The use of Ethanol (E-10) fuel versus non-ethanol fuel has become a concern with a lot of boaters these days, particularly if you have an older Yamaha outboard motor like the 115 h.p. carbureted Yamaha outboard I have on my 18 Hewes Bonefisher in the Bahamas. The main concerns with fuel containing Ethanol is that they tend to attract moisture, dissolve hoses and fiberglass gas tanks and also that Ethanol (E-10) is not as efficient as Ethanol free gasoline.
It’s been recently proven that non-ethanol fuel gets better gas mileage than Ethanol (E-10) fuel. An outboard burning 93 octane Ethanol (E-10) fuel has less combustion, and thus less horsepower than a non-ethanol 90 octane fuel. That means the non-ethanol fuel is going to give you better gas mileage, less problems and better performance between oil changes.
And speaking of oil changes, if you live in the southern region of the country—the hotter states—one of the things that Yamaha has recommended for four stroke outboard owners is going to a 20W/40 four stroke oil in their motor over the 10W/30 oil. The higher viscosity of the 20W/40 allows the engine to run cooler in those hotter regions of the United States.
So if you live in South Texas, Southern California, Baja, Southern Louisiana and Florida, you might want to remember that the 20W/40 oil is going to give you cooler engine temperatures when operating the outboard and also last longer than the 10W/40 oil. Since oil is essential to engine lubrication, you’ll also want to pay attention to the suggested oil change maintenance for your outboard and have it changed on time.
But back to Ethanol (E-10) versus non-ethanol fuel. Not everyone has the option of running non-ethanol fuel. In a lot of areas the only place you can find non-ethanol fuel is at marinas, so the person that trailers their boat is more likely to get their gas at a station that sells Ethanol (E-10) fuel.
If that’s your situation, a good option is to buy the Yamaha Fuel Stabilizer and Conditioner Plus to add to your fuel tank. This product helps prevent fuel oxidation and phase separation problems associated with Ethanol (E-10) based fuels while preventing many of the corrosive properties. Adding Yamaha Fuel Stabilizer and Conditioner Plus to your fuel will allow you to store your boat or not use it for up to a year, without the fuel gumming up or forming varnish normally associated with fuel that has sat for long periods of time.
At the same time, adding Yamaha Ring Free Plus to your fuel system will help keep the internal parts of your engine clean. The Ring Free Plus cleans the internal parts of the fuel system and eliminates carbon build-up while protecting them from future damage.
Lastly, one of the most important components of your fuel system should be the water separator, which filters out the impurities like water or the debris and corrosion that gets loosened in the system by Ethanol (E-10) fuels. Yamaha recommends using a 10 micron water separating fuel filter with Ethanol (E-10) based fuels.
I recently found out how well that Yamaha 10 micron water separating fuel filter worked while in the Bahamas. My outboard was running sluggish and stalling. I replaced the Yamaha 10 micron water separating fuel filter and immediately the engine was running like a top again. It’s amazing how one little filter can prevent a lot of problems with your outboard motor.
One last thing you might want to look at is using the Yamashield Rust and Corrosion Protection Waterproof Lubricant to spray the exposed parts of your outboard motor that are under the cowling. You want to hook the outboard up to a hose first and run it four or five minutes to get the engine block warm, then spray it down. When the engine is warm, the spray will adhere to it better.
The nice thing about this spray is that it cleans, lubricates and protects all the parts that could become exposed to the elements through normal use. If you remove the cowling and see some dirt, corrosion or salt you might want to lightly rise it off and then let it dry. You can use a paint brush to remove any salt deposits. Then let it air dry and apply the Yamashield and you’re ready to go.
You don’t hear a lot about these protective and maintenance products, but they really do improve the life of your outboard motor and help limit the repairs you see over the years. It only takes a few minutes to utilize these products, and the end result can be hours of saved time, better performance and longevity from your outboard motor.