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Old 04-30-2008, 10:10 AM   #1
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Arrow E85 Used it? Thoughts? Locations?

Just got back from a trip from Southern California to Central California (Fresno area). Average price for 87 gas was $3.99. Diesel was crazy. In Tulare, there is an E85 station right off the freeway. It was selling E85 for $3.15. I ran two tanks (one up/one back) and really can't complain. A slight loss of gas milage, but that was off-set by the savings in price. E85 has an octane level of 105. I did notice, however, on the way home while going up the Grapevine (long steep grade dividing Southern / Central California) an odor. I looked it up and others have experienced the odor while E85 was under extreme load. Nothing overwhelming and my daughter didn't even notice it.

Any of you use E85 and what was your experience?
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Old 06-10-2008, 04:19 PM   #2
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E85

I'll start out by saying that I am pretty "green" as folks go. But E85 is a joke. You more than pay the penalty in fuel mileage for it being a bit cheaper per gallon. Plus, it competes with our food supply and uses an outrageous amount of water to produce; about 6 to 8 gallons of water per gallon of ethanol. It is a pander to the farming community. And there is no way that enough can be produced to put any kind of a sizable dent in gasoline consumption. If you live in a cold climate, your vehicle won't start once it gets much below 20 degrees. As for it being cleaner? Well, cleaner per gallon but you use more gallons so pollution is pretty much a wash. No way E85 is viable.
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Old 06-10-2008, 05:31 PM   #3
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I did some research on it before we made our long trip to Chicago a couple of weeks ago. My Suburban can run off of it so I thought I would check it out. There were some stations selling it along our route, according to the internet searches I did.

After reading up on it, I have to agree with acadianbob that it is not the solution to our energy needs. Mileage drop can be significant, wiping out any savings from a lower price. It also takes more energy to produce a gallon of ethanol than it produces, resulting in an overall lower economic value.

Additionally, corn prices are skyrocketing due to the demand to make ethanol. Now we not only have higher fuel bills, but higher food bills due not only to higher fuel but to the demand for corn being diverted from food to fuel. Not a good swap in my opinion.

Therefore, we decided not to try the E85 and used regular fuel on our trip. Since there are no E85 stations in my immediate area, it remains a non-issue.
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Old 06-11-2008, 05:36 AM   #4
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My loss in mileage was not "significant", but there was a slight drop. If the E85 price is >13% less, you're ahead of the curve and wont lose money. I think I lost about 1-2 mpg while towing with E85. When I ran it without towing, I did not even notice a drop in MPG, but I'm sure there was a slight loss.

Most E85 pumps are about 10-15% less and some of you in Colorado are averaging something like 37% less than avg price for regular 87 gas. That makes sense to me and I am by no means a green guy. Actually, quite the opposite if truth be told. I'm the guy who owns an evil SUV, full-size truck, and likes to take the trailer out with the family. The entire 'we are killing the planet' line is old and filled with lies like the 'hole in the ozone' as put forth by people with $$$ interest in getting people to 'go green' and buy their products...but that belongs in another forum.

Frankly, I couldn't care less if it takes more energy to make, how much water if takes to make, or even if the cost of grocery corn is up a few pennies because of E85 production. I can eat some other vegetable, but can't go without paying for gas. As the cost of gas goes up, the price of corn (and everything else) goes up because the overhead to get it to the store goes up too so that arguement is moot.

I dunno...I guess I'm more of the 'something needs to change' and if E85 costs less, I'll run it because both my Chevy's will. If there is a benefit to the Mother Earth...wonderful. I'm not, however, of the mind-set that I need to run E85 cuz I'm gonna save the Earth and will actually PAY more to do so. Not gonna happen.

On the other hand, if by buying E85 I'm actually helping an American farmer, and doing my part to lessen foreign oil consumption, I'm down with it. I will buy American and want to do as much as I can to keep my $$$ in this country.
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Old 06-11-2008, 06:14 PM   #5
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I found a gas station with E-85 at 50 cents a gallon less than gasoline. I would be willing to try E-85 purely for a cost savings while knowing that the mpg's will drop. I heard that the performance is better with E-85.....however it is not the answer to our problems with energy and while it may be 'GREEN' it is causing other problems.
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Old 08-30-2014, 10:24 PM   #6
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Beware of. E85!! One of the reasons for drop in mpg is the fuel is thicker and harder on the engine to burn. I overheard a service mgr tell an owner "don't use it"!

My 2 cents worth.


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Old 09-01-2014, 08:26 AM   #7
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Energy content (BTUs) per gallon

Quote:
Originally Posted by Krlpj05 View Post
Beware of. E85!! One of the reasons for drop in mpg is the fuel is thicker and harder on the engine to burn. I overheard a service mgr tell an owner "don't use it"!
Actually, the reason for the reduced milage is that the Methanol has fewer BTUs per gallon than gasoline. The same volume of fuel produces less heat, thus there is less expansion in the combustion chamber. This results in less force on the piston (power), so you have to use more fuel to get the same power as regular gasoline.
That's one reason why diesel gets so much better milage-higher BTUs per gallon.
Energy content per gallon
E85 - 81,800 BTUs per gallon
Gasoline - 114,100 BTUs per gallon
Diesel - 129,500 BTUs per gallon
Methanol E100 - 56,800 BTUs per gallon

Some charts show higher BTU values across the board, but they are proportionally the same.
Here's an easy source.
Gasoline gallon equivalent - Wiki
Here's another
Common heating fuels and their energy content
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Old 09-01-2014, 09:51 AM   #8
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The owners manual for my 2013 tundra says if you run E85 to change oil and filter every 2,500 miles because the stuff burns so dirty.Checked with the service manager he said yes follow the manual,He would not run it in his vehicle....Thats good enough for me.
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Old 09-01-2014, 10:05 AM   #9
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How can that be. " because the stuff burns so dirty". We have subsidized the ethanol industry with millions, I thought it was all in the name of cleaner air. Wink!
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Old 09-01-2014, 10:11 AM   #10
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Boy I am glad to see You believe everything your goverment tell you
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