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Old 03-21-2010, 10:55 AM
 
8,169 posts, read 21,392,136 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tennesseestorm View Post
Well, my cars get better MPG with non-ethanol of course, but one one of my cars I had, when I used non-ethanol, it would leak gas (or at least omit gas fumes)... strange I know, but I could smell gas under the hood when I used non-ethanol gas. Repair shop could not find any leaks. Station I went to stopped selling non-ethanol gas and I started using 10% ethanol gas again and the smell went away and has never returned... not even a trace of gas smell under the hood... thats been several months. Strange.
Nothing "strange" about this scenario.

The ethanol attacks seals in the FI system, and they swell up when they soften, even the ones that are rated for some alcohol. So they seal more tightly ....

I get the same results with my Subaru's .... a '95 and 2001 Outbacks. We try to avoid ethanol gasoline blends because of the significantly lower fuel mileage, but we do notice that when we fuel without alcohol, we can notice a slight gasoline odor, especially on cold mornings until the car gets up to running temp for a few minutes.
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Old 03-22-2010, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
8,785 posts, read 22,159,751 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunsprit View Post
Nothing "strange" about this scenario.

The ethanol attacks seals in the FI system, and they swell up when they soften, even the ones that are rated for some alcohol. So they seal more tightly ....

I get the same results with my Subaru's .... a '95 and 2001 Outbacks. We try to avoid ethanol gasoline blends because of the significantly lower fuel mileage, but we do notice that when we fuel without alcohol, we can notice a slight gasoline odor, especially on cold mornings until the car gets up to running temp for a few minutes.
Funny you mention that. I was "car sitting" a friend's 280 ZX, and on some cold mornings the short fuel hoses to the injectors would leak pretty bad on initial startup, I leaned to start it, let it run a few seconds, then shut off, let the gas soak the injector hoses for about 5 minutes, then fire it back up and they wouldn't leak. Now if this was my car I would have replaced those hoses, but under the circumstances the above work around more or less worked.

This was with pure gas.

I'm probably repeating myself but I have read SAE reports from the 1970s and 1980's that documented increased fuel pump wear rates with gasohol.
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Old 03-23-2010, 01:14 PM
 
Location: Longmont, CO
47 posts, read 123,925 times
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This continues to be an interesting line of conversation. The truth of the matter is that there's no one "right" answer.

For an older vehicle, "100% Gas" is, usually, a better bet for all the reasons mentioned in other posts here (seals, tuning, etc).

When we're talking about older vehicles, this really means anything from about 2003 or earlier.

After that point, the question's much less clear cut.

Newer vehicles' systems have been designed from the start to handle E10 (10% ethanol blend). As a result, they're unlikely to have any permanently adverse effects.

Vehicles designed to operate on E85 (85% ethanol blends), will adjust their engine characteristics some, so as to better burn any fuel from "pure gas" through to E85, including odd "splash blends" that result from adding one fuel type on top of another.

Finally, engines with turbo or super chargers that are, naturally, prone to pre-detonation, will typically run better and deliver better mileage when run on E10, given ethanol's natural resistance to pre-detonation.

Remember that ethanol is in fuels, first and foremost, as an octane booster, replacing MTBE (which was discovered to leech into groundwater wells) and, before that, lead (which was outlawed for obvious reasons). It's used because it's cheaper than other octane boosting solutions.

Likewise, remember that the poorer mileage and performance common amongst "flex fuel" vehicles isn't the fault of ethanol, but rather is the result of the inherently compromised nature of an engine being tuned to use different fuels with different chemical properties. An engine designed to run on, say, E85 instead of gasoline can often perform better than an otherwise similar gasoline engine because it's able to run with higher compression and with higher levels of boost because of E85's 110 octane rating.

So, word to the wise, if anyone gives you a "one size fits all" answer to this question, they're likely misinformed or to have a particular agenda for or against ethanol.
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Old 04-05-2010, 09:58 AM
 
3 posts, read 31,876 times
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Default Simply put

Thanks for the detailed lesson in us v them in octanes. All I want to know is - in the U.S. if you buy gas with an octane of 92 or higher, does it have ethanol in it? What I have read seems to indicate that it does not but isn't completely clear.
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Old 04-05-2010, 07:30 PM
 
Location: Chicago
36,056 posts, read 55,947,661 times
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If anything the higher octane fuel is more likely to have ethanol in it since ethanol is an octane booster. I think ethanol is pretty much unavoidable in heavy corn-producing states like Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Etc.
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Old 04-06-2010, 04:55 PM
 
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Drover, the majority have 10% ethanol as a law. A friggin' LAW.
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Old 04-07-2010, 07:23 PM
 
Location: Northeast Tennessee
6,994 posts, read 14,097,409 times
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When I started using non-ethanol gas in my old Mercedes, I started smelling gas under the hood... when I switched back to 10% ethanol, the smell went away... its been over a year and have never smelled it again since using ethanol added gas. Strange.
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Old 04-08-2010, 01:40 AM
 
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What I think is very interesting, almost comical, is in the days when your GN was built there was no ethanol in the gasoline. There was also a higher lead content.


That being said, if you do have your engine specifically tuned for higher boost levels on a certain type of gas, and that gas does have alcohol, which will give you lower AFR's and a cooler intake charge, then I would not boost the engine to the max without it.

I highly doubt you've done this to your engine without knowing firstly that high test gas without alcohol is what your engine was originally designed for
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Old 04-11-2010, 02:27 PM
 
Location: ID
2,065 posts, read 4,180,046 times
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Gasoline GOOD.

Gas with corn likker, BAD.
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Old 04-12-2010, 04:25 PM
 
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You get better gas mileage without ethanol, maybe about 10% better. Ethanol isn't bad for your car but pure gas is a better choice.
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