with Paul Gover
NOT SO GREEN
GIVEN ethanol is a caustic fluid that corrodes unprotected steel and eats unprotected aluminium, it is not rocket science to work out a significant number of owners of three to five-year-old cars will soon be experiencing fuelsystem problems as the ethanol, even at 10 per cent, dislodges years of crud build-up. Then there is the elephant in the room. Leaded petrol was banned when catalytic converters were deemed to be the most cost-effective way of reducing hydrocarbon emissions. Now governments are mandating ethanol, which does just as good a job as tetra-ethyl lead, if not better, in degrading catalytic converters. Yes, ethanol is a renewable fuel and E85 in E85-compatible vehicles with adaptive fuel management systems will bring environmental benefits. However, claims of E10 being a cleaner and greener fuel are highly debatable.
Les Lyons Nicholls, ACT
TEN OUT OF E10
I AM writing in reply to those having problems with E10. First, ethanol does not harm rubber because a l l automotive rubbers have been ethanol-compliant since the 1980s. My daily drive is an old VH Commodore and I have been using E10 to fuel it for five to six years and have clocked up 100,000km. Interestingly, it is recommended that E10 not be used on this model .The car runs fine, economy is about 10-11 litres/100km around town, it doesn’t smoke or run bad and all the rubbers are fine. All too often E10 is wrongly blamed when engine problems arise. Lots of information documents that it has no adverse effects.
Daniel Rigda, email
I HAVE experienced similar problems to Bill Hill’s while driving at the speed limit, or lower than the speed limit if necessary, in heavy rain for example. Sometimes I have to drive in the righthand lane if I am going to turn right ahead, but otherwise I am happy to stick to the left lane. However, I also often experience tail-gating and headlight flashing, which is quite alarming. If everyone just chilled out a little and showed more patience, our roads would be much safer.
Genevieve Bond, email