Changing a recent occasion to E85: do you really void the warranty?

Fuel prices are near the top, unleaded like diesel, and things don’t seem to want to calm down.

In an attempt to reduce their fuel budget, many families are considering switching their gasoline cars to the cheapest fuel available today: E85 super ethanol. Indeed, after an initial investment that is certainly not negligible (between €800 and €1,500 maximum), and taking into account an excessive consumption of 20% on average, each kilometer traveled saves money. On average €1,000 per year for 15,000 km travelled.

Installation is therefore quickly profitable.

But there’s a fear that remainsespecially for those who drive a recent vehicle, which is still under warranty, or with an extended manufacturer’s warranty: loss of warranty. Because it’s the rumor that circulates: mounting an E85 conversion box would lose the benefit of the manufacturer’s warranty.

What is it in reality?

Well, actually, yes. And not. Explanations.

When the vehicle is still under the manufacturer’s warranty, this really happens. a transfer of responsibility between the manufacturer and the installer of the housing. It is defined by the decree of 30 November 2017 on the conditions for the approval and installation of devices for converting vehicles with gasoline engines into flex fuel gasoline engines – super ethanol E85. A decree reinforced and extended by a second, dated February 19, 2021.

Article 3(6) actually specifies: “The manufacturer guarantees the preservation of the integrity of the engines and after-treatment systems of pollutant emissions in which a conversion device that it sells is installed. He assumes responsibility for any deterioration of engines and aftertreatment systems due to the installation of this device, and must demonstrate its capability.“.

More clearly, when an E85 gearbox is installed, the manufacturer of the gearbox assumes the concerns that can arise in all parts in contact with E85 fuel: engine, tank, supply circuit and after-treatment systems for pollutant emissions. For a period defined by the manufacturer, which cannot be less than one year. The boxes themselves are, for your information, sometimes guaranteed for 5 years.

But for all other problems, which have nothing to do with the fuel system, it’s always the manufacturer’s warranty that still stands!

So, if you have a problem with the gearbox, air conditioning or multimedia screen, it’s up to the car manufacturer to intervene. tranquilizer.

The risk of an expert battle

Where it becomes worrying is when a problem will arise precisely in a part in contact with the E85. In this case, the procedure defined by the legislator provides for the organization of an expertise to define responsibilities. And the risk is high that the manufacturer and the case maker will pass on the responsibility.

In fact, the box manufacturers, as far as we could observe, mention exclusions in your warrantyand in particular they don’t want to assume”failures caused by faults in the vehicle’s design or construction, or under the responsibility of the manufacturer, or a disturbance caused by a vehicle manufacturer’s recall campaign, or a known brand anomaly” (at Biomotors). At Flexfuel, a major competitor, vehicles older than 5 years or more than 150,000 km are excluded from the scope of their warranty.

But the manufacturers themselves are already being asked to assume their responsibility, in relation to known problems, for example, in the 1.2 TCe Renault, or 1.2 Puretech PSA engines. The ping-pong game over the definition of responsible can therefore take a long time. And the car owner is stuck with a car he can no longer drive, until the experts come to an agreement.

As you may have understood, assembling a case only loses part of the manufacturer’s warranty, but it is transferred to the manufacturer who installs the case. However, there is a high risk of being without a car for a while in the event of a dispute.

The solution ? Opt for a model originally sold with an E85 preparation and therefore guaranteed directly by the manufacturer. But the supply is small as only Ford, Land Rover and Jaguar offer stock E85 models.

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