I’m no auto expert, but I do like to do my part to keep good ol’ Juanita happy. That’s Wonderful Juanita the Windstar, for those of you who have not yet met her. She’s usually happiest with all her seats removed (driver and one passenger seat excepted), fully loaded with bikes and camping gear and a medley of strange foods one would find delectable only when sitting around an evening campfire, half-starved from the day’s wanderings up granite rocks and down glacier streams and through wildflower meadows and over mountainous bike trails.
We’ve been on a trip or two together, that’s for sure. So when I started seeing this whole E15 thing start popping up, the naive dirt-bag part of me thought, “cool, gas is cheap.” And since I live somewhat under a rock, having not owned a television since 2001 and spending embarrassingly sporadic time browsing news updates online, I naturally assumed the government/the gas industry had my best interest in mind. Ha! Choke! Gasp!
So the secret to a long happy relationship with your car? Besides changing the oil and all that technical stuff? Besides giving him/her a name and referring fondly to him/her frequently? This article says we should avoid Ethanol-laced gasolines. This quote grabbed my attention:
…E15 automobile fuel, or fuel that contains up to 15 percent ethanol,… is so damaging to car engines that many car manufacturers have put out warnings that using it will void car warranties.
What do you know about this whole Ethanol argument? Should I avoid using E10, E15, E anything in my older car? Is it a viable fuel option or a disaster waiting to happen?
I don’t know much about Ethanol, but I do know this: take heed to those pesky little dashboard lights that come on from time to time. Turns out a little strip of electric tape over the offending indicator icon doesn’t actually make the problem go away.
OH, and when in doubt…call Car Talk.