Ethanol in your Gas: Lousy Gas Mileage?

Topics that do not fit anywhere else. Absolutely NO discussions of religion, race, or immigration!

Moderators: Charles L. Cotton, carlson1

User avatar

Topic author
Purplehood
Senior Member
Posts in topic: 1
Posts: 4638
Joined: Thu May 29, 2008 3:35 pm
Location: Houston, TX

Ethanol in your Gas: Lousy Gas Mileage?

#1

Post by Purplehood » Thu May 17, 2012 6:12 am

I have to admit to complete ignorance on the subject until I read an article on FOX News this morning.

1) is there indeed a significant decrease in the miles per gallon that you get when using E10 gas?
2) how do you find a Gas Station that sells gasoline without Ethanol in it without going to each one and looking at the pump?
3) should I care? The article mentions that Ethanol has been alleged to ruin engines. That particularly concerns me as the newer Ford 5.0 Engine is already designed at close tolerances and I sure do not want to ruin it.

/discuss
Life NRA
USMC 76-93
USAR 99-07 (Retired)
OEF 06-07

User avatar

C-dub
Senior Member
Posts in topic: 1
Posts: 12777
Joined: Sat May 16, 2009 7:18 pm
Location: DFW

Re: Ethanol in your Gas: Lousy Gas Mileage?

#2

Post by C-dub » Thu May 17, 2012 6:30 am

1. I remember seeing a 1-2mpg decrease in my truck when when ethanol started showing up.
2. I don't think you can find one. IIRC, it is a law that they all put it in and I don't remember why.
3. It is bad for an engine. I don't know if it's as bad as leaded gasoline, but it's bad. It's really bad on small engines like lawn mowers and things like gas powered trimmers and blowers.
I am not and have never been a LEO. My avatar is in honor of my friend, Dallas Police Sargent Michael Smith, who was murdered along with four other officers in Dallas on 7.7.2016.
NRA Patriot-Endowment Lifetime Member---------------------------------------------Si vis pacem, para bellum.................................................Patriot Guard Rider


speedsix
Senior Member
Posts in topic: 1
Posts: 5608
Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2011 8:39 am

Re: Ethanol in your Gas: Lousy Gas Mileage?

#3

Post by speedsix » Thu May 17, 2012 6:45 am

...you got my curiosity up...found this: they've been pretty unbiased in the past...

http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/al ... e-engine-2" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

User avatar

WildBill
Senior Member
Posts in topic: 6
Posts: 17010
Joined: Tue Jul 03, 2007 12:53 pm
Location: Houston

Re: Ethanol in your Gas: Lousy Gas Mileage?

#4

Post by WildBill » Thu May 17, 2012 7:22 am

speedsix wrote:...you got my curiosity up...found this: they've been pretty unbiased in the past...

http://www.popularmechanics.com/cars/al ... e-engine-2" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
I have heard this same information from other sources.
NRA Endowment Member


lama
Member
Posts in topic: 1
Posts: 116
Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:25 pm

Re: Ethanol in your Gas: Lousy Gas Mileage?

#5

Post by lama » Thu May 17, 2012 8:05 am

I don't disagree the stuff is bad for older engines. I will say though by necessity most new vehicles are designed to run on the stuff so as far as new cars go I am sure there's no extreem worries requireed. I am sure there's no solice in that for the classic car guys.

User avatar

psijac
Senior Member
Posts in topic: 1
Posts: 1045
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:08 am

Re: Ethanol in your Gas: Lousy Gas Mileage?

#6

Post by psijac » Thu May 17, 2012 8:16 am

Newer engines have ceramic coatings on certain areas to deal with it. I have heard that it attracts water and causes rust. As well as gummying up parts if you let it just sit in your engine for an extended period of time
07/25/09 - CHL class completed
07/31/09 - Received Pin/Packet sent.
09/23/09 - Plastic in hand!!


2farnorth
Senior Member
Posts in topic: 1
Posts: 617
Joined: Wed Feb 09, 2011 5:35 pm
Location: Leonard, Tx

Re: Ethanol in your Gas: Lousy Gas Mileage?

#7

Post by 2farnorth » Thu May 17, 2012 9:56 am

On older cars the rubber seals, o-rings, and hoses are subject to more rapid deterioration.
Fuel mileage decreases are common. There's simply less energy in burning ethanol.
Don't let any gas sit for more than 8 weeks. It will spoil.
Also drain your yard equipment in the off season (if you have one). This stuff will corrode older carburetors and seize up float valves. I've seen a lot of evidence of this this Spring.
If you have a steel gas tank it seems to accelerate rust problems if you had rust to start with.
Now I expect to see some of the people from the ethanol industry jump in here and say I'm wrong. But I've seen the results. Their theories were good enough to sell it to the government but the actual practices are full of problems.
N5PNZ

User avatar

fickman
Senior Member
Posts in topic: 1
Posts: 1710
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2008 2:52 pm
Location: Fort Worth, Texas

Re: Ethanol in your Gas: Lousy Gas Mileage?

#8

Post by fickman » Thu May 17, 2012 10:07 am

If there was an advantage to ethanol (economic, performance, etc.), there would be a market for it and the companies would be using it at their own initiative without a government mandate.

The same is true for recycling. Where it is advantageous, there was a market e.g. aluminum. The other materials are only profitable for the companies because of the massive government subsidies at every level.

The same is true for Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs. Most people would've changed most of their bulbs as the price came down because there is a financial incentive. Instead of waiting for that to happen, we have a law for light bulb efficiency that essentially forces the phase-out of incandescent light bulbs.

This is the era of government-mandated life choices.
Native Texian

User avatar

puma guy
Senior Member
Posts in topic: 7
Posts: 6193
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 2:23 pm
Location: Near San Jacinto

Re: Ethanol in your Gas: Lousy Gas Mileage?

#9

Post by puma guy » Thu May 17, 2012 10:12 am

I will leave it to readers to research for themselves, but ethanol in gasoline is anything but environmentally friendly, plus the manufacturing cost is high and raises food prices. We also pay through the nose with subsidies. The manufacture and blending of gasoline these days is a complex process. The constituents used require heavy hydrocarbons to be cracked, reformated for octane enhancement and treated for sulfur. The result makes for gasoline that gums more easily and has less stabilty. Additives help, but don't eliminate the problems.
KAHR PM40/Hoffner IWB and S&W Mod 60/ Galco IWB
NRA Endowment Member, TSRA Life Member,100 Club Life Member,TFC Member
My Faith, My Gun and My Constitution: I cling to all three!

User avatar

Heartland Patriot
Senior Member
Posts in topic: 6
Posts: 2453
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:15 pm
Location: Fort Worth, Texas

Re: Ethanol in your Gas: Lousy Gas Mileage?

#10

Post by Heartland Patriot » Thu May 17, 2012 10:43 am

2farnorth wrote:On older cars the rubber seals, o-rings, and hoses are subject to more rapid deterioration.
Fuel mileage decreases are common. There's simply less energy in burning ethanol.
Don't let any gas sit for more than 8 weeks. It will spoil.
Also drain your yard equipment in the off season (if you have one). This stuff will corrode older carburetors and seize up float valves. I've seen a lot of evidence of this this Spring.
If you have a steel gas tank it seems to accelerate rust problems if you had rust to start with.
Now I expect to see some of the people from the ethanol industry jump in here and say I'm wrong. But I've seen the results. Their theories were good enough to sell it to the government but the actual practices are full of problems.
As an aircraft mechanic, I agree with your post. The per-unit energy of ethanol simply isn't as high as gasoline (which in turn isn't as high as kerosene, for instance, which is used in turbine aircraft engines). Thus, to get the same amount of work done (revolutions of your engine) you have to burn more of it. Also, seal material comparability is very important, especially since most fuels also function as solvents. Use the wrong fuel and your seals can break down, sometimes fairly rapidly. This can lead to leaks and to really small pieces of the seal material getting into places that they shouldn't be, blocking ports and binding moving parts, perhaps. And, the ethanol attracts water which will accelerate corrosion, which can then send particulates floating around your fuel system or cause other malfunctions. Newer vehicles are most likely engineered to deal with ethanol; older vehicles probably not. Not sure where the cut-off is and its probably different for the various manufacturers. I'm not a lawyer or an engineer, but I am FAA-certified... ;-)
“If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you’re misinformed“.---Mark Twain


Hoosier Daddy
Senior Member
Posts in topic: 2
Posts: 427
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 4:46 pm
Location: Houston

Re: Ethanol in your Gas: Lousy Gas Mileage?

#11

Post by Hoosier Daddy » Thu May 17, 2012 12:40 pm

psijac wrote:Newer engines have ceramic coatings on certain areas to deal with it. I have heard that it attracts water and causes rust. As well as gummying up parts if you let it just sit in your engine for an extended period of time
Plain old gasoline does that. We used to drain the lawnmower's gas tank over the winter when I was growing up. If it sits for several months, it gums up everything and is a pain to start in the spring.
Indiana Lifetime Handgun License

User avatar

puma guy
Senior Member
Posts in topic: 7
Posts: 6193
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 2:23 pm
Location: Near San Jacinto

Re: Ethanol in your Gas: Lousy Gas Mileage?

#12

Post by puma guy » Thu May 17, 2012 1:11 pm

Heartland Patriot wrote:
2farnorth wrote:On older cars the rubber seals, o-rings, and hoses are subject to more rapid deterioration.
Fuel mileage decreases are common. There's simply less energy in burning ethanol.
Don't let any gas sit for more than 8 weeks. It will spoil.
Also drain your yard equipment in the off season (if you have one). This stuff will corrode older carburetors and seize up float valves. I've seen a lot of evidence of this this Spring.
If you have a steel gas tank it seems to accelerate rust problems if you had rust to start with.
Now I expect to see some of the people from the ethanol industry jump in here and say I'm wrong. But I've seen the results. Their theories were good enough to sell it to the government but the actual practices are full of problems.
As an aircraft mechanic, I agree with your post. The per-unit energy of ethanol simply isn't as high as gasoline (which in turn isn't as high as kerosene, for instance, which is used in turbine aircraft engines). Thus, to get the same amount of work done (revolutions of your engine) you have to burn more of it. Also, seal material comparability is very important, especially since most fuels also function as solvents. Use the wrong fuel and your seals can break down, sometimes fairly rapidly. This can lead to leaks and to really small pieces of the seal material getting into places that they shouldn't be, blocking ports and binding moving parts, perhaps. And, the ethanol attracts water which will accelerate corrosion, which can then send particulates floating around your fuel system or cause other malfunctions. Newer vehicles are most likely engineered to deal with ethanol; older vehicles probably not. Not sure where the cut-off is and its probably different for the various manufacturers. I'm not a lawyer or an engineer, but I am FAA-certified... ;-)
Heartland Patriot,
Is aviation gasoline available for non-aircraft purchase? If I recall it was 104 and maybe 109 or 114 octane ???? :headscratch Years ago we used it for blending with automotive gasoline after they lowered gasoline octanes. Fina made the last 93 octane that we could buy, but it's gone, too. We used the blend for older outboards and some go fast car engines. Like everything else the government involves itself in the end result is less than acceptable when all things are considered. Flourescent (CFL) bulbs for instance. Cost more, don't fit in many fixtures and are hazardous waste when their life is over (usually much, much faster than the touted life expectancy).
KAHR PM40/Hoffner IWB and S&W Mod 60/ Galco IWB
NRA Endowment Member, TSRA Life Member,100 Club Life Member,TFC Member
My Faith, My Gun and My Constitution: I cling to all three!


Hoosier Daddy
Senior Member
Posts in topic: 2
Posts: 427
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 4:46 pm
Location: Houston

Re: Ethanol in your Gas: Lousy Gas Mileage?

#13

Post by Hoosier Daddy » Thu May 17, 2012 1:20 pm

It's probably OK off road but I'm not sure about using 100LL avgas in on-road vehicles. Would that be prohibited like using marine diesel fuel in on-road vehicles?
Indiana Lifetime Handgun License

User avatar

i8godzilla
Senior Member
Posts in topic: 1
Posts: 1184
Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2010 10:13 am
Location: Central TX
Contact:

Re: Ethanol in your Gas: Lousy Gas Mileage?

#14

Post by i8godzilla » Thu May 17, 2012 1:42 pm

I saw this video on Monday. Reading this thread reminded me about it.

NOTE: There is a couple of choice words that we all unfortunately hear on an almost daily basis.

http://video.staged.com/localshops/vw_p ... _in_the_uk" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
No State shall convert a liberty into a privilege, license it, and charge a fee therefor. -- Murdock v. Pennsylvania
If the State converts a right into a privilege, the citizen can ignore the license and fee and engage in the right with impunity. -- Shuttleworth v. City of Birmingham

User avatar

Heartland Patriot
Senior Member
Posts in topic: 6
Posts: 2453
Joined: Wed Oct 20, 2010 5:15 pm
Location: Fort Worth, Texas

Re: Ethanol in your Gas: Lousy Gas Mileage?

#15

Post by Heartland Patriot » Thu May 17, 2012 1:52 pm

puma guy wrote:
Heartland Patriot wrote:
2farnorth wrote:On older cars the rubber seals, o-rings, and hoses are subject to more rapid deterioration.
Fuel mileage decreases are common. There's simply less energy in burning ethanol.
Don't let any gas sit for more than 8 weeks. It will spoil.
Also drain your yard equipment in the off season (if you have one). This stuff will corrode older carburetors and seize up float valves. I've seen a lot of evidence of this this Spring.
If you have a steel gas tank it seems to accelerate rust problems if you had rust to start with.
Now I expect to see some of the people from the ethanol industry jump in here and say I'm wrong. But I've seen the results. Their theories were good enough to sell it to the government but the actual practices are full of problems.
As an aircraft mechanic, I agree with your post. The per-unit energy of ethanol simply isn't as high as gasoline (which in turn isn't as high as kerosene, for instance, which is used in turbine aircraft engines). Thus, to get the same amount of work done (revolutions of your engine) you have to burn more of it. Also, seal material comparability is very important, especially since most fuels also function as solvents. Use the wrong fuel and your seals can break down, sometimes fairly rapidly. This can lead to leaks and to really small pieces of the seal material getting into places that they shouldn't be, blocking ports and binding moving parts, perhaps. And, the ethanol attracts water which will accelerate corrosion, which can then send particulates floating around your fuel system or cause other malfunctions. Newer vehicles are most likely engineered to deal with ethanol; older vehicles probably not. Not sure where the cut-off is and its probably different for the various manufacturers. I'm not a lawyer or an engineer, but I am FAA-certified... ;-)
Heartland Patriot,
Is aviation gasoline available for non-aircraft purchase? If I recall it was 104 and maybe 109 or 114 octane ???? :headscratch Years ago we used it for blending with automotive gasoline after they lowered gasoline octanes. Fina made the last 93 octane that we could buy, but it's gone, too. We used the blend for older outboards and some go fast car engines. Like everything else the government involves itself in the end result is less than acceptable when all things are considered. Flourescent (CFL) bulbs for instance. Cost more, don't fit in many fixtures and are hazardous waste when their life is over (usually much, much faster than the touted life expectancy).
Not sure about purchasing it to put in a vehicle. Usually there are trucks at airports and airfields that dispense the fuel into aircraft. Also, all avgas has TEL (tetraethyl lead) in it. It would ruin a catalytic converter and lead up your cylinders and plugs. I'm sure it would burn acceptably well in really old cars and trucks, though; however, the lead levels are still higher than mogas. The standard for avgas is now 100LL (low lead, but it still has it in there). Its blue in color. And as for legality, I can't even begin to address that aspect. There are SOME airfields that have higher octane unleaded fuel for use in aircraft that are capable and certificated to burn such fuel, but I can't tell you which ones would have that.
“If you don’t read the newspaper, you’re uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you’re misinformed“.---Mark Twain

Post Reply

Return to “Off-Topic”