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

Going Back in Time on the Ultimate Steamboat Vacation

Many people love taking a cruise. But it is the river cruise on that glorious steamboat that not only offers all the benefits a big ocean liner offers, but also creates a more personalized, intimate vacation experience. It is a unique recipe: being able to witness stunning landscapes, mixed with amazing history, while dining on acclaimed regional cuisine and enjoying exceptional entertainment. It is also a true adventure to explore riverside port cities and then come back to the steamboat to find your own personal attendant is waiting to make sure you have everything you need and want during your trip.

Business

Umbrella Insurance: The Safety Net You Need

The realm of insurance is just about the most difficult maze to get through. Each and every day it seems the financial and insurance industries are changing. What is not changing, however, is the fact that lawsuits fill up the courts more and more – lawsuits that award cash to third parties even if you don’t happen to have that cash saved. More and more, the words “umbrella insurance” are coming up in both conversation and in advertising on TV. Before getting lost in another “maze,” it is best to look into exactly what umbrella insurance means and why you should consider it for yourself.

Entertainment

For movies opening August 18, 2017

The Hitman’s Bodyguard (R for graphic violence and pervasive profanity) Unlikely-buddies comedy about an ace bodyguard (Ryan Reynolds) who grudgingly helps a notorious assassin (Samuel L. Jackson) negotiate a dangerous gauntlet en route to the Hague where he’s set to testify in 24 hours at the International Court of Justice. Co-starring Gary Oldman, Salma Hayek and Elodie Yung.

Health

Making Your Health “Resolute”

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

Books

Book of Black Heroes

“The first African-American political leaders began to serve following the Civil War…Known as Reconstruction, this period represented a window of opportunity for African-Americans… Many [Black] political leaders emerged during this period, using their political power and influence to push for equality and justice for all Americans… Unfortunately, the Reconstruction period was short-lived, lasting only from 1865-1877.