Gasoline. And the stuff called E10

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It remains stuff that we need for our hobby: fuel. And for many classics that is gasoline. The stuff that has nothing to do with the inventor of the car; Carl Benz.

Not invented by Carl Benz

The name originates from 'benzoin', the resin of the benzoin tree. The English chemist Michael Faraday finds the substance benzene in 1825 in used light gas bottles. He called the stuff bicarburet or hydrogen.

It was the German chemist Eilhard Mitscherlich who prepared a substance from benzoic acid and a strong base. He called that product 'Benzin'. His famous colleague Justus von Liebig changed the name positively to 'Benzol' because he thought the ending 'in' was too similar to substances such as strychnine and quinine, which it had nothing to do with.

From that time on, the name 'Benzin' was used in the German language for a mixture of light hydrocarbons, which was not exactly defined, prepared from coal tar or petroleum, while Benzol (also 'pure Benzin') denoted the substance benzene.

Handy stuff that gas

The oh so practical liquid - you could also clean and degrease with it - gasoline was colorless and consists of a mixture of hydrocarbons, mainly branched alkanes and molecules with a benzene ring, such as toluene and xylene.

It is perhaps surprising that, despite the name, modern gasoline contains little to no benzene. This component has been removed because it is carcinogenic. Sulfur compounds have also been removed to prevent air pollution. And that while only fifty years ago people used rags soaked in benzene to degrease things.

My father was in the chemical trade and for the keys and cleaning at home there was always a can of benzene and a can of ammonia in the garage. My father did not die from it. And I'm fine too. Thank you.

In order to make petrol suitable for higher-compressed engines and to protect valve seats, the addition of tetraethyl lead, 'lead', was added, which has now been replaced by the less environmentally unfriendly methyl tert-butyl ether.

The case was in balance

Throughout history, the technical coordination between engines and fuel has been pleasantly balanced. The engines of that time ran fine on the gasolines of that time. And with that 'from that time' the problems start for us. Because modern 'petrol' has very little to do with the stuff that smelled so good.

Combustion characteristics and combustion values ​​have changed. As a result, the ignition and adjustment data that was once provided by the manufacturer of our classics has become no more than a guideline. And if you look at it really sharply, the ever-specified nozzle sizes are no longer good either.

The current E10 gasoline is a very sad example of how a product can devalue

The stuff now consists of duty, alcohol and empty chatter. We had a couple of our own classics drink at their own risk and the results were surprising: poorer running engines and a much higher fuel consumption with that of an Opel Commodore from 1974 as topper: the consumption went from almost 1 to 10 to tight 1 on 6.

The frequently used groceries Citroen BX 1400 of which we are happy to report that he ran smoothly on E95 1 on 15, and after adding Yellow Miracle Oil 1 on 16, after our experiment with E10 a dramatic drop to just 1 on 14. We did not perform these measurements with laboratory instruments, but simply with tanked liters and kilometers driven during normal use.

The critically ill excise juice was then given a dose ethanol killer administered via a vial infusion

The patient recovered. But the approach here is to refuel premium brands as 'expensive' as possible. That which the Flemish call the 'offices' of Auto Motor Klassiek being located in the east of the country makes it more festive for us in Germany - where real gasoline is still common - due to the different liter prices. And since the German Aldi sells whiskey and other fuels from around € 8 instead of € 12,50, we also take that profit for a while.

Finally: that stuff that is sold to us today as gasoline retains its 'bite' for about the same length as a glass of Coke in the sun

The volatile substances will be removed within a maximum of six weeks. And with E10, a water-retaining nutrient medium for algae and microbes remains. And the engine of your classic has never learned to start or run on it.

So make sure you leave your classic with an empty fuel system (float chambers!). Or fill it up with a Premium gasoline plus a dose of the various useful additions that you can purchase from our advertisers or your local car shop.


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Runs on premium gasoline 1 on 6. You don't want to know what he does on E10
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  1. After I was born in 1944 to 1973 in Oberursel near Frankfurt and after my studies at KHD aviation drives, before I moved to the Netherlands with my family, this company was Motorenfabrik Oberursel, where in the early years Umlauf engines for Fokker aircraft were made, after the war the factory was occupied until 1958 by the Americans, the army vehicles of the Americans also ran on an excessive share of Benzene of which you got the tears in your eyes when you drove behind it! In the meantime, KHD has become the flag of BMW, BMW / Rolls Royce and now Rolls Royce Germany, where among others. the jet engines for the Airbus are built.

  2. In the meantime there is no longer a vehicle in my stable that does not contain any Vpower or Ultimate ethanol.
    So we are back again; from unleaded petrol to E5 to ethanol-free (as good as then ..) picks.
    Because even the dealer is not sure whether the Xant can tolerate E10, even those that are almost ethanol-free.
    Costs a few cents extra on an annual basis, but repairs also cost a lot.

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