Mechanistic study of stress corrosion cracking of carbon steel in fuel-grade ethanol was made using slow strain rate testing and constant tensile load testing at yield strength stress level of the steels. Characterization of the fracture surface was made using SEM and SEM–EDS. Selective dissolution of ferrite from pearlite phase was observed. Crack initiation took place preferably from pearlite phase. Corroded zones consisting of crystallographic pits were found from fracture surfaces.