Ethanol often added to local gasoline supplies - - Jackson, MS

Ethanol often added to local gasoline supplies

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By Ashley Conroy - email

GLUCKSTADT, MS (WLBT) - If you've stopped to get gas recently you may have noticed a sign near the gas pump that says it contains up to 10 percent Ethanol. 

While the fuel may be cleaner for the environment, some mechanics say it could ruin the engines of smaller machinery like a lawn mower or a four-wheeler.

The Department of Agriculture regulates all fuel before it reaches gas stations in the state. Spokesperson Andy Prosser says it's the result of a measure passed by the state legislature several years ago.

"This was done through the state legislature and on a national level in an effort to bring more alternative fuels into the market place such as ethanol, bio diesel," Prosser said.

Though cleaner, some auto technicians say ethanol doesn't produce better gas mileage in vehicles.

"It doesn't burn as good, so you've got to use more to do the same job. It doesn't give you any better mileage and it doesn't put less wear on your engine or anything like that," said Technician Daniel Boyd from Bullock's auto repair in Jackson.

The Dept. of Agriculture says gas stations have the option of using ethanol at the pumps and not all have to carry this blended gasoline.

A small amount or not, mechanic Stephen Jones says even a small amount could break it down altogether.

"That right there is just a standard piece of rubber that used to be effective in the lawn mower, but now with the ethanol it's not," Jones said, pointing to part from a mower.

Jones has seen hundreds of lawn mowers and other engines start to burn up, but for now he says consumers just have to wait.

"Until the gas situation changes or you know they redesign the stuff or come out with more additives there's really not a good solution," Jones said.

Jones says users can turn their lawn mowers on periodically throughout the dry season and add fresh gasoline to help avoid this.

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