ETHANOL SHIELD PRODUCTS
Mark at Bedlam Scooters contacted us earlier in the year regarding the issue of ethanol in petrol. Being involved with other products that use two-stroke engines means he sometimes comes across products that scooterists may not, and this is one of them.
Many readers may be familiar with the detrimental and corrosive effects of ethanol (ethyl alcohol), currently being added to petrol (at a ratio of up to 5% in the UK, but this is likely to be increased to 10% in the near future), can have on synthetic rubber and plastic parts such as pipes and oil seals.
Mark says however that, “ethanol does not always mix well with oil and therefore a proportion of the fuel used in a two-stroke engine will not contain oil and this can cause overheating. In the United States petrol already contains 10% ethanol and this is causing problems especially in small 2T engines”.
A company called B3C has created an additive to combat this. He continues, “There have been additives available for some time which enhance the keeping qualities of unleaded petrol, which deteriorates quickly, and can become non-combustible if stored for more than three months. However this new additive not only enhances the life of the fuel but also allows oil to mix with the ethanol and combats its corrosive effects on synthetic rubber and plastic parts.
“Tests in the US have shown that when this additive is mixed with fuel containing 10% ethanol on two-stroke engines the engine will run about 10% cooler. There is now a European importer of B3C products based in the UK and while their principal targets will be garden machinery retailers the product is also approved for automotive use. Scooterists should not be concerned by the fact that this product is aimed at the garden machinery market. The engines on most modern two-stroke garden machinery such as chainsaws, brushcutters etc. have aluminium cylinders with chrome plated bores and run at higher speeds (7000-12000rpm) than most scooters.”
The importers are now appointing dealers across the country who will sell a range of additives and will also have products to test the quality (e.g. age) of the petrol in a machine, test the amount of alcohol in the fuel, the amount of water in fuel (ethanol is hygroscopic and attracts and retains water), and the amount of oil in fuel. One dealer is Mowamania Garden Machinery at Bedlam Scooters in Bedford.
The two products here are B3C Ethanol Shield which is added to the fuel and apparently stabilises it, removes any water in the fuel, contains rubber and plastic conditioners, and allows the 2T oil to mix with the ethanol. Sold in 118ml (£6.50 and treats up to 150 litres of fuel) or 236ml bottles (£9 and treats 300 litres of fuel) it should be mixed with petrol at a ratio of 4ml per five litres of fuel (note Ethanol Shield does not replace 2T oil).
There is also B3C Ethanol Shield 2-Stroke Oil which is a high quality, semi-synthetic two-stroke oil containing the additive suitable for use in pre-mix scooters (at your usual ratio up to 50:1) at £12.50 per litre.
For further information go to www. b3cfuel.com or contact Bedlam Scooters on 01234 327555.