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Old 03-20-2010, 05:02 AM   #1
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Ethanol Fuel-Your experience?

This may not apply to all but I recently moved to Iowa where Ethanol fuel (10%) is a big deal. I have been using it since I moved here in Nov as it is the best octane for the price.

Perhaps as coincidence, my Lexus now has a bad fuel injector. When I inquired at the dealership, the mgr told me that "off the record" none of the techs will use ethanol. They believe that a rash of new fuel system issues started to show up shortly after ethanol became king.

Also, they suggest that their own cars simply do not run right on ethanol. Many point to ethanol's lower energy per gallon issue but regardless, they won't use it.

I thought I would pass this along and ask if anyone else has had an issues.

As for me, I am going back to BP premium after I get the car back.

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Old 03-20-2010, 05:27 AM   #2
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This is my experience...

I've used ethanol in new cars and have not had any issues. Where I've run into problems is using ethanol in used vehicles - clogged fuel filters, etc. I think running ethanol in an older vehicle when regular gasoline was previously used results in the ethanol cleaning out the gunk at the bottom of your tank. Said gunk starts flowing through your fuel system and depending on the size may clog the system somewhere along the line. Since new cars have a gunk free gas tank, ethanol works fine.
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Old 03-20-2010, 05:47 AM   #3
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I think you may be right on this score. I have read much the same thing on my Google search.

Now, my Lexus has 138K miles on it ...
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Old 03-20-2010, 06:33 AM   #4
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I've never had any issues with ethanol enriched fuel and that's all we use here in IL.
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Old 03-20-2010, 11:17 AM   #5
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Colorado uses E10 for at least half the year. I've never had a problem.
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Old 03-20-2010, 06:07 PM   #6
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Here Shell has 91 octane as a 100% gasoline with no eyhanol mixed in. All my gas powered toys run best on this. The Boxster gets better milage as well as being peppyer on the Shell. My outboard engines run the best on Shell 91 as well as my lawnmower, snowblower and chainsaws. If I use any other gasoline mix there is a noticable difference in performance, especially outboard engines. Ethanol has a tendancy of absorbing water which makes it worse with a shorter storage life.

In studies I have seen, ethanol has about 85% of the BTU's that gasoline has resulting in about 10% less power. In my milage records I have noticed a drop in milage when ethanol mixed fuels are used. A Porsche driver here has had issues with his cats burning out when he used Sunoco 94, which has 10% ethanol mixed in it. He has since switched to Shell 91 and no longer has Cat issues.

A few folks I know also have issues with their snowmobile engines failing due to ethanol. The carbs need to be adjusted to a richer mixture as not to burn out the engines. They are in New Hampsire and all they have is the ethanol mixed gasoline.
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Old 03-20-2010, 06:37 PM   #7
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This may help.

************************************************** ***********

In a USA Today article, USA Today blew the whistle on the move to e20 in Australia. Reportedly, e20 testing in Australia lead to the damage of 40 percent of all the car's catalytic converters. http://www.e85safety.com/

Automakers also have doubts that it is as benign as E10. They are running trials, but they say they do not have enough data on how risky E20 is to components and whether it would change emissions in unwanted ways.

"Our vehicles are able to handle E10, but to move to E20 there are technical issues. It's not that simple," says Ford Motor (F) spokeswoman Kristen Kinley.

General Motors (GM) spokesman Alan Adler says that in E20 tests in Australia, "40% of the vehicles sustained (catalytic converter) damage, which allowed essentially unchecked tailpipe emissions."

"We believe there's not data sufficient to prove that all vehicles will function OK with E20," says Reg Modlin, director of environmental affairs for Chrysler. "It's not a legal fuel, and it would void the warranty."




Washington, D.C. Ė A new government study of ethanol fuels found that they donít increase tailpipe emissions, but that mileage does go down when gas contains as much as 15 percent or 20 percent alcohol. Ten percent ethanol is now the legal limit for use in most cars.

The study, released today, also found that ethanol can increase temperatures in some carsí catalytic converters, and that excess heat could be sufficient to damage the converters, according to an auto industry group.

The Energy Department studied the impact of the ethanol blends, known as E15 and E20, on 13 different automobile models and on 28 types of small engines, including ones used in lawnmowers and generators.

Under federal regulations, gasoline cannot contain more than 10 percent ethanol except for use specially equipped, flexible-fuel cars.

The ethanol industry wants the government to allow blends such as E15 or E20 to expand the market for the fuel. However, car makers and manufacturers of small engines have raised concerns that the ethanol could harm engines, and the higher blends also could run afoul of federal air-pollution laws if the alcohol were to increase emissions or damage emission-control equipment.
http://www.desmoinesregister.com/art...20/-1/biofuels

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Old 03-21-2010, 04:42 AM   #8
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my 99 es has 157k on the clock and i haven't had any issues as of late. But, three years ago i did replace a charcoal canister, o2 sensor and of course plugs, and fule filter.

The canister and o2 sensor were normal wear items but it does make you wonder.

I use 87 octane and whomever has the cheapest price.
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Old 03-21-2010, 04:48 AM   #9
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Boy, some of that data makes you wonder.

I will stick with the BP Premium. The one fuel injector I am replacing is $550.
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Old 03-21-2010, 05:32 PM   #10
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For the longest time, here in Jacksonville, Sunoco was the only one left with ethanol free fuels. I used nothing but in my CX7 - Premium fuel only (turbo) and my Boxster S. Finally Sunoco gave in to ethanol use, so now everything available has up to 10% and no-one can tell you how much is in it.
Mileage dropped 10% immediately in my DD and I think about the same in the Box, but I don't track it. Performance in both was a noticed drop. I track my DD with every tank full and it goes up and down by 5% to 10%. I wonder if it's because of the amount of ethanol? I'm really consistent in the way I drive the car and also on all highway trips, at the same cruising speeds, the MPGs vary significantly by the tankful.

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