Biofuel concerns with classic MGs
Since the introduction of ethanol in motor fuels in the UK and overseas there have been concerns over the effects of biofuel on older cars, particularly classic cars. There seem to be three areas of concern with biofuel and classic cars - corrosion, damage to seals and combustion issues.

Corrosion concerns
Biofuels, particularly when stored for lengthy periods in a classic car laid up for periods during the winter months, attract water leading to corrosion in classic car fuel storage tanks and fuel supply systems. The FBHVC is actively working on these issues and have commissioned tests of corrosion inhibitors and have plans to encourage the distribution of an inhibitor for classic car enthusiasts.

Compatibility concerns over the effects of biofuels on the rubber components and seals
A number of members have experienced difficulties with damage to the rubber components and seals on classic car fuel systems. The concerns are what damage does biofuels cause and what replacement parts are recommended by key suppliers like Burlen and other aftermarket spares suppliers for SU fuel systems and where can they be obtained.

Combustion concerns
Petrol currently available at petrol pumps in the UK contains a different mix of hydrocarbons to the mix in fuel available in the 1970s when the MGBGTV8 with its SU carburrettors was manufactured. The concerns are current fuels are now designed to suit modern fuel injected engines and may cause some tuning issues for carburettored engines and other combustion issues. As these issues affect a range of classic cars we await clarification from fellow Club members with technical knowledge of the complex combustion issues and the views of the FBHVC.

Back to entry webpage

Index to articles on these biofuel topics available on the V8 website

Introduction of E10 petrol is not good news for classic cars
The DfT launched a consultation on 20th July 2018 on whether and how it should introduce E10 fuel to the UK market. E10 contains more bioethanol than traditional petrol. More 180720

No immediate plans to roll out E10 un the UK
In the latest FBHVC Newsletter there is an interesting item that should serve to allay fears of a rapid introduction in the UK of E10 fuel and phase out of E5. More 170208

"Very likely" that UK will introduce E10
An article in the Daily Telegraph today (14th July 2016) sets out how the UK is likely to "press ahead with plans to hit EU renewable energy targets despite Brexit including the introduction of a new "green" petrol adding 1p a litre to prices at the pump". The transport minister, Andrew Jones, said it was "very likely" the UK would introduce a new kind of petrol called E10 which contains a higher proportion of biofuels than current petrol, in order to meet a sub-target requiring 10% of transport enery to be renewable".
More 160714

Ethanol concerns in the US
A Wall Street Journal article highlights some disturbing features of the ethanol production for motor fuel in the US. 140427 More

Biofuel in petrol in the UK
An update from the FBHVC. 140211 More

Big Ethanol finally loses
The political fuel is losing support as its costs and harm grow. 131119 More

Legal requirement for an E5 ‘protection’ grade of petrol for engines that are not compatible with E10 extended for a further 3 years to the end of 2016
See the consultation announced on 29th August 2013 and an impact assessment of the measures. 130829 More

The Trouble with Biofuels: Costs and Consequences of Expanding Biofuel Use - report from Chatham House
We have since heard from the author of that report, Rob Bailey, that the copy featured in the article was a draft which was subsequently revised before publication. Our link here is to the final version of the report published by Chatham House in the United Kingdom. 130521 More

E10 on sale in the UK in 2013?

The legislative process to permit the introduction of petrol containing up to 10% ethanol is expected to be completed by very late 2012 or early 2013. Then E10 may be sold at petrol stations, but unlike petrol containing 5% ethanol, which is already on sale, and which carries no label, E10 must be labelled. 161212 More

Update on the early availability of E10 in the UK
The FBHVC and and member clubs have previously been led to believe that the widespread introduction of E10 fuel was unlikely before 2015. However, following a recent stakeholder meeting at the Department for Transport it does seem that this has changed and E10 could be with us as early as 2013. 011012 More

E10 could be on sale in the UK from early 2013

At a meeting with the BSI attended by the fuel specialist at the FBHVC it was revealed that E10 could be on sale in the UK from early 2013. This appears to contradict statements made by the DfT earlier in 2012. The meeting also covered E10 labelling and fuel volatility issues. 010812 More

Soaring corn prices and motor fuel ethanol
With no obvious large suppliers to make up for the drought ravaged corn crop, the US is seeing stocks close to record lows and analysts believe demand must be pegged back. The biggest potential for a reduction in corn demand in the US comes from the ethanol industry. More

Extracts from the FBHVC's latest newsletter on fuel matters. 200412 More

Independent tests of corrosion inhibitor additives concluded and FBHVC issues product endorsements. 130412 More

Good chance super grade fuel in the UK has no ethanol.
See our NEWS item on a recent DfT ethanol fuel meeting. 010312 More

Further delays with the fuel stability additives tests because d
ifficulties were experienced in making the tests severe enough to ensure that candidate additives were adequately put through their paces. This unfortunately led to further delays while the test protocol was refined to ensure that the method would select only those candidate additives offering real protection against potential corrosion from petrol containing ethanol.120212 More

What are the concerns with biofuel for MG enthusiasts? An article published in the January 2012 issue of Safety Fast! which includes information from a meeting with Burlen SU. 010112 More

E10 coming in 2012. 221111 More

Corrosion inhibiter additive update. 071111 More

Corrosion inhibitor launched by Frost. 130611 More

Corrosion inhibitor additive testing programme is being arranged by the FBHVC. 230511 More

Ethanol benefits questioned in report for DfT. 040211 More

Corrosion inhibitor additive coming for petrol with added biofuel. 310311 More

FBHVC news on the Qinetiq report on the effects of fuels with a higher ethanol content . 310111 More

Bio fuels concerns for classic car enthusiasts.
231210 More

Additives for use with biofuels may be available soon containing corrosion inhibitor, stability improver and biocide products.
051110 More

Shell offer "save up to one litre per tank" using their new fuel. 090810 More

Modern fuels damaging classic MG fuel system components? 090210 More

"No longer the case that Shell V-Power petrol is guaranteed not to contain ethanol". 012209 More

Concerns over ethanol and the effects on the carburettors and rubber seals of classic cars like MGBV8s. 081209 More

Update on the current topic: are modern fuels damaging rubber components? 280408 More

Modern fuels damaging rubber components? 250108 More

Modern fuels damaging rubber components? 110108 More

Modern fuels damaging rubber components? 110108 More
V8 Register - MG Car Club - the leading group for MG V8 enthusiasts at