Should I Try Ethanol?

Discussion in 'General Chevy & GM Tech Questions' started by Tom Evans, Jul 9, 2010.

  1. Tom Evans

    Tom Evans Rockstar 100 Posts

    I have a 2002 Suburban with the 5.3 Liter Flex Fuel engine (code Z). A station close to home is now selling E85 Ethanol. Today's price range is $2.59 for Unleaded and $2.29 for E85. Is the fuel mileage penalty greater than the $.30/gal I will save? (I usually get 13.5 to 14 MPG in town)

    Are there any other idiosyncrasies associated with E85 that I need to be aware of?


  2. SliverZ71

    SliverZ71 Rockstar 100 Posts

    The problem it ethanol don’t get the same mileage it burns more per mile. It’s cheaper but you loose a couple of miles per gallon so it evens out to pretty much no savings.
    :cool: Steve
  3. Tony Arms

    Tony Arms Member

    I tried a few tank fulls in my silverado. I was not happy with it. I didn't like the mileage I was getting. I lost about 4mpg with e85.
  4. murdog94

    murdog94 Epic Member 5+ Years 5000 Posts

    X2 what he said.. Only thing that i have to add is sometimes the savings is enough to justify the use of it.. There have been times where E85 was .50 to .75 cents less a gallon. But if you dont live in the corn belt then the price usually isnt justified......
  5. phoebeisis

    phoebeisis Epic Member 5+ Years 1000 Posts

    Are you over 21-and don't drink and drive!
    Just kidding.
    Like everyone else said-ethanol has about 70% of the energy of gasoline(by volume), so 85% ethanol has about 75% of the energy of pure gasoline.I think a 30 cent discount is a rip off.It should be more like $2 even to make it a fair trade off.
    No advantage-except to so big farmers- to use ethanol.
    Biofuels that use food crops(except for maybe sugar cane-maybe) aren't really doing any good for the planet, and aren't decreasing net CO2 production(if that is a concern).
    Once fuel can be made from something cheap to grow that can be grown on marginal land(land useless for growing anything else) then they will make sense. Maybe the algae grown from the CO2 from power plants will work out. Heck,I could buy myself a full on Duramax with no guilt at all (except for not having the $50,000 of course).
    The ethanol is a decent enough additive for other reasons- but pointless now as a full fuel.Biofuels are a bust for now.
  6. dualdj1

    dualdj1 Rockstar 100 Posts

    While I basically agree with those above, There is one exception to the rule. E85 is higher octane, thereby allowing you to run higher compression and/or more timing advance. With a stock engine, this doesn't make much difference. But with any sort of forced induction, this allows for a nice performance boost.
  7. trapperdon

    trapperdon Rockstar 100 Posts

    for 2 1/2 months i had a 2009 burb e85 rental, and what the difference in cost to miles per gallons
    savings was i'd loose / even out averaging - in having to fill it up quicker.
    no big thrill and i didnt help to save anymore dinosaur bones to make a difference...
    if anything, i helped to increase the cost of corn products to the eating consumer who
    has to buy corn to help feed the family...

    yeah, i could stomp on the pedal while blasting onto a freeway enterance ramp and get a boost,
    but it didnt help with actual driving changes....

    overall i'd chalk that crap up to the greenpeacers' "the sky is falling !! " mentality to pusuade
    congress to force the crap down our throats....

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