Letter: Ethanol harms small engines, what about cars?

August 18, 2013 

A son-in-law mentioned a recent problem with a small gas engine trimmer. Reading a Consumer Reports article confirmed the culprit. The article includes this quote: "Ethanol has inherent properties that can cause corrosion of metal parts, including carburetors, degradation of plastic and rubber components, harder starting, and reduced engine life," says Marv Klowak, global vice president of research and development for Briggs & Stratton, the largest manufacturer of small engines. "The higher the ethanol content, the more acute the effects."

The opening sentence of the article reads, "The Environmental Protection Agency has approved gasoline with 15 percent ethanol for use in cars year 2001 or newer, yet it prohibits its use in mowers and other power equipment, stating it may cause damage." Is it possible that higher concentrations of ethanol in gasoline will really damage only small engines?

Considering the problems caused by use of ethanol, it seems odd that our government is promoting its use and its agencies are allowing even higher concentrations of ethanol to be used in gasoline than the current 10 percent.

JIM DAVISON, Waitsburg

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