STUTTGART, Germany — An additional type of fuel will be offered at Army and Air Force Exchange Service facilities in Germany starting in February, but consult your owner’s manual before you start using it to be sure it won’t damage your engine.

A new German pollution control law is now requiring gas stations to offer Super E10, which contains 10 percent ethanol, in addition to the current gasoline blends being sold. While all makes and models of gasoline-fueled automobiles are able to use the current E5 gasoline sold in Germany, some older model automobiles can’t handle the E10 formula, according to exchange officials.

“Customers must check with their car manual or manufacturer to determine if 10 percent ethanol gasoline is safe to use in their car,” Ruth Wagner, the Exchange-Europe ESSO fuel card manager, said in a news release. “If in doubt, don’t use E10.”

While AAFES expects to start selling the new fuel formula next month, some ESSO stations in Germany have already begun selling the E10 blend. Both AAFES and ESSO gas stations in Germany will clearly label their pumps, according to exchange officials.

According to industry experts, E10 fuel can cause damage to engines built before 1998 as well as some high-performance engines.

“When exposed to water, E10 gas will contaminate and should be discarded,” according to, a division of the alternative fuel consulting firm MLR Solutions.

E10 gas should be replaced every two to three weeks to avoid water-related engine problems, according to the website. Symptoms of engine trouble caused by bad fuel include stalling, hesitation and smoke from the exhaust system.

There are few advantages for your car’s engine to use E10 gas, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. In fact, E10 has a lower energy content, which results in few miles per gallon, according to, an Energy Department website.

However, the fuel does make your engine more resistant to engine knocks, and it produces lower emissions of air pollutants, the website states.

The price for Super E10 at AAFES stations will be based on the current weekly U.S. Department of Energy average price of regular fuel, plus incremental costs associated with providing gasoline overseas.

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John covers U.S. military activities across Europe and Africa. Based in Stuttgart, Germany, he previously worked for newspapers in New Jersey, North Carolina and Maryland. He is a graduate of the University of Delaware.

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