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  1. #1
    Master Mechanic Dr_Zero's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Sunny Florida

    Default Ethanol blended fuel

    In my part of Florida most of the gas stations are selling Ethanol blended fuel or E10 gasoline.
    Here is a good link to learn more about it
    I will post some highlights here and tell you about our experiences with it.

    Here are the basics

    Ethanol gasoline fuel is commonly called E10,
    E85, corn fuel, alcohol fuel and reformulated, renewable fuel and gas.

    10% ethanol gasoline can dissolve 50 times more water than conventional non-alcohol gasoline.
    E10 gasoline contains 10% ethanol alcohol and E85 contains 85% ethanol alcohol.
    Over 10% ethanol content in gasoline will damage conventional engines.
    Ethanol is hygroscopic (will absorb water), and is an excellent solvent (dissolves materials).
    Ethanol is added to gasoline at the pumps because of risk of water contamination when traveling through the pipelines.
    Unlike MTBE, water will actually dissolve in an ethanol blended fuel and phase separation occurs much sooner.
    Phase separation happens in E10 gas, when only 0.5% water or 3.8 teaspoons water per gallon of fuel is absorbed.
    Ethanol alcohol, an excellent solvent, can dissolve fuel system parts, rubbers, plastic, certain fiberglass, and even aluminum. The rubber that is used in fuel system parts, such as seals and hoses, may shrink, swell, or lose strength when exposed to ethanol reformulated gasoline.
    Ethanol releases less energy and compared to non-alcohol fuels, it gets a lower mpg rating.


    Florida is surrounded on 3 sides by what? Water! so lets makes some gas that is really good at absorbing water and sell it for the same price as regular fuel sounds great doesn't it!

    Most of you can remember when people used to steal gas and fill the tank up with water so the boss wouldn't know and then you would come in and get that gas and your car would buck and spit and wouldn't go well this stuff is kinda like that except the water is absorbed from the air in the in-ground tank and then from the air in your gas tank unless its kept full.
    We have bought gas and not a block down the road the truck couldn't even get up highway speeds without stalling. I was having some pinging in the engine so did a experiment bought some 89 vs the 87 and the ping stopped so then drove over to another town where the gas comes from GA and get regular gas 87 octane and no issue at all.
    Now I'm not a engineer but I can tell when my truck is not running right and its fuel related.

    The E10 is supposed to have no more than 10% Ethanol but who checks it? How do you know that somewhere along the way its getting cut more than once to make it go farther.

    Now I know many people say well I only buy this brand or this brand never this brand well I can tell you from watching the trucks fill up over off of Hecksher Drive in Jacksonville Florida that there will be 5 different truck with 5 different brands all filling up at the same depot.
    The convenience stores around here have one truck that comes in and fills all the tanks in town with no lable other than Florida Rock on it same truck fills the same top brands.

    Now if E10 is not so bad then why do they not allow it in airplane engines and why do some boat companies tell you not to use it.
    It does not save cost since it cost more to grow the corn to make the ethanol is more than the savings.

    Here is some more info from fuel tester alot of this I had to learn the hard way LOL

    Precautions/Tips For Use of E10 Gas

    1. Test gas for alcohol presence and to assure it is below the legal limit of 10%.
    Gas alcohol levels above 10 percent can cause major damage to many engines. Many pumps do not label when ethanol alcohol is added.
    Inexpensive portable Fuel Test Kits that check presense of water and alcohol in gas are now available.

    2. Replace the gas in your fuel tank at least every 2-3 weeks.
    The shelf life of E-10 gas is only 3 months (90-100 days) under ideal environmental conditions.

    3. Know the specific fuel laws for your state.
    Many states still do not require the labeling of E10 gas at the pumps. View state ethanol labeling laws here:

    4. Check your owner's manual for fuel type recommended.
    Older engines (prior to 1998) and several luxury vehicles do not permit the use of alcohol fuels. Many lower-priced and high mileage automobiles experience performance problems and part damage from the use of E10 gas.

    5. Prevent external water and moisture (high humidity) from coming in contact with E-10 gas.

    6. Ethanol-blend fuels will lower MPG in most engines; Fuel efficiency can decrease by 2-40%.
    Maintain your engine to provide the best possible fuel efficiency. (Inflate tires, keep tuned, etc.).
    View more information on fuel efficiency and mpg of E-10 gas.

    7. Chose an octane level above 90, for an added level of security when purchasing E-10 gas,
    If water contaminates (WC) your gas, the fuel will dilute and the octane level can drop up to 3 points.

    8. Avoid all fuel additives and fuel system treatment products that contain ethanol or are alcohol-based,
    Most octane boosters and fuel system cleansing products contain alcohol. View gas additive list.

    9. Become familiar with symptoms and effects of "bad gas", often caused by too high alcohol levels of gas.
    Symptoms include varied engine malfunction including stalling, hesitation during WOT, smoke released from exhaust, clogged fuel filters and carburetors, damage to fuel and VRO pumps and pistons, disintegration and dissolving of engine parts (especially rubber and plastic), drying-out of parts (hoses), and more.

    10. Save money - Contaminated gas can not be restored to the original composition.
    No miracle product exists that will effectively prevent all water absorption or safely repair phase separation (PS) of gas.

    11. Frequently check gasoline tank for signs of Water Contamination (WC) and Phase Seperation (PS).
    Two or three distinct layers will be seen after WC and PS occur.

    12. Check the engine warranty for details and consequences of alcohol fuel use.
    Most engine warranties exclude repairs caused by the use of fuel containing a high content of alcohol.

    13. Install a water-separator filter (10 micron or better),

    14. Store E-10 and E-85 ethanol gas in clean and dry alcohol-resistant tanks.
    Fuel discoloration indicates gas contamination, often caused from the release (cleansing) of rust, dirt and sediment from the gas tank walls.

    15. Properly discard any fuel that appears to have gone bad.

    16. Keep your engine well tuned and lubricated and follow the manufacturers recommended maintenance schedule.
    Replace parts that are not resistant to alcohol,
    Plastic and rubber parts and hoses are most vulnerable. Fuel system and pumps, piston and carburetor and timing may need changes to be compatible.
    Older engines often contain parts not designed to resist ethanol/alcohol.

    17. Be aware that "private" gas pumps (EG. marine refilling stations) are not required to follow the same laws that pertain to public gas stations.

    18. Airplanes (all aircraft) are exempt from using ethanol blends and all alcohol fuels.

    19. Many types of engines are not designed for the use of alcohol fuel. This may include older cars and outboards, lawn and other small gas-powered equipment.
    Only during the past 5-10 years, have the manufacturers' re-designed engines, when necessary, to be compatible with E-10 gas.

    20. Consider purchasing an E85 Flex-Fuel vehicle.
    E85 compatible engines contain parts specifically designed to withstand alcohol's negative effects, which will dramatically decrease your risks when buying E10 and other alcohol-blends of gas.
    My trucks!

    1996 GMC Suburban SLT
    1997 GMC Yukon SLT

  2. #2
    Legend cascott325's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Lawrenceburg, Kentucky


    very nice detailed write up. i am glad i dont see the E10 around here yet. sounds like a pain in the ass
    2000 silverado with a 5.3l v8, shorty headers, upgraded plugs, 10 mil wires, magnaflow high flow cats, flowmaster 80 series muffler(2 in 2 out) w/ 18 inch stainless silverline tips. i have a k&n CIA. its a 4x4 z71 offroad package. Ls model.
    extended cab 160k miles, truxedo low profile bed cover, diablo sport predator tuner.
    reman tranny @ 130k miles

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    East of Branson, Missouri
    Blog Entries


    I had to print this up and put it in the bathroom for the next time I'm in there. Holy crap! Thanks for all the info!

    "The Sarge"
    1999 Chevy Suburban LT- K2500
    7.4 454 Vortec, 4WD
    305/70/16 on Eagle Alloy

  4. #4
    Legend Mean_Green_95's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Baton Rouge, Louisiana, United States


    I got ya now. I just didn't know what you meant buy "blended." But thank GOD I live in LA. If I've ever filled up with E10 of E85 I've never realized. But thanks for the very informative right up.
    2010 Equinox LT
    2.4, 6 speed auto, power lift gate, remote start, bluetooth, xm.

    1995 Cheyenne C1500 ext. cab(my baby, my first truck)
    5.0, 5 speed, Silverado appearance package, power nothing, bucket seats and console Silverado, painted black interior, eBay halo headlights, eBay chrome tails, eBay cai, dual Flowmaster 40's w/no cats, 15x7 American Racing Hopsters, Walmart fog lights, SS mirrors

  5. #5
    Master Mechanic Dr_Zero's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Sunny Florida


    No problem happy to help!

    Back in the late 80's early 90's they used to sell gasohol and no one really knew anything about it other than it was low cost and seemed to run just as good well after having to have the carb rebuilt twice I learned my lesson. One company I wont mention just about went under cause people wouldnt buy their gas since it screwed up so many cars and they discontinued it.
    Fast forward to 2008 and we get E10 blended fuel but look up what its other name is "Low ethanol blends, from E5 to E25, are also known as gasohol, though internationally the most common use of the term gasohol refers to the E10 blend."

    Guess the didnt want all the oldtimers to have a fit when it came back on the scene.

    Here is the Florida statute
    State Laws and Regulations
    Ethanol Blend Mandate
    Beginning December 31, 2010, all gasoline sold or offered for sale in the state by a terminal supplier, importer, blender, or wholesaler must contain 9-10% ethanol by volume (E10). The fuel mandate does not apply to fuel used in aircrafts or watercrafts, fuel sold to a blender, or fuel sold for use in collector vehicle, off-road vehicles, motorcycles, or small engines. If a terminal supplier, importer, blender, or wholesaler is unable to obtain ethanol fuel or E10 at the same or lower price as unblended gasoline, then the covered entity may apply for a waiver. (Reference House Bill 7135, 2008)

    Now many of the newer cars and trucks wont have a issue with E10 if its mixed right and it doesnt get water in there but those are big IF's! and lately they have been failing.

    Also some states dont make the stations tell you that you are getting E10 gasohol they can sell it to you as just plain ole unleaded.

    Here other links for those interested

  6. #6


    Great info! I've filled up with E10 a few times, and my mileage dropped about 2 mpg each time!
    Hallsville, TX

    2005 Silverado 1500 LS Crew Cab 5.3L 2WD
    Magnaflow Exhaust
    Hypertech Max Energy Programmer
    Suspension Leveling Kit
    Putco Element Window Visors
    Carriage Works Billet Grille
    TruXedo TruXport Tonneau Cover

  7. #7
    Jr. Mechanic TUTONE's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Southern Ohio


    Wow! I had no idea! Thanks for the info.

    1990 Chevy Suburban V1500 4x4 "Church Bus"
    5.7L TBI
    3" lift - 35" tires
    WARN Manual Locking Hubs

  8. #8
    Master Mechanic Dr_Zero's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Sunny Florida


    I hope you guys never have to deal with this mess its a real PIA and the kicker is some dealers get it for less but do you think they pass on that savings to us. No! we pay more for less horsepower and worse fuel economy

  9. #9


    wow no wonder why i cant run that new fuel thats about to take over every gas station i get horrible mileage and my motor runs like **** on it even with aluminum heads and u-groove plugs

  10. #10
    Legend cascott325's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Lawrenceburg, Kentucky


    i just got back from gatlinburg tennessee, and i had to fill up with it. i went with the highest grade they had and bought some lucas octane booster to help it out a little. i am still upset that thats what they had to offer though

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