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Alcohol Gasoline Fuels and Engine Wear in Cold Climates
Published January 01, 1982 by SAE Australasia in Australia
Automobile engine wear is a very complex phenomenon. The main points of interest are piston ring and cylinder bore wear and wear in bearings and cam/tappet contact. Oils and fuels have been matched over years of development so that existing technology gives good engine life and long maintenance periods even when the automobiles are used in arctic conditions. The effect of the results of burning alcohol-gasoline fuels in modern car engines must be studied especially if a wide use of these fuels becomes necessary in countries of cold climate.
Preliminary tests run by the authors' laboratories during the winter 1979-80 both in laboratory and road conditions gave an indication that engine wear with 15% ethanol (E15) and 15% methanol (M15) gasoline blends may be a problem especially when the cars are used in stop-and-go driving including a lot of running below normal operating temperature. This paper describes the results obtained mainly during the winter 1980-81 in a field test with four Talbot Horizon vehicles using E15 fuel. Each of the vehicles equipped with weighted components was driven in normal every day use in Helsinki area over 20 000 km. The results show that engine wear is accelerated and points out the urgent need of matching the fuel and lubricants if alcohol blends are going to be used extensively. The results include quantitative and qualitative information and the authors give their recommendations for the necessary measures that should be taken before the alcohol blends are ready to be introduced to the automobiles of the great public