Storing classic cars after using E10 petrol may ‘corrode fuel tanks’, warns HCVA

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The Historic and Classic Vehicle Alliance (HCVA) has warned drivers could find their vehicle is damaged if the fuel is “left standing for months”. They urge drivers to use ethanol-free fuel or E5 with an additive before putting the car away to limit the risk of car damage.

However, they ideally say drivers should drain their tanks before storing the model to reduce the risk of damage.

Malcolm McKay, spokersperson for the HVCVA said failure to prepare a car for storage could see ethanol attack a range of key parts.

He warns the ethanol content in the fuel could “attack rubber in the pumps and carbs” which will require a lot of work once the car is ready to be used.

He said: “Corrosion will take place inside a half-empty steel fuel tank whatever the fuel used if left standing for months in a humid atmosphere.

“It is best to brim the tank before short-term storage and to use ethanol-free fuel if possible or at worst E5, with the anti-corrosion additive.

“If you routinely store your vehicle for long periods such as over winter, fit a fuel tap between the fuel tank and the pump (if one is not already fitted).

“When storing the vehicle, run it with the tap switched off until all fuel in the carburettor(s) and pump is used up.

“This will reduce the risk of ethanol attacking rubbers in the pump and carbs, and will also avoid the hard residue left when modern fuels evaporate.

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“[This] blocks jets and requires laborious cleaning before the vehicle will run again after storage.”

Classic car experts at Hagerty Insurance urges drivers to never store their vehicle after accidentally topping up with E10.

Road users should try and top up with E5 petrol as soon as they can, ideally when a third of the tank has been used up.

Hagerty adds drivers could also fill the car with lead replacement additives to reduce possible damage.

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