In a recent article regarding the increase in distribution of high-ethanol blends of E15 and up, Dan Hartzell of the Allentown Morning Call of Pennsylvania addresses some of the common issues with these blends, and the ongoing battle for proper identification and warning labels.
Citing Kris Kiser, the President of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, Hartzell feels that while the government has required distributors of blended fuels to labor them as such, the labels are not good enough. Kiser agrees, saying “It’s inadequate.” The current label is pictured at right, and is required to be 3 inches by 3 inches – easy to miss if you aren’t sure what you are looking for.
Hartzell goes on to discuss the problems inherent with blended fuels with small-engine repair persons as well as hardware store owners, and what issues they have seen appear in recent times due to the use of blended fuel in outdoor power equipment, ranging from trimmers to snow blowers.
Finally, Hartzell gives some tips on how to deal with blended fuels. He also notes that the higher E15 blend can be extremely difficult on small engines. While E15 is not as widespread as E10, it is slowly increasing in usage throughout the nation.
Whatever you do, beware of the damage that ethanol can cause to your engine. It’s something that we have discussed in the past, and it doesn’t appear to be going away – in fact, it seems that ethanol will be a growing problem for years to come.