Is ethanol good for your vehicle?

The back-and-forth over E15 ethanol continues.

by Chris Woodward

Source: One News Now

Several groups and individuals have voiced concerns that E15 (15 percent ethanol, 85 percent gasoline) may be harmful to engines. In an effort to combat these claims, the Renewable Fuels Association has issued a press release saying that more than 70 percent of the top 20 best-selling cars have been explicitly approved by automakers to use E15 in 2014 models. This includes all Ford, GM and Volkswagen 2014 models and certain models of Honda and Toyota.

But Sterling Burnett of the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) says that does not mean much.

"The automakers can do what they want; it's the individual gas station owners that have got to decide whether they want to put it in," he notes. "And a lot of auto companies are still not moving -- if you look at that list, there's a lot of cars that aren't on the list. And it doesn't, of course, include any of the cars that were made before 2014."

The Renewable Fuels Association does provide a list on its website of makes and models 2012-2014 that are approved for E15 use.

However, even though the government approved E15 for vehicles from 2001 to newer, OneNewsNow has found an owner's manual for a 2013 Toyota Highlander that advises owners not to put E15 in the vehicle. (see earlier story)

RFA's director of market development, Robert White, tells OneNewsNow certain manufacturers have had problems with E10 over the years, and many companies plan and design vehicles years in advance.

That said, anyone purchasing a vehicle, new or used, should read the owner's manual to double check what fuels the automaker recommends.