Running first tank of E85 in the Suburban

Discussion in 'Chevy Truck Talk & GM News' started by Nitro_Alltrac, Jun 26, 2013.

  1. Nitro_Alltrac

    Nitro_Alltrac New Member

    I had to go to Austin today to take some stuff up to my son. I knew I was going to need fuel before I came back so I waited till I got there and filled up on the way back with E85. Since the truck is flex fuel, I've been curious. Here are my preliminary observations. At the HEB there in Austin, E85 was $2.87/gal compared to $3.27/gal for regular gas. This comes out to a 12.23% favorable difference in price. The truck still had some regular gas in it, about 6 gallons. The truck took 25 gallons to fill it up. Based on the auto MPG calculation by the truck, I was averaging 15.3 mpg on the last tank of gas. I had covered about 360 miles on this tank and this included a trip up and back from Austin, the trip up this morning, a trip to work Monday (about 60 miles round trip) and some driving around San Antonio. So far, the truck is showing 12.6 mpg on the trip back from Austin, a decrease of 17.6%. This calculates out to I covered the same route coming back that I did this earlier in the day (US 281 to US 290 and up Loop road 1). The temperature coming back might have been 3 or 4 degrees higher (mid 90s). I'm going to run the tank on down and then check the final mileage. Right now, it looks like the decreased mileage is not being offset by the decreased cost. I'm figuring that since I still had some regular gas (E10) in the tank that the mileage right now might be a little better than with straight E85. I wanted to check this out before I move back to WV as E85 is not readily available there. Others may have different experience but this is what I'm seeing so far.
  2. Enkeiavalanche

    Enkeiavalanche Loving the Outdoors Staff Member 5+ Years ROTM Winner 5000 Posts

    If E-85 is .40-.60 cheaper then Reg by you then worth it If not then don't bother You will lose about 30% MPG's
  3. Nitro_Alltrac

    Nitro_Alltrac New Member

    That's what I'm thinking so far.
  4. j cat

    j cat Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    having talked to owners with this E85 ability they all say E85 is a looser. best stay with 87 octane. this is also true with smaller car type vehicles. the E85 is an expensive MPG killer.
  5. Nitro_Alltrac

    Nitro_Alltrac New Member

    I was curious. I read a couple of posts here where people said that they didn't see much mileage drop off. From what I have read, I was wondering if this was right. This will probably be my last tank of E85. I'll see what my numbers look like the rest of the week.
  6. stchman

    stchman Active Member 2 Years 1000 Posts

    Edmunds did a test of E85 vs gas and the results were:

    18.6MPG on gas and 13.5MPG on E85.

    That's ~28% worse fuel economy. Edmunds drove from San Diego to Las Vegas and paid MORE in total fuel for the drive even though E85 was $0.40 a gallon cheaper.

    IMO E85 would have to be at least $0.60 cheaper to use it.
  7. Nitro_Alltrac

    Nitro_Alltrac New Member

    I ran some errands this morning, probably drove 30 miles, mostly city. My indicated mileage is now down to 11.9 mpg.

    After I run this tank out, I'm going back to regular unleaded. The 40 cent differential is not enough to offset the decrease in mileage. Like stchman said, the difference needs to be at least 60 cents and probably more like a dollar.
  8. stchman

    stchman Active Member 2 Years 1000 Posts

    I have been wanting to try E85 in my 2013 since it is a flex-fuel vehicle, but I don't think I'm in the mood to get that crappy of gas mileage.

    Not to mention E85 is roughly the same price as E10 here in St. Louis.
  9. Nitro_Alltrac

    Nitro_Alltrac New Member

    I've pleasantly surprised with the mileage on gas but E85, not so much.
  10. K15 Blazer Guy

    K15 Blazer Guy Member 2 Years 100 Posts

    im so pissed theyre even allowed to add it to gas in the first place. its really bad for your engine!
    not just in millage, but it harms fuel pumps, vales, and cylinder walls because... well... its alcohol. and alcohol is a super fast evaporating solvent.

    its got something to do with government money going to Monsanto for corn patents, but also going to oil companies so they can sell/refine more fuel overseas, so uncle same subsidizes them with money and ethanol....... its.... its just plain greed. and very confusing.

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