Mechanics Brett Atkinson and Hugh Wren say E10 petrol is not bad for normal vehicles.
Mechanics Brett Atkinson and Hugh Wren say E10 petrol is not bad for normal vehicles. Georja Ryan

BP turns on to E10

MAJOR fuel retailer BP announced it will be replacing its regular unleaded petrol (ULP) with an ethanol blend (E10) as of Monday.

This change will not hit the Southern Downs yet, but we may be affected soon.

Forty-eight sites across south-east Queensland will receive the transformation in coming weeks, with the majority of them in Brisbane.

Media adviser for BP Australia Jamie Jardine said the conversion was planned last year, but was not implemented.

"We are reinstating the status quo," Mr Jardine said.

"It was meant to happen last year, but the floods wrecked our ethanol supplies so we couldn't do it."

He said the switch was to meet customer demand.

"Customers choose to use E10 because it's produced from sugarcane in Queensland," Mr Jardine said.

"And it reduces green house gas emissions."

Media adviser for RACQ Brodie Bott said motorists needed to be aware of the switch and seek professional advice if they were unsure if their vehicle could use E10.

"We're urging motorists to check whether their cars are compatible with E10 before running the risk of doing damage," Mr Bott said.

Mr Bott suggested motorists check the Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries website, to check whether E10 was suitable.

"If your car isn't compatible, it means you'll have to look elsewhere for ULP," he said.

"For those who cannot use another servo, the alternative is to fill up with a premium ULP at a greater cost."

Owner of Eastside Tyre and Mechanical Brett Atkinson said there was not too much difference between E10 and ULP, but E10 should be used with a bit of caution.

"Basically it doesn't matter what fuel you're running, but it has to be the right octane level," Mr Atkinson said.

"If your car is more powerful and used for performance, then premium is better and it won't run well on E10.

"But, for your average Joe, it wouldn't be any different except you don't get as many kilometres per tank with E10 because your car may consume more fuel," he said.

Rumours have arisen over the years that E10 damages car engines, which Mr Atkinson said was not true.

"I have never seen any damage done by E10 to cars, but it's no good for marine engines as it attracts water and causes erosion," he said.

Mr Jardine said BP will monitor the sites that incur the switch.

"We'll monitor closely and the plan is, if customers are keen we'll provide what they want, it's about meeting customer demand," Mr Jardine said.

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