Ethanol- Is anyone driving on it???

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    Jun 09, 2015 12:58 AM GMT
    After driving on 5 tanks of various grades of Gas, I am trying Ethanol in my car's Flex Fuel engine.
    Has anyone had any experience with the performance of this gas?
    In the city, it's not so great, but on the highway (90% of my commute) it's the same mileage as Regular gas.
    The price is the real difference! I paid $1.98 a gallon.
    Cheapest tank yet. Just curious if you anyone's had any experience with it.
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    Notice the yellow hose, not black. My dangling gas cap is yellow and says E-85 on it.
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    For an average 14 gallon tank, it was just over $27. dollars.
    Besides the price, are there any advantages to running on Ethanol?

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    Jun 09, 2015 2:27 AM GMT
    I've never heard anything particularly good about ethanol's fuel value; I think the cost is the primary motivation, and even that is probably due in large part to ongoing subsidies.

    I'm a big fan of ethanol because even though as a renewable fuel *source* it's rather lackluster, it's generated a lot of awareness of opportunities for energy/carbon reclamation in existing inefficient agricultural industries (beef production in particular), and raised standards of living for a lot of economically disadvantaged people on the plains. But those are both politically unpopular "positives" and mentioning them can be somewhat dangerous since a number of simultaneous negative global trends (runaway food commodity speculation, for example) are claimed -- naively, in my opinion -- as direct effects.
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    Jun 09, 2015 2:10 PM GMT
    Phuck technology;
    drive the lightest weight car you can. out side of that, if you are so concerned for gas millage you bought the wrong vehicle.
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    Jun 09, 2015 5:12 PM GMT
    I sometimes use it when driving in the Midwest, but have always gotten noticeably worse mileage w/ it. It's not available in much, if not all, of CA. My Outback gets 35+ MPG on the freeway, so I'm not complaining. icon_cool.gif
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    Jun 09, 2015 8:34 PM GMT
    pellaz saidPhuck technology;
    drive the lightest weight car you can. out side of that, if you are so concerned for gas millage you bought the wrong vehicle.

    Actually, I'm not fully motivated by gas mileage. I've owned 2 mid-sized Hybrids before and am no longer motivated by how far you can go on a tank of gas. I like a car that's fun to drive and has some technology behind the wheel. I didn't buy it for the flex fuel engine, but am intrigued by the idea of using an alternative gas.
    I can't really tell a difference in how the car drives on ethanol, but was curious if anyone had any experience first hand in their tank.
    Some engines do better with it than others, from what I understand.
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    Jun 09, 2015 10:58 PM GMT
    Ha, I didn't think they sold it in Texas.
  • mwolverine

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    Jun 09, 2015 10:58 PM GMT
    I was just wondering this myself last week (as gas prices surged some 50 cents over the Memorial Day weekend). Read some reviews (Consumer Reports, Car & Driver and one other) and oddly they had all tested a Chevy Tahoe (a few years back). The report was an approximately 25% reduction in fuel efficiency (and, amazingly enough - or not - cost is about 25% less).

    I think that MPG reduction was both for highway and city.

    A reason to avoid E-85 is that you then have to go to fill up 33% more often.

    On the other hand, is that "Buy American"?
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    Jun 10, 2015 12:50 AM GMT
    dustin_K_tx saidHa, I didn't think they sold it in Texas.

    Yes, it's sold in about 6 places within a 5 mile radius of my house.
    That said, I actually found it at a Kroger in Las Colinas less that a mile from where I work.
    The jury's still out, since I'm only on my first tank.
    I wonder if it's any better or worse on an engine to run E-85?
    Premium gas did not seem to drive any better or give me better mileage than Regular. E-85 also feels the same.
    Just cost a lot less. Time will tell. I'd like to test it on Father's Day weekend since it's a 4 hour highway drive to my folks.
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    Jun 10, 2015 5:24 AM GMT
    Ethanol's selling point is that it's an alternative to gas, and hasn't ever been touted as an efficient fuel. I dunno. Maybe things have changed in modern cars. Also, you'll find it mainly available in colder regions. It has some natural properties that prevent water from freezing in the gas line. It's very rare/impossible to find gas stations here in California that sell E85. However, our gas here is blended with ethanol. Unfortunately. Kills the maximum performance potential of your car. But it's an effort to keep our air cleaner.
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    Jun 10, 2015 6:48 AM GMT
    I've never run E85 in anything *shudder* but I've had a couple of engines disabled due to ethanol blends in the last few months. It chews up rubber pieces. A boat motor and a power-pruner were both knocked out. Gas mileage on my daily-drivers went down 20-30 percent with "winter blends" though that's not all due to ethanol. (I think I finally got it all flushed through.)

    "Winter blend" was so bad on the 4-runner that I thought it had blown another head gasket. icon_mad.gif
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    Jun 10, 2015 3:21 PM GMT
    TheGuyNextDoor said... like a car that's fun to drive and has some technology behind the wheel...
    oops the OP bought the wrong technology, serious:

    research your larger purchase decisions, edmunds.com is a starting point for a car purchase
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    Jun 10, 2015 4:18 PM GMT
    As far as fun v. efficiency, I've been pleasantly surprised both times I've had Priuses as rentals, and for long road trips thru mountains and on freeways. Surprisingly "peppy," good handling, great mileage and quiet like you wouldn't believe. Friends I visited along the way always commented how much they liked them, too. But, I'm a Subaru kinda guy.
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    Jun 10, 2015 11:59 PM GMT
    pellaz said
    TheGuyNextDoor said... like a car that's fun to drive and has some technology behind the wheel...
    oops the OP bought the wrong technology, serious:

    research your larger purchase decisions, edmunds.com is a starting point for a car purchase

    Nah, the OP bought the right car at the right time.
    I did all my research before I traded my last car in for it.
    Last night I read a ton about Ethanol and have come to believe it's basically a wash. About the same price per mile when it comes to price. Just better for the air, and there's nothing wrong with that technology.
    No need for Edmunds on this one. I'll run a few more tanks to see what I think, then switch back to regular and see how that goes.
    Again, I was just trying to see if anyone here had a Flex fuel engine and what their experience was.
    Happy driving.
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    Jun 11, 2015 2:10 AM GMT
    Yup. We now have better hybrid and electric cars. And the prices are coming down. E85 is kinda pointless, unless the price drops to $1 a gallon.

    Tony, you should get Tesla. You would totally look good in one. icon_cool.gif
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    Jun 11, 2015 3:51 AM GMT
    xrichx saidYup. We now have better hybrid and electric cars. And the prices are coming down. E85 is kinda pointless, unless the price drops to $1 a gallon.

    Tony, you should get Tesla. You would totally look good in one. icon_cool.gif

    I've considered that, but I have a friend with one and they are an amazing ride, I'm just not so sure I want to be tied to an electric plug daily. Great for work and back, but kinda frightening trying to get out of state to visit family on a single charge...icon_neutral.gif
    They are beautiful cars and that ginormous monitor is unlike any other. Awesome car, just not mine.

    EDIT: Well, I just drove to Tulsa on a tank of E-85 and was shocked at how much BETTER the mileage was on plain old simple Regular Gas. When I did the math, it just didn't make sense to continue with E-35. Sure it costs less, but why fill up more often when the overall mileage per penny is better on Regular and it can be found everywhere?
    For this guy, it's just one more option the car offers, but not one I'll use.
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    Jun 11, 2015 3:54 AM GMT
    I guess my car likes vodka better!icon_cool.gif