Ethanol Gas? - F150online Forums


Ethanol Gas?


Old 11-05-2001, 09:57 PM
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Location: Carlisle, Iowa
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Arrow Ethanol Gas?

Hello all,
I'm new to the boards here and just wanted to say HI. I do have a question for you all though. I keep hearing people say not to use ethanol gas. Why is that? I have been using it in my 98 F-150 and so far no problems. Am I in for problems down the road?
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Old 11-05-2001, 10:18 PM
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Location: Houston, Texas
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There are three reasons that folks warn against using ethanol gas.

a) since it is alcohol, it likes to adsorb water, and if you leave a tank lying around for long enough, it will collect a bunch of water which then causes rust, water in the gas lines, and other bad poo.

b) Ethyl alcohol can have corrosive effects on various rubber and plastic parts, although it is not nearly as bad as methanol.

c) Ethanol is added as an oxygenate to promote cleaner burning. As such, it has less energy content per gallon than gasoline, and you should expect to get less mileage on an ethanol blend than on straight gasoline... or even an MTBE blend.

Having said that, your owner's manual does permit you to use ethanol, but only to a certain percentage. See if the stuff you are using is at or below the percentage in your owner's manual.
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Old 11-06-2001, 02:54 AM
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Location: MO, United States of America
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I use it with out problems

All of today's automotive fuel systems are closed systems and cannot attract moisture. The most likely cause for water in gasoline today is from service station storage tanks, which is a rare problem. Ethanol can help absorb moisture in a fuel system and carry it out in suspension as it is consumed, preventing frozen fuel lines in the winter. There is no need to add a de-icer when ethanol is used.

Ethanol is a high quality, high-octane fuel capable of reducing air pollution and improving automobile performance. Because ethanol is the highest-octane fuel on the market, it helps your car run more smoothly. It also keeps your fuel system clean for optimal performance because ethanol won't leave gummy deposits. And because ethanol burns cleaner, it produces fewer emissions.

10-percent ethanol blends reduce carbon monoxide better than any other reformulated gasoline blend -- more than 25%.

Mobil 1 states that "tests have concluded that ethenol does not increase corrosion nor will it harm any valve or seal."

methanol damages plastics used in valves and seals NOT ethonal though when ethanol was first introduced in the early 1980s, some cars experienced deterioration of some elastomers (rubber-like parts) and metal in fuel system components. All newer cars can use ethonal and all auto companies cover the use of ethonal as an additive in fuel.

Some tests and studies suggest that fuel economy may decrease by approximately 2% in fuel-injected cars when ethonal blends are used.
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Old 11-06-2001, 09:20 AM
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The only problem I am aware of from using ethanol was with some Quadrajet carbs. It caused some of the rubber internals to swell, causing problems. This is repaired with a rebuild kit.

I was just reading an article in the paper this past week talking about how many states will have no choice but to switch to ethanol gas to meet with federal requirements. MTBE was their other option, but has led to ground water problems.

Take care,
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Old 11-06-2001, 10:03 AM
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Location: Milwaukee, Wisconsin
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I make an 80 mile round trip 2 times a month to avoid ethanol. I have personally experienced the power reduction. The gas mileage loss is only about .5 mpg. But the power difference I feel is worth the trip.

If you want to reduce polution, buy and tacoma or 4 cyl ranger or better yet, a Honda hybrid.
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Old 11-06-2001, 10:30 AM
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Unhappy Better gas mileage??

I'll have to call you on that one. Gasoline needs about 8 to 1 ratio of air to gas to combust, alchohol is 5 to 1. Needs more to burn= less mileage. A couple of years ago I drove my '96 Impala SS from Washington State to Wisconsin. Averaged anywhere from 22 to 24 mpg. I checked it every tank. One gas station in the midwest had some 95 octane premium (I was running premium the whole way) so I thought "Wow! I should give that a try". Got 19 MPG because of the high ethenol content.

Used to run Arco in my Jeep Grand Cherokee. Arco is known for using 10% Ethenol in it's gas. After a very short time the Jeep knocked so bad I took it back to the dealer. He couldn't fix it so I switched to Texaco. Guess what? No more knock. They can keep that ethenol [email protected] as far as I'm concerned. YMMV
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Old 11-06-2001, 12:14 PM
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Location: MO, United States of America
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just my opinion

I have personally seen no actual decrease in hp or milage when i use ethanol. I get 20 mpg with it or without it. As for hp, i dont know if i have more or less with ethanol but i seem to have a faster throttle response.
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Old 11-06-2001, 12:26 PM
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i immediately lose 2 mpg when the "oxygenated" fuels come on line. happens every year like clockwork. i lose about 10% fuel economy on every vehicle i own.
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Old 11-06-2001, 12:39 PM
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Location: Houston, Texas
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From the Gasoline FAQ

It should be noted that because oxygenates contain oxygen that can not provide energy, they will have significantly lower energy contents. They are added to provide octane, not energy. For an engine that can be optimised for oxygenates, more fuel is required to obtain the same power, but they can burn slightly more efficiently, thus the power ratio is not identical to the energy content ratio. They also require more energy to vaporise.

Methanol Energy Content - Net MJ/kg - 19.95
Ethanol Energy Content - Net MJ/kg - 26.68
MTBE Energy Content - Net MJ/kg - 35.18
ETBE Energy Content - Net MJ/kg - 36.29
TAME Energy Content - Net MJ/kg - 36.28
Gasoline Energy Content - Net MJ/kg - 42 - 44

You can see that ethanol and methanol have the lowest energy content of any oxygenate, by a large margin.

Last edited by BeastRider; 11-06-2001 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 11-06-2001, 02:27 PM
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Location: Lakeville, Minnesota, USA
Posts: 749
I regulary use gas with ethanol in it, as many of the gas stations here in the midwest use it all the time, regardless of the time of year. Since the major method of producing ethanol comes from corn, obviously the farmers here in the midwest approve of its use in gasoline.

In any event, I have not noticed any difference in performance between fuels with or without ethanol in it. Fuel mileage wise, I see little to no change in mileage. I still stretch 450 mile tanks of gas on my long driving trips at 70-75 mph using oxygenated blends, and I don't do any better when I have plain old gas in. Yes, I understand the energy content is lower, but I'm just reporting the results I have seen after over 5 years of driving this truck.

Ethanol absorbs water yes, but it keeps it in suspension, which doesn't allow it to freeze. If you live in a northern climate and have used Heet or something similar in your gas tank to prevent fuel line freezeup, you have been putting isopropyl alchohol into your fuel to accomplish the very same thing.

Current vehicles have fuel systems designed to use the fuels with ethonol, MTBE, etc in them. Older systems had problems with some of the addtives, but there should be no problems in our trucks, period.

Every now and them, I have a tank of gas that knocks. Anyone care to guess where it comes from? Amoco - one of the stations that doesn't have an ethanol label on its pumps when I've gotten it.

In any event, in my experience, I have had no problems using the ethanol blends, noted no difference in power, and if there is a difference in mileage, it washes out in different driving habits with every tank. Just my 2 cents...
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