Auto expert says there’s no need for panic with higher ethanol blends

Source: By Kim Trinchet, Urban Air Initiative • Posted: Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Watertown, South Dakota – In light of the recent equipment malfunction in Oklahoma at a few Magellan distribution facilities causing a higher ethanol content to be mixed with the fuel, an auto expert says there’s no need for panic.

Andy Wicks with DynoTune Speed & Performance LLC in Watertown, South Dakota has been testing ethanol blends up to 30% in non-flex vehicles without any incident. “Blends of ethanol content up to 30% have shown NO detrimental effects in any tested vehicles that are 1996 and newer. While the Magellan incident is an unfortunate blending issue, you should not have a problem if you filled up with the higher ethanol blend in a properly maintained vehicle,” said Wicks.

Wicks has conducted significant long-term testing of ethanol blends for some time now, and has been working with higher ethanol blends since 2005. He says his preliminary results have shown many favorable GAINS with the higher blends of ethanol in all tested vehicles. “Ethanol content in the fuel is what cleans injectors and carbon deposits, as well as delivers a 94 octane rating; benefits which surpass the high-priced ‘premium’ fuel at the gas station.”

Testing done by Wicks includes 50 different vehicles, including all major foreign and domestic manufacturers. Test vehicles range from brand new to older vehicles with more 190,000 miles. To date, 60,000 miles have been documented with all engine parameters being monitored and recorded. “Our goal is to validate that ethanol blends up to 30% can operate in everyday vehicles without detrimental effects.” Wicks says compatibility testing with fuel pumps, hoses, lines, injectors, and all engine components have also shown no issues with fuel injected vehicles.

Wicks is involved in educating the public in Watertown, South Dakota about the benefits of higher ethanol blends. The community recently participated in the E30 Challenge, where thousands of community members and local government officials filled their vehicles with 30% ethanol.