When it comes to liquid engineering, internal combustion engines rely on quality oil and quality fuel to run efficiently. Over the years, however, tightening emissions regulations have forced changes within the petrol industry and altered the formula of standard fuel. Leaded petrol disappeared from UK forecourts at the turn of the millennium, E5 biofuel was standardised in 2019, and from September 2021 the recipe of standard grade unleaded petrol was changed to double the content of renewable, non-fossil ethanol available at the pumps.
This new petrol will be identified by the code E10, something that’s been discussed many times on these pages.
While these changes are welcomed by the general public and government in order to help cut harmful emissions, they’ve always impacted the use and performance of historic vehicles on the roads.
Valvemaster was one of the earliest fuel additives that allowed owners of classic vehicles to switch seamlessly from leaded to unleaded petrol when that change occurred in 2000. Now Classic Valvemaster offers a solution to the E10 problem for classic owners, neutralising the corrosive effect of ethanol in classic car fuel systems.
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It’s available in two formulations: Classic Valvemaster lead replacement additive which offers a unique phosphorus formula protecting against valve seat recession with an ethanol stabiliser, which protects existing fuel systems and enables the use of E5 and E10 biofuels in classic cars, motorcycles and pre-1996 petrol vehicles (£12.95 for 250ml). Also available is Classic Valvemaster Plus lead replacement petrol additive, which is the same as Classic Valvemaster, but contains an additional Octimise-Plus friction modifier, which it’s claimed increases acceleration by up to 3% and improves economy by up to 2% (£14.95 for 250ml bottle or £12.46 each and free delivery when ordering six or more).
Classic Valvemaster and Classic Valvemaster Plus claim to offer optimal protection against the valve seat recession that is associated with the use of unleaded fuel in engines designed to consume fuel with lead added as an anti-knock agent. Similarly, both Valvemaster products contain Etha-Guard stabiliser to help protect against rubber and alloy corrosion in all 95+ octane petrol with up to 10% ethanol content.
Each 250ml bottle of Valvemaster is designed to treat 250 litres of fuel and is easily added during refuelling.