Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Not the middle of nowhere, but in the same county.
What nervous Nellies! :-D
What Triumph says about ethanol blends should be in your owner's manual. You remember...that plump little rectangle of paper under your seat? In all of mine, it says hurray for ethanol, all commercially available blends to 15% are absolutely fine with no alteration to the fuel system or service procedures.
But no methanol!
All combustion of complex hydrocarbons produces various acids and other byproducts. That's why you want to change your oil on a regular time schedule even if you don't reach the number of miles specified for a service interval. The additive package can only cope with those products for just so long. A 10-15% ethanol blend is not enough to significantly affect this.
And forget about higher octane numbers unless you're blending the fuel yourself! When oil companies blend the fuels, they're normally not going to give you one point more than it states on the pump. They formulate the petrol to a lower octane rating in the first place and then let the alcohol bring it back up to the usual commercial values.
There is one drawback to ethanol blends, but it's not about the fuel, as such. The alcohol makes it possible for water (and any contaminants dissolved in it) to be absorbed from the storage tanks. It used to be commonplace after a filling station converted to 'gasohol' for them to sometimes receive complaints about poor performance because their customers' fuel systems got clogged. I don't think this is as much a problem with the modern, environmentally sound storage tanks that most stations are converting to now.
Gasohol was rare when I lived in western Georgia, but is quite common out here. So far, I've had no problems running it at all.
If your local stations have clean modern tanks, pump away and enjoy knowing that you're reducing a fraction of a percent of oil imports.