Recently Jamaica started to blend ethanol to the petrol that is supplied at the gas stations and this has caused several metal gas tanks to rust.
Ethanol attracts water. Water enters your fuel system in the air that enters the fuel tank as the gasoline is burned by the engine. The water is drawn into the gasoline, making for a chemical mix that accelerates corrosion of metal parts in the engine.
This is the main reason to have your gas tank repair and lining in Jamaica done as soon as possible.
DID YOU KNOW? Ethanol absorbs water from the atmosphere. In fact, fuel with 10 percent ethanol absorbs up to 50 times more water than standard gasoline.
When the fuel level is low in the tank, the water can condense on the cool surfaces of the tank. This water then runs down and gets into the gasoline. If enough water collects in the tank, it can get drawn into the engine, where it can cause the engine to run poorly by sending water into the engine, rusting the gas tank which now destroys the fuel pump and clogs or destroys the fuel injector, which will require fuel injector cleaning in Jamaica.
Ethanol acts as a solvent in older engines and can dissolve old gum and varnish deposits from the gas tank and fuel lines. These deposits can then clog the very small orifices in the carburetor. If this happens, your good day turns bad very quickly, as your small engine will not start no matter how many curse words you hurl at it.
Gasoline can also oxidize or rust just like iron or steel. When gasoline oxidizes, you don’t get orange flakes of rust; you get gum and varnish in the gasoline that causes clogs.
Fuel Phase Separation Problems
What happens to your car and it’s performance when water causes fuel phase separation?
Reduced fuel longevity: A gasoline/ethanol blend absorbs water until it triggers phase separation. The blend has a 90-day product life in a closed tank, but lasts just 30 to 45 days in a vented tank often found in older cars. With 10 percent ethanol blends, owners are supposed to replace the fuel in vented tanks about once a month by driving or draining, taking into consideration the humidity in the atmosphere and temperatures. That’s why we advise that if you are going to park your car for extended periods that you try to leave the gas tank empty as possible.
Lower fuel octane: The ethanol in a gasoline blend provides some of the octane rating. When phase separation occurs, the octane rating of the remaining fuel can drop by as much as three points.
Poor engine performance: The fuel pump could easily pick up a slug of the water/ethanol slurry at the bottom of the tank, interrupting the flow of gas to the engine. This will cause the engine to miss, run rough and possibly stall altogether, or clog the fuel injectors. Remember the bad gas saga in Jamaica a few years ago? Guess what it has not stopped as we still get quite a few calls from vehicle owners about fuel injectors clogging up.
Corrosion and rust: Water in the bottom of the fuel tank and inside the fuel lines will cause corrosion and rust, and the solvent properties of the ethanol will loosen that up, along with bits of sediment and deposits. The resulting debris floating in the fuel could clog fuel filters, fuel lines, and carburetor float valves. Majority of vehicle owners in Jamaica do not think about getting their gas tank lined to prevent rusting. They only focus on cleaning the injectors not knowing that the rust that’s in the gas tank will block the injectors again.