Ever keen to stay one step ahead of any potential issues that may arise during long term car storage, Windrush has spent many months investigating the issues surrounding fuel degradation over prolonged periods.
It’s a common problem many will have experienced, resulting in misfiring when a car is restarted after a period of rest, often caused due to clogged fuel systems or by deteriorated fuel. As such, fuelling is one of the key factors we think about when we welcome your vehicle to our prestige car storage in London and the Cotswolds.
The problem with hygroscopic fuel
Modern petrol is hygroscopic due to the mandatory inclusion of ethanol in all unleaded and most super unleaded fuels. The downside of this becomes apparent when a fuel system is not designed to cope with ethanol, which includes most cars built before 2002, as ethanol corrodes fuel lines and can cause internal damage. In addition to corroding aluminium, copper and brass, ethanol also attacks plastics and rubber and absorbs water. The change to pump fuel due in September will move all regular 95RON fuels to 10% ethanol. These will be marked as E10 on the pumps to denote this. The higher-octane pump fuel grades can remain at their current ethanol content of between 5 – 7% where they will be marked as E5.
Trouble in the tank
Even before the addition of ethanol, storing fuel has always been an issue. In 2010 BP produced a report entitled ‘Petrol life in vehicle fuel tanks’ which said “Petrol is a mixture of many components with different properties that contribute to the performance of the fuel. When petrol is exposed to the air it will in time completely evaporate. As it evaporates the composition and properties will change because different components evaporate at different rates. This is a normal feature of petrol, and the same process takes place in fuel tanks. Where petrol is kept for more than a week it can become stale and it is better to add fresh fuel before using, especially in classic, veteran vintage and racing cars.”
Smarter fuelling for classic car storage
While permanent damage is rare, Windrush’s prestige car storage service is built on an ethos of providing first class vehicle preservation during off-road periods and now offers the option of using Storage Plus fuel for complete peace of mind. Designed by the Anglo-American Oil Company to be stable for at least three years, this special storage fuel does not contain ethanol and will not absorb water. It also burns extremely cleanly and has a distillation curve that is similar to the premium, undiluted fuels offered in the 1970s. Manchester University included Storage Plus fuel in a test and concluded it was “far superior to any modern fuel in all aspects apart from the price” – but for Windrush’s long term car storage clients, only the best is good enough.
Specifically formulated to be kinder on gaskets, O-rings and other fuel system components compared to regular unleaded petrol, Storage Plus fuel contains detergent additives for engine cleanliness and antioxidants and corrosion inhibitors to extend storage life. As an added benefit, its 99 RON and 92MON provides excellent protection from detonation.
The fuel choice of Windrush’s prestige car storage team
Tim Earnshaw, Founder and Managing Director of Windrush, used the Storage Plus fuel in his own classic Land Rover on the day it arrived on site. “I’d just been out to give the Landy a run after a period of rest – on my driveway, not at Windrush – and it wasn’t performing as it should, struggling up hills and misfiring a little. A quarter tank of Storage Plus fuel (and a replacement fuel line) saw it immediately back up to speed. An instant transformation.”
A number of Windrush clients have also requested the use of Storage Plus fuel with the same immediate results – and we’re pleased to offer this fuelling solution at our long term car storage sites in London and the Cotswolds.
To find out more about our fuelling solutions and hear why Windrush offers the very best in classic car storage, supercar storage and cherished vehicle storage, get in touch with the team today.