Friday, December 11, 2009

E85 experiment going on hiatus

I've put about 15,000 miles on the car using various amounts of E85. I've had absolutely no ill effects. The car has yet to go to the dealer for any warranty work whatsoever. Nothing but oil changes so far!

But Meijer has been having really crappy E85 prices (currently $2.49 when gas is $2.50). And I'm losing the motivation to use 2 pumps to pump the gas.

So the experiment is going on hiatus. I may start it up again at some point, but as of now, I'm done.

Are there any conclusions I can make?

1) E85 will not mess up your car, at least in the medium term. A year and a half of ethanol mixing and 15,000 miles did not result in the gas tank leaking or any of the other BS you often hear about when it comes to ethanol.

2) Mileage does decrease with ethanol use. In my case, I lost a few mpg. Not a big deal, but a decrease nonetheless.

3) Performance is the same on gas and E85. If you didn't know that there was 40% ethanol in the tank, you wouldn't be able to tell by just driving the car.

4) E85 prices at Meijer suck. They overcharge for it. But I appreciate them having it available. I wouldn't have done this experiment if they didn't carry it.

5) Non-flex fuel cars can handle up to about 40% ethanol without throwing a check engine light. Modern fuel injected cars have a lot of built in flexibility to burn mid-grades of ethanol.

Thanks to the few of you actively following the blog. I hope others find the blog as a resource against the anti-ethanol naysayers.


Nordic skier said...

In November 2009 I started a blog about using "intermediate ethanol blending" with my 2005 Escape Hybrid. I have to travel 27 miles to find the closest local E85 pump so I have been filling a red Jerry can to bring some E85 home. My blog is at:

Joeypete said...

I can't believe how much they are charging for E85! Our prices have not changed hardly at all. The most expensive I've seen here is $2.19 a gallon. The station I use is still at $2.09.

I'm moving back to New England next month and they don't sell it there so I won't be able to use it anymore =(

Best of luck with your tests in the future. I've had no ill effects at all using 100% E85 (with a converter of course). I'm gonna miss the stuff!

Chris said...

I'm going to miss your experiment and blog. Thanks for running the experiment.