Without issuing an emphatic “No,” Honda advises not to use E15. A Honda spokesman answered your question by referring to page 261 of the 2008 Accord owner’s manual, which says the Accord is designed to use an ethanol blend of up to only 10 percent. To us, this means that if your car develops drivability problems or damage to fuel lines, seals or other components from using E15, Honda could have grounds to deny warranty claims.
All vehicles sold in the U.S. are designed to operate safely on gasoline blended with up to 10 percent ethanol. But in October, the EPA allowed gas to be sold with as much as 15 percent ethanol. The EPA, which took the action because of a congressional mandate to boost ethanol production, said its tests show that E15 is compatible with 2007 and newer models. In January, the EPA extended that decision to include 2001 and newer vehicles.
However, the auto industry was among those who objected to the EPA’s decision, saying more tests are needed to assess the long-term effects of higher ethanol content. For now, automakers appear to be sticking with their previous recommendation of only up to 10 percent ethanol. Our advice is to follow that recommendation. This does not apply to flex-fuel vehicles that can burn E85 (a mixture of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gas).
Gas stations are not required to offer E15, so it may not be widely available. Stations that do carry it may choose not to offer E10 gas because of the confusion that could create and the need to maintain separate underground storage tanks for the different blends. Pumps should be clearly labeled concerning the ethanol content, but motorists now need to be more aware of what they’re pumping into their vehicles.
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