Can I use ethanol blended gas in my Volvo Penta engine?

Volvo Penta gasoline engines may be operated using gasoline blended with no more than 10% ethanol that meets the minimum octane specification.

Fuel containing 10% ethanol is also commonly referred to "E10."

Users of ethanol-blended fuels must take additional care in the maintenance of their fuel systems. The effects vary depending on the fuel tank material. Most boats produced the last 20 years have fuel tanks constructed of aluminum, stainless steel, or plastics.

Since ethanol-blended fuels attract and hold moisture, ethanol content can contribute to causing corrosion of tank material in aluminum fuel tanks. Corrosion material can clog fuel filters and damage injectors, carburetors, and other fuel system components.

Stainless steel and plastic fuel tank materials are not affected by ethanol-blended fuels. However, ethanol-blended fuel can act as a solvent, loosening and washing old deposits or contaminates into the fuel system.

Fuel system or engine damage caused by contamination from water, foreign particles, sludge, or gums entering or forming in the fuel system is not covered by the Volvo Penta Limited Warranty.
Some older boats may have fiberglass fuel tanks. Ethanol-blended fuels have been shown to act as a solvent to the surface of fiberglass fuel tanks, weakening the fuel tank walls and allowing sludge and gum to form in the engine fuel system and valve train. As a result, Volvo Penta does not recommend the use of ethanol-blended fuels in fuel tanks constructed of fiberglass.

Refer to the Fuel System Maintenance section of your Operator's Manual for the complete fuel requirement statement from Volvo Penta.

Recommendations when using 10% ethanol-blended (E10) fuel:
  • The use of a water separating fuel filter between the fuel tank and the engine is recommended. See your Volvo Penta dealer for information regarding installation of the appropriate water separating fuel filter in accordance with US Coast Guard regulations and ABYC standards.
  • Water separating fuel filters should be checked frequently for water and contaminates in accordance with the filter manufacturers recommended service intervals.
  • The use of a commercially available fuel stabilizer such as STA-BIL® is recommended when storing ethanol-blended fuels for more than 2 weeks.