This Hardman's Auto Sales automotive safety warning is coming from a very unusual source: Whitefield fire fighting experts.
You've probably heard of E85 gasoline. Some newer vehicle models sold in ME are specifically built to run on E85 – the rest are
not. E85 gasoline has been developed to fight air pollution and reduce oil consumption in ME. E85 fuel is a mix of 85% ethanol,
a grain-base alcohol, and 15% gasoline. So-called Flex-Fuel vehicles are designed to use either normal gasoline or E85 gas.
The result is lower harmful exhaust emissions in our Augusta area environment. All gas engines can run with up to 10% ethanol,
and in fact a lot of Whitefield gasoline does contain some ethanol. The problem comes when well meaning Whitefield drivers
without Flex-Fuel certified vehicles put E85 into the tank. At an 85% concentration, the potential for problems arises. Because
of the chemical differences between ethanol and gasoline, special seals and gaskets are needed for Flex-Fuel vehicles. In a
normal engine, the ethanol in E85 gas will eat away important seals and gaskets. This leads to gas and oil leaks. You can
imagine the fire hazard caused by leaking gasoline. ME fire fighting experts caution Whitefield to only use E85 if they know
their vehicle is certified to handle it. In fact, service and repair center owners are being warned to purchase fire extinguishers
that use the special foam needed to extinguish ethanol fires as a precaution in case starting up an ethanol damaged engine
leads to a fire. Obviously, this isn’t something you want to have happen in your garage at home, either. If you have a
Flex-Fuel certified vehicle, feel free to protect the environment by using E85 gasoline. If not, please do not use E85 in an
engine that’s designed to run on unleaded gasoline only. If you have questions or want to find out how to determine if your
vehicle can safely use E85, go to www.e85fuel.com for more resources.
Give us a call if you have any questions.
Hardman's Auto Sales
444 Wiscasset Road
Whitefield, ME 04353
At Hardman's Auto Sales we install quality NAPA replacement parts.