1. Welcome to the New & Improved BladeForums. New software info here. Please report problems in Tech Support, and read existing threads before posting! - Spark
  2. I've changed the default forum style to Flat Awesome based on feedback. Don't like it? Click here to change how the forums look Feedback on this is welcome here.

Using E20/E30 gas in regular car?

Discussion in 'Gadgets & Gear' started by dalee100, Jan 13, 2011.

  1. dalee100


    Mar 15, 2008

    Been searching for info on using higher ethanol mixed gas in late model, ('97 Dodge PU and 2001 Ford wagon), non-flex fuel cars and trucks. Some say they are using up to E85 with no problems to 10,000's miles of road use, to others who claim it will blow up your carbon-tooter, curve your spine and chip your knife blade.:eek:

    Any experience or stories? Links to hard data and trials?

  2. intheshaw


    Jun 16, 2010
    Why would you want to do that in the first place? Ethanol fuel is inferior to regular fuel, atleast by how it is currently made in America.
  3. u812

    u812 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 15, 2002
    My wives old van was rated to use E85 but ran terrible on it.
  4. dalee100


    Mar 15, 2008

    Two reasons. First, the state I live in is pushing mandating minimum 20/80 mix by 2012, (Minnesota). And secondly, I can buy 30/70 considerably cheaper than the standard mix of 10% to 15%, .10 to .15 cents/gallon less.

    And last, I wouldn't tell those guys with the Indie cars that it's inferior. They're running 100% ethanol.

    u812, what model flex-fuel van did she drive?

  5. Erasmus


    Jul 15, 2002
    Alcohol is corrosive. Above about 10% it will tend to eat up the components in your fuel system.

    I suppose you could google that.
  6. u812

    u812 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Mar 15, 2002
    It was an 03 Dodge Caravan.
    It missed and sputtered like it was in bad need of a tune up.5 min after refueling with gas it ran fine.
    Her 08 Caravan is not flex fuel,they may have never got it right and dropped it.
  7. A_Blade_Afficionado


    Jan 20, 2009
    Ethanol makes more power but requires more fuel to air than gas does. So you lose economy. Indie cars use ethanol for more power. Top Fuel Dragsters use nitro methane, but that doesn't mean we should use it. A race prep motor that's service every race (or pass in NHRA, every 1/4 mile for them) is a far cry from a daily driver.

    Stick with regular gasoline, ethanol is corrosive and gives you less economy.
  8. crackerjax

    crackerjax Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Feb 29, 2008
    it will eat the fuel lines in a vehicle that is not made for it
  9. lambertiana

    lambertiana Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 7, 2000
    As has been stated, you will lose fuel economy. Sure, it may cost a little less at the pump. But the drop in mileage will more than offset the savings at the pump.

    When I first came to California, they would sell regular gasoline during the summer and switch to 10% ethanol in the winter. As soon as the switch was made each fall, my mileage dropped by about 10%. At $3/gallon, a 10% drop in mileage will cost you 30 cents/gallon.

    Now they always sell the 10% ethanol fuel here, I have no choice. Regular gasoline is better.

    The Indy cars are designed for the ethanol. Ethanol has a higher octane rating so they can run high compression for a lot of power. But they pump a lot of fuel into the cylinders to get that power.
  10. spyder10


    Dec 19, 2005
    Not in a car that is made to run only ethanol blends.

    Ethanol has less energy per unit volume than gasoline so you will get less miles per gallon of 30/70, 20/80 or E85 than 10/90 or pure gasoline would give.

    Ethanol has a higher octane rating (~110 IIRC) so you could run ethanol blends at higher compression but the engine must also run on lower octane 89 or 91 so there is no benefit.

    Ethanol is corrosive to exposed metal and various plastic or rubber fittings, so I would not use it in a vehicle not rated for E85.
  11. crackerjax

    crackerjax Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Feb 29, 2008
    well I run used unfiltered motor oil in my truck so to heck with all you gas buyers
  12. dalee100


    Mar 15, 2008

    Most of the research I've done so far, indicates that ethanol levels up to 30% isn't supposed to be corrosively damaging to newer vehicles.....maybe. With chances of problem higher for an older vehicle like the mid '90's pickup and much less concern for anything made after 2000, like the car.

    Biggest objection from car makers seems to be that there will be a lot of warranty claims for false error codes as the computers on non-flex fuel cars aren't programed correctly to handle the different mixtures. Though there is a pretty fair number of anecdotal claims from people say they are not having any difficulties.

    I understand that I will very likely get worse millage. But, I ain't going to have a choice in another year. Heck, some even claim their old '74 Ford pickups get better millage. But, like those who claim it will eat a hole through your gas tank, the truth lies somewhere in between. I just want to find the truth, preferably before I up the creek.

  13. intheshaw


    Jun 16, 2010
    Ok the mandate for most ethanol fuels is to help out american farmers. I stated ethanol fuel as it is currently made, meaning the mixture at the pump, is inferior for gas milage. I did a research paper about this issue a few years back and remember something like a gallon of gasoline has the fuel economy of 1.4 gallons of the ethanol mix. I realize that yes, some high performance cars that run ethanol only do a great job at that. But it suffers in fuel economy.

    They way it is produced now with in america is made to help out the corn farmers. But by the time you factor in the cost of growing the corn and fuel, it isnt cost effective. Now if you look at other countries that use sugar cane to make their ethanol fuel there is a considerable price difference because it is cheaper to make.

    Its a shame that they are continuing to mandate ethanol fuel when it has been stated that is is actually worse off than straight gasoline.
  14. omaha-beenglockin


    Oct 22, 2005
    Why would you ever want to use an alcohol blend?

    Takes more energy to produce it than it puts out.

    The MPG's aren't there.

    Drives up the cost of food.

    Bad deal all around.

    Not to mention how hard it is on your vehicle.

    Garbage gas---I have another term for it but can't use it in polite company.
  15. jstewart16701


    Dec 3, 2001
    I have an '03 Grand Caravan rated to run on E85 as well. Mine too runs like crap on it. Very hard starting and sputters and misses. Get's crap mileage on it as well. Ran two tanks of it and decided never again. Same thing here, filled it up with regular gas and was back to normal in a few miles of driving.
  16. crackerjax

    crackerjax Platinum Member Platinum Member

    Feb 29, 2008
    A good alt fuel is propane I get good mileage more power and my oil stays clean longer I use it in my trail rig so if I flip I dont spill fuel everywhere so its safer and I use 2 forklift tanks, it only cost me about 1,200 to convert my XJ and its even easyer if you have an older carb vehicle.
  17. nemoaz


    Mar 14, 2007
    I run E85 in my work vehicle, a Jeep GJ. It delivers 20-30% less MPG when running corn. In dollars and sense, it doesn't make sense. Unless your pops owns a corn farm.

    Ethanol works great as a fuel, so long as you have a vehicle designed to run on it. Basically you need significantly higher compression, proper fuel lines, and richer mixture (or bigger main jet if you still live in carb land). Your computer will also have to know you're running it. It may need to be timed differently, either your computer or your dizzy... remember those?

    Seems like there is an old article floating around the net about converting a gas engine to ethanol. They were running 100% ethanol and it was an old carbed chivvy, but the idea is still the same. Google it and read it to get an idea of what's involved.

    Burning motor oil? Obviously you have a diesel. Good idea and it burns almost any oil, vegetable, animal, dinosaur, whatever. I likes diesel, greasel, and biodiesel.

    Propane? Nice fuel. Burns VERY well, quite cleanly. Your exhaust will be greener, you plugs will last forever, and your engine oil will too. Bad news is you must have a large propane tank in your vehicle. If you have a wreck, it burns VERY well and explodes nearly as well as a high explosive.

    I would expect your 74 truck could be converted easily to run either E30, E85, or even 100% ethanol. As for that wagon, I doubt it. What vehicle specifically and what engine?
  18. shooter10


    Mar 8, 2007
    I only recently realized another problem with the "forced ethanol sold in gasoline". If most of yiou are like me, I have several older single cylinder motors used on a garden tiller, small emergency conditionon generator, chain saw, lawn mower, etc. This fall, when I dug out the generator, wanted to check it out, run it for a while, put fresh fuel in it as I always drain it, then run out of fuel prior to storing, fire up the chainsaw, in other words, get most of what might be required during a bad weather period in good shape to start and operate as expected.
    I ended up replacing the carb on the 12 hosepower Briggs engine, as it was a plastic base unit. The chainsaw more than likely will not requirea a new carb, but overhauling, cleaning it, getting it running and jets properly adjusted will cost as much as a new carb would have, if one was available.
    These are the type of engines which will normally end up running very little, but are required to be operational if and when they are needed.
    But due to the corroxive ethanol, keeping such older but in good condition units may no longer be practical. The folks who operate small engine shops tell me they have never seen so many engines with carbs eat up, and the new plastic ones are not doing as well as the older metal ones they were supposed to replace.
    In my opinion this whole mess is the result of some of our so called Nation's leaders who to get the next election's votes are forcing this idea down everyone's throat, and like previously stated, at this time ethanol production is requiring more energy from fossil fuels than it replaces. Not very good economics to me, and I have to imagine the rag heads in the sand box area are smiling all the way to the bank at our stupidity.
  19. Bushman5


    Oct 31, 2007
    I ran a 35 year old chainsaw that has seen probably about a half million trees felled in its day (previous owner was a logger). I have dropped about 5000 trees with it since then. Never had an issue with the saw, run it all day, 20 - 30 liters of pre-mix thru it daily on the cutblocks, run it hot all day, put it way wet, start again the next day without issue.

    that was until this "wonderful" ethanol gas kicked in in BC.......I had poor running, poor starting, poor idling, and then the damage started......rotted out fuel lines, soft gas tank (literally), rotted filter media, leaking carb from jelly like seals.

    then i bought my new saw, at over $1500 (Husky 3120XP, walkerized, .404 pitch skip tooth). Not even 3 months into running the saw, it had the same problems as the old saw after using ethanol blends. The rebuild was not cheap
  20. MNMotorHead


    Jul 5, 2013
    Better buy a Ford product. My '08 Grand Marque runs great on E85. I can't tell any difference in power. It uses about 18% more fuel with E85, but if the price is right, I buy it.

Share This Page