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What is E10 fuel

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Updated 10 Oct 2019

Adele Goodwin

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It is regular unleaded petrol with a blend of between 9% and 10% ethanol.

Ethanol is usually produced from agricultural sources by fermenting starch from corn, barley, wheat or from grain sorghum.

The result is a colourless alcohol that is used as an alternative and renewable fuel.

Can I use it in any car?

Not all cars can use E10.

There are certain types of cars and engines, including older car models and high-performance vehicles, that cannot use ethanol blend fuels.

E10 fuel is compatible with modern cars but, just to make sure, you should check your vehicle manual or ask your car manufacturer if you can use E10.

Pros vs cons 

As a natural fuel, E10 has been said to create a cleaner burn which helps minimise greenhouse gas emissions.

Another factor about E10 is its price, which is lower than regular unleaded fuel.

For most drivers, this is a major consideration - who doesn’t want to save money on bills, right?

But is it really worth it? 

While the rave about E10 being good for the environment at a lower cost sounds really appealing, there has been a lot of debate about it.

Is it really just as good as other ‘regular’ fuels or is there something behind the eco-friendly hype?

Let’s break down some points: 

Fuel efficiency 

There have been studies saying E10 produces less mileage compared to regular fuels.

It has 3% less energy than regular petrol which means you need to burn more in order to travel the same distance as a vehicle that’s running on unleaded fuel.

It can take up to 1.4 gallons (6.36 litres) of ethanol to be able to provide the same mileage as one gallon (4.5 litres) of gasoline.


While it does cost less than regular fuel, E10 does not provide as much mileage.

You may get it for cheap now, but it may actually cost you more in the long term.

Water content 

Pure ethanol attracts water and any amount of it will ALWAYS have water content.

If you put E10 in your car, water might mount up in your fuel tank and cause issues for your vehicle.

Performance issues 

A loss of 2-4 octane points in the fuel mixture is caused when petrol separates from ethanol.

This causes performance issues that are very unsatisfactory for most vehicles.

Vehicle damage 

Because of the water content found in ethanol, it can be highly corrosive.

It can damage engines and even break down the rubber components of your car.

While this can happen mostly to older vehicles that are not compatible with E10, there have been cases where even modern cars are affected.

In the struggle to save and create a better environment, solutions should be a win-win for everyone.

However, in the case of E10 there seems to be a number of disadvantages that outweigh its benefits.

Vehicles are a part of our daily lives and if there are better solutions that are customer and vehicle friendly, that would definitely motivate more people to join the cause.

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Written By

Adele Goodwin

Adele, owner of Ipswich City Mechanical & Auto Electrical, has been in the industry for 20 years, which includes time spent in car audio and dealerships.

She has a passion for exceptional customer service and educating drivers about their vehicles by posting informative and helpful videos online.

When she isn't working, she loves to travel and spend time with family and friends.