E10 fuel became the main grade petrol in Great Britain and Northern Ireland in 2021 and 2022 respectively, replacing E5 as the UK’s standard petrol grade. But what exactly is E10 fuel, and how will it affect you and your vehicle?

What is E10 fuel?

E10 petrol is an unleaded fuel that contains up to 10% renewable ethanol, compared to the previously standard E5 fuel which had only half that. E10 fuel has already been rolled out across many other European countries, including Belgium, France, and Germany.

Both E10 and E5 fuel are now widely available across petrol stations throughout the UK and are clearly marked at petrol pumps.

What are the benefits of E10 fuel?

The switch to E10 petrol is part of a government scheme to help reduce CO2 emissions in the UK and move closer towards the country’s target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Research suggests that the new E10 fuel could reduce carbon emissions in the UK by 750,000 tonnes each year, which is the equivalent of taking 350,000 cars off the road.

Will my car run on E10 fuel?

Although most modern cars are E10 compatible, it’s estimated that between 600,000 and 700,000 UK vehicles will not be compliant. Newer cars manufactured from 2019 onwards often display what fuel can be used near the petrol cap, which should include E10 and E5 petrol.

Other modern cars manufactured from 2011 onwards should also be able to run on E10 fuel. However, older vehicles, classic cars and mopeds are unlikely to be compatible.

If you’re unsure of your car’s compatibility, you can use the E10 vehicle checker on the government website.

Effects of using E10 fuel in non-compatible cars

It’s essential to check if your car can run on E10 fuel as use in non-compatible vehicles can cause lasting problems, particularly for older cars.

Higher ethanol levels can lead to serious engine damage such as pinking, where high temperatures within the cylinder cause the premature combustion of the fuel/air mixture.

How will E10 fuel impact my car?

While E10 fuel is better for the environment, the higher ethanol levels can corrode your car’s fuel system and damage other vehicle fittings made from rubber and plastic over time.

How can I protect my car from E10-related corrosion?

Here at Halfords, we stock a range of fuel additives that can be used to protect your engine from of E10-related corrosion, including Wynn’s E10 Protector (multi-shot).

This helps to protect against the lasting corrosive effects of ethanol and should be used each time a car refuels using E10 petrol. E10 protectors also help reduce internal motor friction, are compatible with catalytic converters and avoid the need for expensive super unleaded petrol.

To protect your car against the corrosive elements of E10 fuel, shop our range of fuel additives, or pop into your local store to get some advice from one of our friendly colleagues.

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