The Impact of E-15 Fuel on Snowmobiles

hIn a study conducted over a two year period by Michigan Technological University to evaluate the effects of E-15 fuel on current and legacy snowmobiles, sleds were put through three test scenarios to determine cold start performance and emissions, drivability, and lab exhaust emissions over the life of their engines.

After reviewing research conclusions, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released the information and announced that E-15 fuel is NOT approved for snowmobile use.

This testing was done as more E-15 fuel is being moved into the public marketplace. Proponents of the fuel had hoped it would become an important alternative that would help the country achieve goals set by our Congress for the Reformulated Fuel Standards.

Ethenol is produced domestically, by producers who use corn and other plant products. The current administration has instructed that 13.8 billion gallons of Ethenol be produced and distributed annually. Since this E-15 fuel will be more readily available throughout the country, it’s important that sled owners understand that use of it can negatively impact the performance of their engine, and that it will raise exhaust gas and muffler exit temperatures, both of which will consistently increase with the use of E-15 fuel.

Since this fuel is not approved for snowmobiles, owners must take care when filling up. 56% of consumers fill vehicles that they tow with the same fuel they use on the tow car/truck. And too often we simply assume that any fuel sold at a gas station is safe for use in all of our vehicles. It’s more important than ever for customers to read labels on gas pumps carefully before they fill up.