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E10 fuel compatibility.

Mark R

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
8,513
13
81
E10 is shortly going to become mandatory for all gasoline in my region.

However, my car specifically says that it is not compatible. There is a big warning in the manual, stating "Gasoline containing up to 5% ethanol may be used. Gasoline containing more than 5% ethanol must not be used as it can causes severe engine and fuel system damage."

I recently checked with the dealer who did a VIN search with the factory, and they confirmed that my car is "unsafe" for use with E10.

They didn't have any useful suggestions, other than perhaps I should buy a newer one.

According to some things I've read, the problem is that the car has aluminum high pressure common rails which can develop pinholes due to corrosion from the ethanol, as well as non-ethanol compatible seals in the fuel pump.

Are there any sensible precautions that can be taken to protect my car?

Replacing the HPFP and common rails basically means taking the whole top of the engine apart (and these are not cheap parts).
 

Jumpem

Lifer
Sep 21, 2000
10,755
3
81
E10 has been common here in NY for ages. I don't think the environmentalists or EPA are concerned with the damage it may cause. You just have to use it and deal with the consequences.
 

nerp

Diamond Member
Dec 31, 2005
9,844
93
91
There are Web sites that can help you find gas stations that sell pure gas. unfortunately, there are no such gas stations around here.
 

thescreensavers

Diamond Member
Aug 3, 2005
9,930
2
81
E10 petrol is cleared for use in all Lexus European petrol models made from January 1998, excluding:
 IS250 2.5 L V6 with engine 4GR-FSE made between August 2005 and September 2007.
Interesting, I know there are many people putting E10 into the 06 is250 as I see it at gas stations.. but weird..
 

Mark R

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
8,513
13
81
Assuming that I have correctly identified the parts.

For vehicles sold in the US, the 2006-2008 IS250s were recalled to have the parts changed, so I have got a lexus engineering document saying what has to be changed. The thing that I don't get is that the replacement parts have the exact same part number as the original parts.

I would have thought that they would have either changed the part number or marked the part as having been revised, but lexus haven't done that.

The common rails are about $250 each, and you'll need about $150 of seals and o-rings because the entire direct injection system has to be disassembled. The work is supposed to take about 4 hours, but you need a whole heap of specialist tools and a technician with experience working with GDI injection systems - so not your average garage.

But here's the problem I have, if you look in the lexus parts catalog, they didn't change the rails to a new part, until August 2008, but September 2007 cars are supposedly compatible with E10. So I don't really know what's going on.

I can only assume that they revised the design of the rails, but didn't change the part or revision number when they did. Or perhaps, there is another part that lexus are worried about, but which is not "safety critical" so it didn't warrant an actual recall.

The in-fuel-tank pump/fuel gauge/filter assembly DID change in September 2007. So I'm guessing that this part may actually be the problem. It's $900 though, lol.
 

Meghan54

Lifer
Oct 18, 2009
10,234
3,203
136
I cannot believe an '06 Lexus anything is forbidden to use E10...just mind boggling. Heck, our '03 GX 470's manual states E10 is fine to use. And I'm looking at an '06 owner's manual right now that has this statement in it (Section 6):

Lexus allows the use of oxygenate blended gasoline where the oxygenate content
is up to 10% ethanol or 15% MTBE.
Looking at it through here (Lexus's website): https://secure.drivers.lexus.com/lexusdrivers/my-lexus/home.do

Under manuals, 2006 IS 250 owner's manual, specifications .pdf file, p. 390


Where do you live, Mark?
 

Mark R

Diamond Member
Oct 9, 1999
8,513
13
81
I'm from the UK, so there are some minor differences in the car, but none related to the fuel system. However, the local manual specifically says ethanol fuels beyond 5% should not be used.

Even though the US model 2006 IS might say 10% ethanol in the manual, with hindsight, lexus made a mistake in this recommendation. After vehicles had been on sale for about 2 years, Lexus found that E10 was causing serious damage to the fuel injection system causing fuel leaks and clogged injectors (oxide powder formed on the inside of the fuel rails). As a result, all 2006-2008 US-spec IS lexus vehicles were recalled to have the fuel injection system replaced.

There is no such campaign for the IS model over here.

For what it's worth, I've cross-referenced all the fuel system and injection parts for the US spec and euro spec IS250s from 2006 and 2009. They are identical; the exact same parts in both models.
 

Meghan54

Lifer
Oct 18, 2009
10,234
3,203
136

I know. I wonder why Toyota went to the expense of two different product streams for their fuel systems. I'd have thought it'd have been much cheaper to have one fueling system worldwide rather than separate ones per region.

Heck, GM put DRL headlights in all their North American vehicles simply because they were required in Canada, but not in the U.S. It was just cheaper to make every car slated for N. Am. sale run DRL instead of Canadian cars having DRL and U.S. cars not have them.
 

LTC8K6

Lifer
Mar 10, 2004
28,520
1,573
126
My 1995 Taurus is E10 compatible.

Unfortunately, they will soon force E15 on us...
 

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