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Warning on E15 fuel. Corrosive and dangerous for older cars and trucks. (Video)

Discussion in 'Performance & Fuel' started by Enkeiavalanche, Jan 2, 2013.

  1. Conlan Rose

    Conlan Rose Super Moderator 1000 Posts

    [MENTION=40835]dobey[/MENTION] I believe you are right in saying that the automakers cheap out. Most automakers don't use the same engine in Europe as they do in the US because the EU motor can't meet EPA regulations and requirements.

    Personally I have found that my 96' gets much better mileage with pure 87 regular unleaded. The 10% ethanol mix used here in CT and neighboring NY hurts my mpg and my truck doesn't run as smooth. My truck has ran most of its life on the 10% blend, but the few times I've gone to VT where they don't have the 10% ethanol and used it in the truck the truck has run so much better and gained 1-2 mpg. Same goes for my mom's 2009 Subaru Forester, using CT gas it gets 26-28 hwy using the VT gas it gets 30-32 hwy.

    Engines built to run on ethanol most likely don't have as much of a problem. In the 90's the engines weren't built for ethanol as much as they are now. [MENTION=43029]barefoot greg[/MENTION] I can't believe you put blend in that Nova... Hope it didn't hurt it.

    It is possible that these reporters have their facts wrong, just remember they don't write the stories.
  2. Als09Sierra

    Als09Sierra Active Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    As long as e85 remains around, I'll keep using it. I haven't seen e15 before, but don't plan to use it even if they start selling it around here. The e85 doesn't get as good mpg, but makes up for it with better throttle response and cheaper prices.
  3. dobey

    dobey Member

    [MENTION=52248]Conlan Rose[/MENTION] I find it a bit hard to believe that your MPG difference is that large in the Suby just changing between E10 and unmixed. Maybe in NY and CT it's different than it is down here in the Mid-Atlantic, but I have an 87 Pontiac Fiero GT that I've owned for 8 years now, and have driven it down the coast, over the mountains, and into the midwest, on all different brands of gas, mostly E10, and some not, and have never had it behave any differently or get better or worse MPG just from the change in gas. I mostly got the EPA rated MPG for it the entire time I've had it, save for when I had a fuel leak, or when one of the calipers got stuck.

    And just remember, E10 has been around since the end of the 70s. And fixing the "issues" with using Ethanol in vehicles is easy. Manufacturers just don't want to use better parts, becuase they'd rather save the 0.10 cents per part to increase the profit margin, than build more reliable cars for the US market. Just avoid rubber and mild steel for the most part. It's not corrosion that damages cars from Ethanol inclusion, it's oxidation from alcohol attracting moisture. It sucks the moisture out of rubber lines, and then they start falling apart from the inside out. The Ethanol itself isn't eating away at the rubber. Same reason you get a hangover when you drink too much.
  4. Conlan Rose

    Conlan Rose Super Moderator 1000 Posts

    I also think CT has a very different blend of gas than VT does or the rest of the country for that matter. When we switch to the summer blend most cars loose 1-2 mpg because of the smog inhibitors in the gas... CT has weird laws it stinks. VT gas is from Canada while CT gas is refined in NJ so it my just be the bled causing the difference. And I always fill up at either Sunoco or Stop & Shop.

    I don't care if I put E10 in the truck it runs on it and most of my mileage calculations are done with it. (my best still comes from not using any ethanol I got 21 mpg hwy compared to my normal 19). I just make sure once a year I add fuel system cleaner or have my shop clean the fuel system. To be honest I should just be happy my truck get above EPA estimates for my hwy mpg. EPA is 16, I get 18-19 normally.
  5. stchman

    stchman New Member 1000 Posts

    Running higher octane that the manufacturer states can also be harmful to your engine. If the manufacturer says to run 87 octane, running 93 can be harmful.

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    My big problem is that pretty much all gas is 10% ethanol (E10), and all cars are fine with it. E15 which is 5% more and is the horribly corrosive substance? I just don't buy it.

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    My Silverado (older 2008 and newer 2013) run fine on 10% ethanol. I guess your Tahoe just better get used to it because there is no non ethanol gasoline anymore.

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    E85 actually give 325HP in the 5.3L Flex Fuel engine vs 315HP with 87. It is basically like putting really high octane gas in there.
  6. dobey

    dobey Member

    Again, E15 is not any more corrosive than E10 (and corrosive is the wrong word, since it isn't Ethanol that causes the corrosion, it's oxygen). Ethanol is a desiccant. The more you have in the fuel, the more moisture (water vapor) will get pulled in. This dries out rubber lines, and then they just fall apart. And the increased oxygen in the system will accelerate rusting of mild steel in the tank or lines. This is why E85-capable vehicles must have oxidation resistant parts, such as stainless lines, and composite fuel tanks. Even without Ethanol in the fuel, mild steel lines (such as the brake lines which exploded on the 04 Z71 I recently traded in) will rust out too quickly.

    Manufacturers just need to stop cheaping out on parts for the US market, to save a few pennies here and there.

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    Honestly, unless you're doing a complete flush and fill of the fuel system, this is mostly a waste of money, as Ethanol is a natural cleaning agent.
  7. Pikey

    Pikey Moderator Staff Member ROTM Winner 1000 Posts

    I did not take it as e15 being terribly corrosive. I took it as when the mixture sits in the tank it separates, causing the system to suck in pure ethanol. E15 itself is not terribly corrosive, but after the "phase separation" (as referanced in thew video) the straight ethanol is.
  8. dobey

    dobey Member

    But straight ethanol isn't corrosive really. It's still just a desiccant. What's corrosive, is water in the fuel. And water in the tank is an issue whether or not there's any alcohol in the tank. Water that gets in the tank causes vapor lock problems and eats away at mild steel tanks. And ethanol sucks the moisture out of rubber lines, which makes them dry and brittle. It doesn't exactly corrode them.

    What people need to do is push the manufacturers to take responsibility for the workmanship of the vehicles they produce, rather than using the EPA, government, or liberals as scapegoats for their problems.
  9. bowaddict13

    bowaddict13 New Member

    Something i started using is a enzyme treatment for ethanol its called startron it is supposed to conteract the ethanol in gas and keep your fuel fresh like stabil does i have been using it in all my stuff from weed whips to the zeroturn mower and truck .... seen the first bit in the weed whip it didnt seem boged down and after two tanks was really easy to start cause we all know what apain in th a## they are to start after sitting around ...
  10. Dana W

    Dana W Member

    Ahem. Ahem. Cough cough.

    Corrosion is caused by oxidation. They are not fundamentally exclusive. They are inextricably always together. They are often referred to as one and the same thing, and this is not incorrect.

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