Ethanol and Fuel System Cleanliness

Messages
1,715
Location
Texas & BWI Area
Is it true Ethanol can dissolve petroleum scums in your system? Does ethanol have any synergistic effects to cleaning intake valves above and beyond a standard gasoline detergent package? Thanks, I know it is a different case and chemical family but I know Acetone can dissolve many things from Organic Lab experiance. Of course we are dealing with and alcohol versus a ketone? here.
 
Messages
17
Location
Pennsylvania
Interesting question. A few months ago I was talking to a mechanic and he said they are cleaning a lot of throttle-body's since the switch to 10% ethanol. Shortly after that, my kids Saturn started idling funny, and sure enough the TB was gunked up inside like someone poured pancake syrup in it. I'm quite sure it was less than 2yrs since the last time I cleaned it, which seems to correlate what the mechanic said.
 
Last edited:
Messages
25,218
Location
Upstate NY
Many boat people have found their fuel tank much cleaner and had to go through a few fuel filters during the conversion process. So I assume the ethanol is cleaning a lot of varnish, etc found in fuel tanks and carbs (most boats are still carb, well at least many are).
 
Messages
4,838
Location
Kansas
 Originally Posted By: outrun
Is it true Ethanol can dissolve petroleum scums in your system?
A home town gas station that I know sold it way back in 1980 or 1981. At the time, it was called Gasohol. The owner told everybody who first started to use it to carry a spare fuel filter because there was a chance it would initially plug them up. Sure enough. I had through 2 fuel filters befoe everything was clean enough to burn the stuff. A buddy had the same results. After that there were no problems and carburetors really kept clean. Remember that 99% of cars at that time had carbs.
 

Leo

Messages
911
Location
Australia
Actually I was reading a white paper a while back, and it seemed E10 actually made valve deposits many times worse vs normal fuel unless the additive package was specific to E10.
 
Messages
8,711
Location
Nothern USA
E85 should dissolve stuff regular gas won't. 40 years ago I was working in the paint industry and we were replacing xylene with a blend of a gasoline like naphtha and isopropyl alcohol.
 
Top