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How do you know if you are buying ethanol-free gas?

I assume there are regulations. If there is no disclaimer sticker on the pump informing you there is up to x% ethanol, is it ethanol-free? Are there major brands that are ethanol-free? I’ve seen a few stations advertise it, but rarely, especially lately.

I’d like to buy it at least to feed my lawn equipment if not my truck. I hear ethanol causes problems for small engines/boat motors, etc.


In my area all gasoline pumps that dispense E10 (10% ethanol) are labeled as such.

The few stations that sell ethanol-free gasoline advertise it with large signs, but there is nothing on their pumps. They do a booming business.

I think it depends more on the station than the brand. Some of the stations I see with ethanol-free gas are branded, and others are not.

It’d be nice to know just how tight the labeling regulations are.

Could you pull to pumps with no ethanol labeling yet get gas with it anyway ?

Could you waste as much fuel driving around searching for the pure stuff as you’d ever hope to save ?

Agreed. And I’m not really concerned about saving fuel or getting better mileage. I really just want to put the pure stuff in my new Snapper to avoid any possible real or exaggerated problems caused by ethanol-tainted fuel.

I will say that I think ethanol is a huge waste (unless you drive an E85 vehicle or you’re in the corn growers lobby).

ANY gasoline powered equipment made during the last 10 years will tolerate 10% ethanol…All of the pumper diaphragms, floats, pumps, needles and seats, plastic gas tanks, fuel pumps, everything, is made to withstand alcohol blended fuel. It’s the 20 and 30 year old stuff that can have problems with ethanol…

But if you really INSIST on 100% gasoline, the racing gasoline provided at some race tracks is an av-gas derivative or a trip to the local airport with a couple of 5 gallon cans marked “off-road use only” and ask for 100 octane low-lead…Be warned, aviation gasoline is very low vapor pressure and it may result in hard starting on cold days…

Around here, the pumps have signs that say Non-Oxygenated, or Non-Oxy, and sometimes say For Antique, Classic, or Off-Road vehicles only.

The pumps in MD and VA say “contains up to 10% ethanol”. I don’t think MTBE is allowed in gas here anymore.

Put a small amount of pure water in a test tube and mark the amount with a line on the test tube. Now fill the test tube the rest of the way with the gasoline you suspect contains ethanol. Put a stopper on it and shake well and allow it to sit until the gas and water separate into different layers.
If the water layer is higher up the side of the test tube than it was before you added the gasoline, the gas contains ethanol, the ethanol goes into solution in the water layer and adds to its volume. Ethanol is the only commonly used gasoline additive that is highly water soluble.

100% correct.

I checked out this thread to offer just this advice, only to see I was beat to it! (Since I can’t claim “what to do,” at least let me chime in with “why it works”):

All solvents are either “polar,” “non-polar,” or some combination. Polar substances are “water-soluble”; non-polar are “oil-soluble.”

Alcohol is a mix: the non-oxygenated side is non-polar (making it miscible in non-polar solvents), and the end with the hydroxyl is polar (making it miscible in polar solvents such as water, as Dean Martin can attest).

What you are doing with the “test tube” test that B.L.E. mentions is forcing the ethanol to choose between the water and the petroleum (polar and non-polar solvents, respectively, that won’t mix). Apparently, ethanol is somewhat more “polar,” on net, than it is “non-polar”…so it transfers to the water portion.