Sparesbox Blog

What is E10 Fuel? The Definitive E10 Fact Sheet

By Anna Ghioni

Thu Jul 05 2018

Do you put E10 in your car (it’s always cheapest, after all), but you’re not completely sure how it is any different to unleaded fuel?

Let’s go through some E10 fuel facts and figure out exactly what is e10 fuel and if it is the best juice for your car.


What is e10 fuel?

what is e10 fuel

To understand E10 fuel, we need to first understand what ethanol is (scientists, you can zone out for this one).

Ethanol is a clear, volatile flammable liquid made from the natural fermentation of sugar or and starch from plants, including sugar cane, corn, wheat, barley, and sorghum – yep, it’s actually alcohol (…but different, please don’t try and run your car with a bottle of vodka).


Great… but what is e10 fuel!?

what is e10 fuel

E10 FUEL FACT: E10 fuel is just as its name suggests – 10% ethanol. The other 90% is your good ol’ regular unleaded petrol.


What are e10 fuel compatible cars?

what is e10 fuel

E10 FUEL FACT: E10 is commonly used in modern cars (made after 1986) and is compatible with the majority of petrol-powered cars.

However, it’s still important to check before you first fill up with e10 to avoid any damage to your car! You can find this information in your car-user manual, but (thank you, Google) we have the Internet nowadays and there are quick e10 compatibility checks online, such as E10 Fuel For Thought.


Should I use e10 in my car?

what is e10 fuel 

For a new car, you might prefer premium unleaded – is has a higher octane rating and that means better performance.

E10 FUEL FACT: E10 can be safely used in many cars (remember to refer to the link in the above paragraph) and will not cause damage to your car if it is compatible.

Premium fuel also (usually) contains cleaning additives that clean your engine as you drive! If you are driving a modern car, it may require premium unleaded (check out the inside of your fuel flap), but can still run on E10 if you mistakenly put it in, though I’d always recommend to follow the manufacture’s guidelines.


Can you mix e10 and unleaded?

what is e10 fuel

Remember when we discussed what is E10 fuel, we noted it is made up of 90% conventional unleaded petrol – so it is fine to mix e10 and other unleaded petrol (as long as your car can run on e10 in the first place).

Don’t think you need to live on the edge of that fuel light before filling up to avoid mixing them!

Is e10 fuel better for the environment?

Yes! You can learn more about this at e10 The Good Fuel.


E10 FUEL FACT: e10 reduces harmful emissions by up to 30%.

When we found out what is E10 fuel, we spoke about it being converted starch and sugars. These are often used from leftover farming products – e.g. leftover starch from wheat that has been turned into flour. This is great for Aussie farmers as it adds value to agricultural crops… plus, it’s sustainable!


E10 in an old car – yes or no?

Cars made before 1986 can’t handle their liquor and you can’t use e10 in these models.

E10 FUEL FACT: In cars made before ’86 the ethanol can case the rubber seals and hoses to fail and cause engine failure.


E10, regular, premium – mileage vs price. What is the verdict?

what is e10 fuel

There is a hot debate across car forums surrounding the big question – is E10 fuel better for your car and wallet than mid-range and performance fuel? 

In terms of price, efficiency fluctuates with cost of fuel (check out ways to reduce your fuel bill here). While e10 is always the cheaper option, the 10% ethanol means it burns faster than 91, 95, and 98 (premium) fuel – in both city and highway driving.

The NRMA stated that this difference is minimal, though, so unless you want premium for its performance and cleaning qualities I would say e10 will suit you just fine!

That’s a wrap for going over what is E10 fuel and e10 fuel facts – hopefully you now have a better idea of what e10 is and if it will work for your car!


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