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Summary - Boating Information, Ethanol Fuel Precautions.

Protect Your Outboard Engine from Damage Due to Ethanol Blend Fuels:


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And, also visit www.fuel-testers.com for more ethanol information.


1. If possible, try to avoid using ethanol/alcohol fuel blends in your outboard and marine engines. 

If you are unable to obtain alcohol-free fuel in your area, you SHOULD TEST THE FUEL YOU BUY to assure the ethanol content is at or below 10 %.

2. Follow engine manufacturer gas recommendations. Check with your marine motor manufacturer and/or check your owners manual.
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3.  Always use fresh, high-quality, name-brand gasoline and replace it every 2-4 weeks.
Buy only what you can use within a few weeks. Avoid storing gas in tank for greater than 90 days. Remember that gas with ethanol has a shorter shelf life - use it up and replace it quickly.

Buy gas from busy gas stations - Fuel turnover is faster, gas will be fresher.

4. Check your gas tank for the presence of water and remove all water before adding an ethanol blend.

5. Avoid running on bottom of gas tank (where most water will sink).

6. Do not mix MTBE and ethanol-blended fuels.
Run out or remove your old (MTBE) fuel before putting the new ethanol fuel in your tank.

7.  Make sure your motor is equipped with a water separating fuel filter.
Evinrude E-Tec's, and other newer engine models have them, other engines may or may not. The installation of a water separator in the fuel line will help with small amounts of water.  Some marine engines are also equipped with water sensors.

8.  Check fuel system for contaminants and clogging and replace your fuel filter often.
Fuel filters should be replaced at least every 50 -100 hours.

9.  Evinrude - Johnson 2 + 4 fuel conditioner will stabilize fuel, inhibit corrosion and absorb moisture (water) without adding alcohol to the fuel.  Add fuel conditioner at every gas fill-up.

10 . Evinrude (OMC BRP) also recommends carbon guard be added to the fuel tank each time you add gasoline, (Reduces possibility of rusting, piston ring sticking and carbon build-up, better overall engine performance, increases engine life), but it will not remove water.

11. Keep your engine well-tuned and lubricated.

12.  If your engine has an older fiberglass gas tank, replace it. (Check with manufacturer if your tank was designed to tolerate alcohol fuels).  Newer fiberglass tanks are double-lined and made of special material that holds up to ethanol.  More information...


By Ralph, The Outboard Wizard
November 2006, Update January 2007

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5/2007 Article: Outboard Engine Damage and Ethanol Fuel.
Evinrude-Parts, The Outboard Wizard.