Researchers investigate impact of biofuels on vintage cars

Before you pull your classic car out for a cruise this summer, ask yourself this: is it safe to run vintage cars on modern fuels, particularly those blended with ethanol?; The answer may be unknown, but professors at Kettering University in Flint, Michigan, are investigating the matter.

It’s highly unlikely that collectors are looking to pump E85 into their classic, but the availability of fuel without some percentage of ethanol mixed in is becoming scarce.; Many stations are now offering E10 – a cocktail with nine parts gasoline, one part ethanol – as a basic fuel.
Although modern cars are able to successfully run on E10 without problem, the fuel poses a number of issues to older vehicles.; Ethanol is highly corrosive and can eat away at plastics and rubber materials, possibly impacting impact hoses, seals, and gaskets throughout the fuel system and the engine itself.
The study, financed by collector car insurer Haggerty Insurance, will run throughout 2008, and will consist of nearly 3000 hours of testing.
Source: Kettering University

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