headaches

By Capt. Gus Cane

 

Corn was a staple of early settlers, and it’s still a major part of our diet today. But a modern derivative of corn—ethanol—can create havoc in a boat’s fuel system. Fortunately, there are ways to combat the problems caused by ethanol to keep outboards running clean and strong.

 

Ethanol is a form of alcohol distilled from corn and other natural sources. Congress mandated it or E-10 as a fuel additive to reduce engine emissions and the dependency on foreign oil supplies. While those are admirable goals, certain characteristics of ethanol make it extremely problematic for outboard engines.

OB-i4-Banner-2_0

Ethanol attracts water molecules, and that causes a major problem with vented fuel tanks. With humidity and condensation, water molecules can collect in the fuel tank and when the concentration accumulates to as little as one-half of one percent, the water, and alcohol molecules combine. When they do, they sink to the bottom of the tank where the fuel pick-up is located. Too much of this mix and the outboard can run rough or stall. Internal damage to the engine components is also possible. Excessive water can lead to phase separation, which reduces the octane level to further impact performance.

 

But that’s not all. Ethanol is a solvent that scours tanks, fuel lines, and other system components. It will dissolve certain plastics and rubber. It loosens debris and deposits. Fuel-injected outboards are designed with precise tolerances, so any foreign objects introduced into the system will cause problems sooner or later.

 

lubeGuideEthanol fuel breaks down quicker than non-ethanol blends too. When it does, it loses octane and becomes stale. Stale fuel causes engine knocks and hard starts, which robs performance and could cause damage.

 

So what are the best ways to avoid all these ethanol-related headaches? The sure-fire way is to never introduce it into the boat’s fuel system. More and more marinas and gas stations are offering non-ethanol gasoline, and the few extra pennies per gallon it costs are well worth the potential problems—and associated repair bills—it will prevent.

 

If you have no other option than using E-10 blends, buy it from a source with a high turnover, so it’s fresh with the highest octane levels. If your boat wasn’t rigged with a 10-micron fuel/water separating filter when you bought it, install one right away. That’s the best defense against excessive water levels. Make sure it is installed between the fuel tank and outboard so that it traps water molecules and any debris or impurities. Change the filter at least once a season or more often if the boat is used regularly. When you do replace one, first apply a thin layer of clean engine oil to the rubber seal. It’ll seat better and come off easier if you do. Next, carefully fill the filter three-quarters full of fresh, stabilized gasoline before you spin it on the canister. That step makes it easier to prime the fuel system.

 

The last line of defense against ethanol problems is to add a fuel stabilizer and conditioner to every tank. This will help improve performance even if you’re using non-ethanol gas. Make sure the caremaint-yamalube-lube-2stabilizer is a made for marine engines and has a non-alcohol formula. You can get products like Yamalube Fuel Stabilizer & Conditioner PLUS and Ring Free PLUS from your dealer or marine supplier. Add them to the tank before filling up so they mix well and protect your engine they way they were designed.

 

Finally, bear in mind that no additive will improve bad gas. They won’t make it fresh again, remove water or cure ethanol-related problems. At that point, you’re going to need professional help. So to keep your outboard running smooth and strong switch to a corn-free, or at least a corn-lite, diet. And make sure your boat gets plenty of exercises.

 

Visit Yamaha Outboards.com Today!

 

Original Source:  Sportsmans Lifestyle.com

More Stories & Fun Things to Do

Travel

Finding Relaxation in the Most Remote Locations of All

It is a fact that the largest travel locations are also beyond popular. Among the downsides of this fact is that when you’re looking for peace, quiet, and basically a chance to do nothing more than spend time with yourself and, perhaps, one other best friend, the most popular places don’t offer that. In other words, it is the most remote (sometimes most beautiful) spots out there that you want to visit. If so, here are just a few that are there for the taking:

Business

Add Value with Summer Home Renovation Projects

There are a whole list of summer activities for you and the kids planned. Most of them, of course, you want to be nothing but fun, such as grilling outside on the patio or swimming in the pool. However, having the backyard pool and patio are two things you really need in place before either of those activities could be enjoyed. And building this area could be a great summer project in order to not only get the house you really want, but add value to the home for a future sale.

Entertainment

Raunchy Adaptation of Classic TV Series Arrives on Home Video

Whenever a classic television series is made into a movie, the buzz always seems to be about whether the screen version will be a creative variation on the theme or merely a campy, cornball, take-the-money-and-run ripoff trading in familiar formulas and shopworn cliches. After all, for every inspired adaptation like Batman (1989), Charlie\’s Angels (2000) and 21 Jump Street (2012) there are just as many bitter disappointments, al a Dragnet (1987), I Spy (2002) and Get Smart (2008).

Health

Making Your Health “Resolute”

It is time for those New Year’s Resolutions to be made

Books

Gil’s Goodwill!

For nearly three decades, writer/author Gil L. Robertson, IV has used the written word to enlighten, empower and uplift. The one-time political organizer initially made his mark in entertainment journalism, penning over 50 national magazine covers and contributing bylines to a wide range of publications that include the Los Angeles Times, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, USA Today, Billboard, Fortune, Essence and Ebony.