E15 ethanol is coming, like it or not. Here’s what you need to know

Owners of collector cars, or any vehicle built before 2001, beware: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing a rule approving the sale of E15 gasoline year-round, so use extra care when gassing up this summer.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://www.hagerty.com/articles-videos/articles/2019/03/20/e15-ethanol-is-coming-like-it-or-not

Please fix the URL in this article for pure-gas.org ASAP. The link you have without the ‘dash’ will take readers to a malware infected site.

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@john14 - Thank you for the correction on the URL for Pure-gas.org. We will get that updated now.

The retarded timing from higher octane is no benefit used in engines not requiring it. Bad performance and destruction, nice.

Great article. I drive a 1962 Porsche every week and no issues, but I’m waiting for tank, fuel line and potential carb issues. I drive 1000 mile tours so I have to take the fuel that’s available, but I could load up on helpful additives? Can Hagerty provide some “direction” towards any additives that may be helpful for older cars? Maybe some useful studies that have been done? Thanks!

I use ethanol free gas in all of my 10 daily and collector cars. Locally I have only 89 octane mid grade available but 30 miles away 91 is available. I use a racing octane booster that contains real tetraethyl lead and benzene except in the cat equiped cars. Oh for the days of Chevron Custom Supreme 103 octane gas!

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Ethanol has been foisted on the American public by the Agricultural lobby, with assist from the Environmental lobby. Companies like agricultural giant Archer Daniels Midland make large profit on the corn sold for ethanol production. Ethanol production uses corn which drives up the cost of corn in all food products. It requires more energy to produce ethanol than there is energy in the product. The Environment lobby pushes ethanol because it reduces tailpipe emissions, but I have not seen any data on the use of otherwise productive farmland for other purposes. In the text of the Hagerty article, Hagerty conveniently washes its hands of the need to discuss political issues associated with ethanol. Hagerty members deserve to know the consequences of using this product.


Huh…I am totally confused by your post.

I can understand offering as a option but not the only choice. How about 15% regular, 10% premium. I’d pay an extra $1.50 per gallon for pure gas.

Unfortunately most Americans are clueless about the effects of ethanol and how it damages there vehicles. Especially those not driven regularly.

As another said; really miss Chevron 103 gold. The gas was actually colored gold, when i put it in my motorcycle you could look into the tank and see a deep gold. Those were the days.

Not to digress; i once worked at gas stations, we had gas wars, 25 cents a gallon with 10x blue chip stamps, sometimes a set of dishes with fill ups. Miss those days.


One thing not mentioned here is that your gas mileage will drop as much as 10% using the current ethanol laced gasoline. Not to mention all the damage it can do to your older car. I too use ethanol free gasoline in all my cars, old and new. Paying a little more for ethanol free gasoline is more than made up by the better gas mileage. I was hoping the EPA would wise up to all the disadvantages of mandating ethanol in gasoline by now. But that’s the government for you.


Here in Canada I can but Shell Premium gasoline that does not contain any ethanol. I’m hoping that will continue.

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There’s a free app called Pure Gas (at least it was free when I loaded it long ago). Shows locations near you that have ethanol free gas. Ya, it costs more, but it’s all I use.

10% Ethanol was enough to fry the 850cc, three cylinder, two cycle engine in my 1967 SAAB Monte Carlo 850. I hate Ethanol-- it cost me some serious bucks. Now I drive to a gas station that has Ethanol free premium. It’s expensive, but cheaper than another engine rebuild.

The large antique automobile clubs,classic car insurance companies,parts suppliers and auction houses need to step up and provide some leadership and political pressure on this issue. They have made millions on the car hobby! Now it is time for them to invest in the hobby!

Lousy gas is here to stay and classic owners need help in identifying ways to burn corn liquor in our antique cars as the situation is remedied via the political process.

The financial value of collectible cars will take a severe hit as result of E 85. Very few people will be interested in buying a car that can not run on pump gas with only minor modifications such as lead additives or fuel stabilizer.

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study timing requirements when you can. __P

I haven’t researched heavily the subject but all that you say is consistent with what I have read.

First my qualifications. I am a 3 times ASE recertified Master Technician with L-1 certification. I opened my auto shop 14 years ago. I have found fuels with alcohol will decompose and make an extremely corrosive compound if you let your car sit idle. This will happen in less than a year on a vintage vehicle. My fuel pump on my 02 Harley Road Kings rusted into a lump of rust and my fuel tank was nearly ruined. I’ve had to replace 3 fuel Pumps in my 90 Corvette. The corrosiveness of alcohol fuels should not be underestimated it not only corrodes metal parts it will also dissolve neoprene fuel hose completely away in a years time. You must drive your vintage vehicle in order to replenish the alcohol fuel and not let it sit or the fuel will separate. I do understand that some Buckeys locations in Houston Texas have pumps marked that contain no alcohol. Its very important not to use alcohol based fuels if your vintage vehicle will sit idle.


I know all about timing an engine, but the way you worded your response made no sense at all. Yes “corn gas” will screw up lots of things on older cars, but the higher octane does not affect it one way or the other, unless you advance the timing to take advantage of it, and if it is computer controlled, it will retard as necessary if the fuel isn’t high enough octane.

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Another source of ethanol free gas is 100 octane aviation fuel. I am able to get it from the small regional airport.

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There is a way to de-ethanol your gas if there are no pure gas stations near you. Get a 5 gal gas container with a drain at the bottom. Put in about 3 qts of water. Add enough red food coloring to make the water a dark red. Put in about 3 gals of the gasohol. Cap and shake up vigorously for about 30 secs. Do this about 3 or 4 times, venting the can in between. Then let sit for a day or 2 and drain off the red colored water, the remaining liquid is almost pure gasoline. If you put a piece of tape on the outside of the can at the starting water level, you can see how much ethanol you removed. It won’t be all of it but 2 or 3 percent beats 15 percent. Obviously take appropriate precautions when doing this.