East Texans' Ethanol Problems Continue - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

08/07/08 - East Texas

East Texans' Ethanol Problems Continue

East Texans continue to have problems with ethanol mixed gasoline. We reported earlier this week that ethanol was causing problems for small engines, like yard equipment. Now, many are saying they are having problems with their boats.

Today KLTV 7's Danielle Capper went out to Lake Tyler, where boaters aren't the only ones frustrated.

"I had 6 in here with it, I've got 3 of them now."

Ron Crouch, the owner of DR's Marine on Lake Tyler, has seen boat after boat come in with the same problem.

"It won't run, it won't start. It cuts out. I got good gas, I've got fresh gas in it. I got my oil mixed right," said Ron. "This is a new problem. This came up a couple months ago."

We saw another boat that was brought to Ron while we were out today, the Sea Nymph. The driver said it just wouldn't run right, and it was a problem that Ron diagnosed to be in the fuel.

"Most everyone that has had that problem has been running 87 octane. And it's not one certain station," he said. The low grade gasoline mixture, containing ethanol, created a gel-like substance that clogs the engine's jet and carburetor.

"There is some of the gel in there," Ron said. 

Ron says he's seen the problem in smaller outboard boats like bass fishing boats and barges made from the late 1980s to the mid-1990s.

"It's a Riveria Cruiser," says Ray Colby. 

Colby recently purchased and is fixing up the same kind of boat.

"I want it to run when I get ready to go," he told us today. 

Ron has told Ray and his other customers to pump 89 octane gas into their boats - but not too much. "Put the minimal amount you are going to run during that outing," he advised.

It's a change in strategy that east Texas boaters hopes keep them cruising.

"If I go ahead and step up one grade of gasoline, then that would straighten it out," said Colby today.

If you want to know if the gas you are pumping contains ethanol, it should be marked. Look for a sticker on the pump that says the gasoline contains ethanol. And take note - there are varying percentages.

Danielle Capper, reporting. dcapper@kltv.com

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