WARNING – Safety-Critical – Fuel Hose Deterioration with Modern Fuels
Technical Specifications Advisor, Chris Humphries, has been working to ethanol-proof his fleet, following reports of, and experiencing, deterioration caused by the ethanol added to modern petrol. This seems to be most serious in “stale” petrol, where vehicles are kept in storage for prolonged periods. Since some of his fleet are currently non-mobile, his concerns are obvious and well-founded- Ed.
Last Friday night [my son] Jonti was going out and asked if he could take the Nova SR. I started it, and normally, being a Vauxhall, it fires up instantly at a twist of the key, but it took several turns and cut several times until the fourth attempt, when it ran normally.
However, I could then smell petrol, at first putting it down to running rich because of the auto-choke. I soon realised it was too strong for that, and opened the bonnet to find petrol gushing from a fuel line all over the engine! Next morning in daylight we found that the fuel line, which had been replaced fairly recently (since we’ve owned the car) had been eaten away by the fuel. Jonti ordered some very expensive racing fuel line, said to be impervious to everything but brake-fluid. The rest of the fleet will have to have the same expensive remedy – the thought of what could have happened if the engine had been hot fills me with horror. Recently we have added Frost’s “Ethomix” to the fuel, this is said to negate the worst effects of the fuel, but remember that the mix is due to rise from 5% to 10% in 2013. No wonder that so many cars are catching fire in running these days …
After a long job on the Internet searching for suitable materials, Jonti has found some ethanol-proof fuel hose. A good company called “Silicone Hose World”, who only supply SAE 30 R9 fuel hose – which is, of course, ethanol-proof to modern standards. Other companies are not so fussy and are still selling the old specification stuff. Their contact details are:
Advanced Fluid Solutions. Tel: 01245 321 320 www.advancedfluidsoloutions.co.uk
Their eBay store is “Venair Silicone Hose World”.
They take credit cards and Paypal.
Further to my piece about ethanol fuels, we changed the fuel hoses in the D-reg Cavalier today, and found the hose on the fuel pressure regulator was in an extremely poor state. It was a fairly new one, having been fitted by the garage that sold us the car for its MOT in 2007 but was of the SAE 30 J6 type, which was up to standard in 2007, but not fit for "modern" ethanol fuel. The hose had split where it joined the fuel rail, and would have failed totally in a very short time! The hoses we had fitted in 2009, (which were not SAE marked but were a quality brand) were also in the early stages of decay and the engine bay had a definite smell of petrol, which has now gone!
I think it is important that Club members running fuel-injected Cavaliers
know about the fuel regulator especially, as it is not in the easiest place
to inspect, despite being fitted between the inlet manifold branches. It is
a real swine of a job to do, due to the location of the regulator and the
lack of space around it, but as it's on top of the engine and above the
exhaust it is very important!
All the best
This site was last updated 04/24/13