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Old 09-09-2016, 12:09 PM   #1
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Ethanol Free vs Ethanol Gas: Does it affect performance

I have a 2001 Porche Boxster S and am curious if anyone has performed a non-scientific study of the difference in performance of Ethanol vs Non-Ethanol gas? I understand Ethanol gas is better for older vehicles. As we approach winter here in America, I am going to top-off with Ethanol: it stores better during hybernation (winter months) because it doesn't gunk up the fuel system or absorb water. Ethanol is getting harder to find anymore and is a bit more expensive than Premium fuel

Thoughts?
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Old 09-09-2016, 12:16 PM   #2
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I think your thinking is backwards. Ethanol fuel does attract moisture and is worse for older cars.
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Old 09-09-2016, 12:31 PM   #3
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I have a 2001 Porche Boxster S and am curious if anyone has performed a non-scientific study of the difference in performance of Ethanol vs Non-Ethanol gas? I understand Ethanol gas is better for older vehicles. As we approach winter here in America, I am going to top-off with Ethanol: it stores better during hybernation (winter months) because it doesn't gunk up the fuel system or absorb water. Ethanol is getting harder to find anymore and is a bit more expensive than Premium fuel

Thoughts?
Ethanol pretty much sucks in anything from a lawnmower on up, it is not "better" in anything except the corn lobby's pocket book.

Besides retaining much more water than alcohol free gas, ethanol has one third less heat output than gas, so it makes both mileage and outright performance suffer as well. The excess water entrained by the ethanol will also help corrosion build up on just about any metal other than stainless steel, so it is not good for the mild steel fuel lines and fuel injector components in your car either.

10%EToH in gas was supposed to extend the available gas supply during times of oil shortages; but as we have been operating in an oil glut for several years, the only rationale for even allowing it in gas is to sell more corn and elevated prices on the backs of uniformed motorists.
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Old 09-09-2016, 12:45 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by tommy583 View Post
I think your thinking is backwards. Ethanol fuel does attract moisture and is worse for older cars.
Sorry; that is correct. Have you any experience between the 2?
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Old 09-09-2016, 01:27 PM   #5
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Run the highest octane you can find in your area (91 or 93) and buy from the busiest brand name station (fresh). If you can find no-ethanol fuels great, but don't sacrifice octane for a little ethanol.
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Old 09-09-2016, 01:41 PM   #6
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We can still get 110 octane in GA and TN as well. I have no idea about other states. It isnt easy to find but its available, generrally ariund race tracks at small independent markets. As you might think, My cars run great on it. It is expensive so I dont run it that often, but anytime I am close and need gas i fill up.

Ditto What everyone has said about ethanol retaining water. It is horrible for all engines. Cars handle it better than lawn mowers , blowers, etc only because of the larger tank. If you leave it in your car over winter you need additives in the fuel. That being said my 80 911 ran ok with ethanol, but i used a variety of additives when i had to use it. Its about 30 miles to the nearest 110 octane pumps from home so occasionally i had to use the ethanol mixture gas. I sold it last summer and it is off to better places.


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Old 09-09-2016, 01:54 PM   #7
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I run only non-ethanol premium (93 octane) in my Boxster and all my motorcycles when I'm able to gas up in my home location of Ashland OR, where it runs about a dollar more per gallon. On road trips of course you have to take what you can get. I drive my Boxster in the winter here locally, but garaging my bikes in winter I make it a point to keep non-ethanol in the tanks. One of my bikes has a nylon tank which is known to deform when stored for long periods with gas containing ethanol.

I think JFP in PA's comments above sum it up pretty well. If we all start hunting out the non-ethanol gas, maybe the market will respond with better availability and lower cost, but I doubt it.
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Old 09-09-2016, 07:13 PM   #8
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Hi Guys, now your in my neighborhood. Living in central Illinois, being a farmer and as the past Product Manager for Ethanol at Tate & Lyle, who owned A. E. Staley manufacturing which had an ethanol plant in Loudon, Tn. I know almost everything there is to know about ethanol. Ethanol has higher octane, but lower BTUs. That is confusing for most people. What it means is that the CONTROL of the explosion caused by compression and spark is better with ethanol than without. But, because of the lower BTUs you get less mileage with ethanol than with gas without ethanol.

Actually, if the manufacturers would program the cars computers to optimize ethanol fuels, there woiuld be no drop off of mileage. But, since ethanol fuels are not available everywhere, the auto manufacturers have not created such a program.

Ethanol is high Octane. Gasoline marketers (note the difference in Gasoline Refiners, buy ethanol because it helps them meet the EPA clean air requirements, or because it add octane to bring lower octane gas up to a higher standard. At a minimum it extends the domestic gas supply.

Many of the problems associated with the product (ethanol blended gasoline) are actually a result a blending with substandard gasoline in an effort to bring that gas up to standard.

Of course everyone knows that Indycar racing uses ethanol. Right? I bet not.

Having said all that however, it IS hard on older cars rubber gaskets and seals that come in contact with fuel.

Any octane above 93 is rarely available in the mass market. So, all the discussion about those products in mute. I will admit that 93 octane gasoline made without ethanol is a better product.
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Old 09-09-2016, 07:54 PM   #9
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Just ran that test over the last month and ethanol free gas is definitely the way to go. Started with the Lexus, and it created a completely different car. Then filled the Boxster up and it slightly improved gas mileage but really got the engine running smoother with less "flat" spots. The above post is correct, if you are storing for the winter, fill the tank with as much ethanol free gas as possible. That ethanol stuff is terrible for our cars (especially older cars) and has been shoved down our throats! I drive 25 miles to the nearest Ethanol free gas station.
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Old 09-10-2016, 02:05 AM   #10
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Grassroots Motorsports ran a test of different fuels back in 2012:
https://grassrootsmotorsports.com/articles/fuel-truth/
They found a tiny hp/tq advantage w/E10 over non-ethanol 93 octane. Go figure. E85 made a big boost in power, but you had to be able to tune for it, and mpgs were really low.
Ive used the Road Trip app to track all of my cars since 2010. I don't have any power figures, but non-ethanol 93 regularly returns the best mpg by 2- 3 mpgs. E10 wrecked havoc on the fuel lines in my chainsaw and weed whacker.
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Old 09-10-2016, 03:17 AM   #11
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Pure-gas.org will get you a list of stations selling non ethanol blends. You can also find 100,104, and 110 octane if you spend the time to search the internet in your area or if tou have race tracks, look for a separate pump to the side, away from primary pumps. It may not be worth the extra expense of "race" gas on the street, but it is possible in many places. Perhaps moreso in the SE, but I didnt search outside TN And GA.


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Old 09-10-2016, 06:15 AM   #12
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Here are the bottom lines: A given volume of ethanol contains about 80,000 BTU's of energy. The same volume of gasoline contains 118,000 BTU's of energy. So ETOH contains about 1/3 less energy per volume of fuel. Contrary to popular belief, higher octane does not equate to more power or more energy contained in a gallon of gas. Octane inhibits gasolines ability to burn. Higher octane gas is better suited for higher compression engines prone to detonation. Since ethanol contains less energy per gallon, you have to add more fuel to do the same amount of work. Bottom line, if you burn gas with no ethanol, you will see 5-8% better fuel economy (less gas burned to do the same amount of work) and about a 3-5% increase in horsepower (on a dyno).
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Old 09-10-2016, 03:46 PM   #13
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Saw a video on YouTube and the guy was driving a heavily moded GTR and he was says that his car runs great on E85.
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Old 09-10-2016, 04:32 PM   #14
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Saw a video on YouTube and the guy was driving a heavily moded GTR and he was says that his car runs great on E85.
The key is the car is heavily modified and that likely includes making the necessary changes to run on E85.
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Old 09-10-2016, 05:22 PM   #15
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The key is the car is heavily modified and that likely includes making the necessary changes to run on E85.
Correct, including significant increases in fuel delivery to make the power. Most of the fastest cars in Street Outlaws use E85, but are tuned to do it.
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Old 09-10-2016, 05:31 PM   #16
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DAmn government finding yet another way to screw up our lives.

Here's an idea, leave us alone and quit intruding into our lives!
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Old 09-11-2016, 11:35 AM   #17
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Great discussion! I'll drive 25 miles for non-ethanol gas before storing my Boxster this winter
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Old 09-11-2016, 12:34 PM   #18
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It's hard to find corn free 93.

Regardless ethanol subsides should end big time and governments should stop forcing it into our pumps, over e85 is fine but virtually mandating 10% in everything is a horrible practice.

Main thing is, don't store a car with corn in it.
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Old 09-19-2016, 05:32 AM   #19
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Ethanol is hard on older cars mostly because of the water/corrosion issue. This is what I used to counter it.

Been testing Oil

I was very skeptical at first, but it works well and for several years has caused me no ill side effects. Just better mpg, and smoother idling.

I use supertech marine 2-cycle oil from walmart. Comes in gallons and I put it into clear squeeze bottles, with oz marks on the side. one gallon is good for 50 or so fill-ups and 1 oz per 5 gallon mixture.

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Old 09-19-2016, 07:57 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by jedblanks View Post
Ethanol is hard on older cars mostly because of the water/corrosion issue. This is what I used to counter it.

Been testing Oil

I was very skeptical at first, but it works well and for several years has caused me no ill side effects. Just better mpg, and smoother idling.

I use supertech marine 2-cycle oil from walmart. Comes in gallons and I put it into clear squeeze bottles, with oz marks on the side. one gallon is good for 50 or so fill-ups and 1 oz per 5 gallon mixture.
Been testing Oil That's quite a discussion. I jumped through it a bit (56 pages from 2008 - 2015) and didn't see any negatives. I have been using marine 2-stroke oil when I run jet fuel in my old diesel, but had never heard of it in gasoline cars. Going to start doing it on my next fill-up.
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