Flex Fuel question

Discussion in 'Performance & Fuel' started by Camaro69car, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. Camaro69car

    Camaro69car New Member

    Some say, the Captiva's 3.0 SIDI V6 is capable of flex fuel.

    However, I'm not able to tell whether or not it will run on e85 or not. My vehicle did not come with an owners manual, and I'm not able to locate a definite answer online.
  2. Enkeiavalanche

    Enkeiavalanche Moderator

    Well if it is would you like to get about 30-40% LESS MPG's?? Do you have the E-85 flex fuel badge in the back?
  3. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Super Moderator Staff Member

  4. dobey

    dobey Member

    Check the RPO sticker in your glove box. If it has LFW, then you have the flex-fuel version of the 3.0. If it's LF1, you don't.
  5. Cowpie

    Cowpie Member

    Less mpg does not show the whole picture. Let's take last summer...

    I could get E85 for $2.86 a gallon, E10 was $3.86 a gallon, and Regular was $3.95 a gallon. On E10, my mpg was around 18 average in my Silverado. That was a cost per mile cost of almost 21.5 cents a mile. With E85, I was getting 14 mpg. That cost per mile was just under 20.5 cents a mile. So, even though the fuel mileage was less with E85, my cost per mile was lower.

    Those that look only at mpg run the risk of spending more than they need to for fuel. One has to know the cost per mile to find out what is the best value. In my case, the cost differential is not as great, so I am using E10 thru the winter. When the prices fluctuate next spring, I will reevaluate things and, more than likely, will go back to E85. These fuel price differentials are a seasonal thing.
  6. Enkeiavalanche

    Enkeiavalanche Moderator

    Thats cause you are in the Farm belt E-85 here in the NE is about only 20-30 cents less then Reg and a few stations have stopped selling it..
  7. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Ive been watching E85 prices locally for over a year, when you can find E85 the price never strays more than .20 less than regular.
    It needs to be much closer to $1 considering loss of mileage and the fact I have to go out of my way to find it for useage to save me any money.
  8. Cowpie

    Cowpie Member

    And that $.80 to $1 spread does occur during the summer months usually. Sure, I live in the corn belt where this is a viable solution. Nothing like being at the source of where this stuff is made. But that really wasn't the issue. Some will use it because they think it is "greener" to do so. Some won't use it because they have some sort of paranoia gland and fall for conspiracy issues. E85 is just a fuel. I was just commenting that one needs to look at the cost per mile to use a fuel as opposed to only looking at MPG. Many people can't see beyond the MPG numbers and look behind the curtain and see what that mpg is costing them. If it is costing a couple of cents a mile more to use a fuel that gives the appearance of being great because you are getting a couple more mpg out of it, then what's the point?

    I am not impressed with mpg figures that people show. It is the lowest cost per mile that impresses me more. I didn't say the lowest cost at the pump. They are different things. I am only advocating that one use the fuel that gives them the lowest cost per mile to use. If that is regular, then go for it. If it is E85 then go for it.
  9. tbplus10

    tbplus10 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Yes I agree there are those on both sides of the fence of this issue.
    If use of E85 saved me money Id have no problem using it, I already have 1 vehicle converted to CNG and another I use Bio Diesel in.
    From experience in different parts of the country use is predicated mostly on price and availability.
    My uncle owns a small chain of service stations in Nevada and Wisconsin, in certain counties in Nevada he' s required to offer E85, his E85 sales are terrible, the cost involved vs sales is a negative profit margin on that particular item. I Wisconsin he maintains a positive profit margin with E85 and carries it at all service stations because it is a profitable product to carry.
  10. dobey

    dobey Member

    You should convert to electric, and run a small diesel generator in the bed. :)
  11. Cowpie

    Cowpie Member

    And the point would be for what? I highly doubt the setup you described would get done what I need done. Look, I also have a 550 hp 1850 lb torque semi truck with 18 speeds. It does what I need it to do, but I also try to minimize my cost per mile to do it. Just carrying that kind of mindset to my pickup. No need to spend more than one has to. Especially when fuel is the largest cost of any vehicle operation.

    If I was to convert to anything on this pickup, it would be propane. Readily available. I could refuel at home. Clean and moderate cost where I live. CNG or LNG not as good of an option based on my location. If I was near a major metro area, maybe.
  12. zuki82

    zuki82 New Member

    I believe dobey was just making a funny! I giggled! anyhow, I aint even heard of E-85, what is it?
  13. Cowpie

    Cowpie Member

    E85 is 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline. I use it in my Silverado. Very common stuff here in corn patch USA. Not cost effective for some folks, depending on the region of the country, but it is very cost effective in my area. I save, even with the decreased fuel economy of ethanol, roughly 3 cents a mile at current prices, over using gasoline. Gasoline right now, based on the average economy my pickup gets, would cost me almost 22 cents a mile to use. E85 is costing me a little over 18 cents a mile to use.
  14. Rainmaker_24

    Rainmaker_24 New Member

    You'll have better power and better mileage if you stick to regular unlead.
  15. Cowpie

    Cowpie Member

    Power, No. The 100+ octane has a better butt dyno effect. Ethanol has been shown to actually produce very good power in numerous applications. And it burns cooler, putting less stress on the engine cooling system. E85 works pretty darn good for what I have done with the pickup on my farm so far. Better mileage? I would agree. But the cost per mile would be more with gas than E85. High mpg numbers are impressive, but if it costs more per mile, then what is the point? Regular gas at today's price.... over 22 cents a mile to use. E85 at today's price, 18 cents a mile to use. All based on the mpg that I get with each fuel. So, lower mpg does not equate to a worse thing. Even with the lower mpg of the E85, it still costs me less per mile to use it.
  16. ElbowJoe

    ElbowJoe New Member

    E85 is a losing proposition.

    It is not able to be piped through regular pipe lines like gasoline because it is so caustic. It must be transported in stainless steel tankers to be mixed with gasoline - which is not really practical. (Can you say expensive?) It has been heavily subsidized by Uncle Sam and is therefore a false source of a viable stand alone market solution. The production of E85 uses far more water and other resources to generate the low powered ethanol that is added to regular gasoline. Not only does this additive provide lower MPG results, several older engines, water craft and home power engines for generators, lawn mowers, ATV's, weed trimmers etc can not run on it and the use of it will actually permanently damage these engines, gas lines, filters and fuel tanks. E85 tends to harbor water which can damage carburetors and other parts. Just talk with someone in the boat business to see how many boats have been ruined by using this stuff.

    The use of ethanol for additives to our gasoline has caused prices on corn to go up extensively. Although this may be good news to the farmer, this has had a domino effect on the costs of feed for livestock etc and has driven up consumer costs for food. Since the current administration has backed away from support for Ethanol production, the cost of corn has already eased and we are seeing this reflected at the supermarket.

    With all of the new found sources of oil and nat gas in North America we would be far better off to focus on these sources and clean diesel technology. One 42 gallon barrel of oil actually produces over 42 gallons of diesel. Europe has been using diesel for several years and automotive diesel power plants actually out number gasoline power plants there. With the current global mfg economy - one can only hope that GM and others start offering a true diesel powerplant option for our market. I think the American public has finally gotten over the mistake of the gas converted diesels that GM offered back in the 80's.

    I have an E85 approved engine in my '03 Suburban - never plan to use the stuff due to the issues that come along with it. Leave the corn for feed, and pellet furnaces.
  17. Cowpie

    Cowpie Member

    Now, I would agree that ethanol is not the best proposition. Actually taking the process to the next level, butanol, would solve all the pipeline issues. Even vehicles not designed as flex fuel could use Butanol in high levels. Also, Butanol would give mpg figures that are more impressive than ethanol. This is where the industry needs to move to.

    Ethanol is not piped because of being caustic, but because of its attraction of water.

    Ok. Let's look at way corn prices have gone up. World demand and a falling U.S. dollar. The corn that is used for ethanol production is not out of the food loop. Dried Distillers Grain, the end product of ethanol production, is very much in demand as a high protein, highly digestible feed supplement. I haul many products weekly that are sourced from DDG. it is big demand both in and outside of the U.S. The only thing that is used from the corn kernel is the sugars and starches to produce ethanol. There is no loss of corn in the total food supply of both livestock and human concerns.

    And, of the entire U.S. corn crop, 20% is targeted to human consumption. Of the 80% left, 40% of that goes toward ethanol production. And corn yields per acre have gone up considerably the last decade. Where 130 bushels an acre was the norm, it is now well over 200 bushel per acre. And at less cost and fewer passes over farm ground due to better farming techniques like low till and no till. The latter which we use on the farm. No plowing, no discing, no soil preparation of any kind. Simply plant, harvest, repeat (though we do rotate crops on the same ground).

    A 42 gallon barrel of oil will not produce a 42 gallon supply of diesel. Crude is composed of various components, of which distillate fuels are on a part. There is no 1 to 1 correlation between a barrel of oil and fuels. Check with your local geology department at the university.
  18. Rainmaker_24

    Rainmaker_24 New Member

    I stick to regular unlead. All this ethanol makes the corn go up in prices. I have cattle and other animals and all that so it's not to good for me on money.
  19. Rainmaker_24

    Rainmaker_24 New Member

    Well everything is pretty much going up nowadays. The US is going downhill. Practically China owns us.
  20. Rainmaker_24

    Rainmaker_24 New Member

    And Obama putting us more in debt with his vacations or whatever else and not trying to get us out of debt.

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