AAA Warns: E-15 Could Damage Your Car - Siouxland News - KMEG 14 and FOX 44

AAA Warns: E-15 Could Damage Your Car

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SIOUX CITY, IA -

In a new report AAA says higher ethanol blends, like E-15, could damage your car.

Ethanol is usually the cheaper alternative when you fill up, but do you know what higher blends like E-15 actually are or if your car can use them?

"We don't want people having to pay large amounts of money to replace their fuel systems," said Gail Weinholzer, Director of Public Affairs for AAA in Iowa and Minnesota.

The folks at AAA are worried.

Back in June 2012 the EPA approved E-15, a gasoline mix containing 15% ethanol, claiming it's safe for vehicles 2001 and newer.

"The automobile manufacturers who actually built the cars and hold the warranties are saying no, in fact, that is not the case," said Weinholzer.

According to a AAA study, only 12 million of the more than 240 million cars on the road have manufacturer approval to run on the blend.

AAA says E-15 could cause cars to break down and void warranties, plus the study showed most people don't even know what E-15 is or if it's approved for their vehicle.

But according to one Sioux City auto shop, if your car's fine with the standard ethanol blend, E-10, you shouldn't worry.

"I think that honestly if you're driving a car that's okay with E-10 you're probably going to be alright with E-15 as well," said Rod Hamm, Service Manager at Knoepfler Chevrolet in Sioux City.

Even though E-15's only been approved for vehicles 2001 and newer, Hamm says if your older car's been running fine on standard ethanol, you should be okay.

"If you're burning E-10 in a car that's older than that I don't think you're going to see much difference when you burn E-15," said Hamm.

In the meantime AAA is calling on the EPA and gasoline retailers to stop selling E-15, at least until the folks who fill up know more about it.

"We don't want potentially millions of people 'mis-fueling' their vehicles, causing damage to their fuel systems that they have to pay for and then people finding out that their warranties have been voided as a result," said Weinholzer. "That's what we're trying to do, we're trying to protect the consumers."

If you're still not sure if your car's warranty covers the use of E-15, we can help you find out.

The full AAA report, including a list of car makers that say their warranties will not cover E-15 claims, can be found here: http://media.aaamn-ia.com/article_display.cfm?article_id=196

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