You will learn (6) Things from this post.
1) All cars 1985 or Newer, can be converted to a Flex Fuel Vehicle (FFV) with (1) $150-$250 ‘Plug And Drive’ Part.
2) All Flex Fuel Vehicles can run on E85 or straight E100 (ethyl Alcohol).
3) Ethanol can be made from Industrial Hemp at $.50-$1.00 per gallon, to the public!
4) Ethanol gives you more power, and a smoother operating and cleaner engine than petroleum gasoline.
5) Ethanol can be a 100% “Made in The USA Product!”
6) Most cars 1985 or later, need no conversion whatsoever, to use E85 Flex Fuel.
“How much gasoline does the U.S. use?
In 2013, about 134.51 billion gallons (or 3.20 billion barrels) of gasoline were consumed in the United States, a daily average of about 368.51 million gallons (or 8.77 million barrels).
Energy Information Administration
The U.S. Energy Information Administration is a principal agency of the U.S. Federal Statistical System responsible for collecting, analyzing, and disseminating energy information to promote sound energy policy.
NOTE – Potential Profits:
Industrial Hemp Bio-Mass Fuel can be produced for $.50 per gallon including profit.
If that profit were $1.00 per gallon with a $1.50 per gallon price at pump charge. And we use 368.51 million gallons per day, that’s a $368.51 million dollar daily profit!
The True Democracy Party and every citizen we have spoken to, would openly support a $1.50-$2.00 per gallon price at pump charge for E100 Hemp Based Ethanol(Hemponal) Bio-Mass Fuel. Gladly! 🙂
We would also love to see this daily profit of $368.51 million dollars, used by the Federal and State Governments to reduce American’s Heavy Tax Burden.
It can be done, but it won’t be done Online. It’s time to leave the Web and venture out into the World and let all our Citizens and Politicians know, “There is a way off our Oil Addiction NOW! Hemp based Ethanol E100 Bio-Mass Fuel! Are you with U.S.?”
Alcohol: New name: Ethanol, Biomass Fuel, Biofuel. Distillation: New name: Gasification – The process of turning raw organic material into liquid fuel.
The names are being changed in the media to make something simple, sound complicated, scientific and mysterious. It’s not!
– “It’s Distilled Grain Alcohol people. It’s that simple! And you can use any type of vegetation from Hemp Stalk to Cornstalk, from Saw Weed to Sea Weed and anything in between!”
A flexible-fuel vehicle (FFV) or dual-fuel vehicle (colloquially called a flex-fuel vehicle) is an alternative fuel vehicle with an internal combustion engine designed to run on more than one fuel, usually gasoline blended with either ethanol or methanol fuel, and both fuels are stored in the same common tank. Modern flex-fuel engines are capable of burning any proportion of the resulting blend in the combustion chamber as fuel injection and spark timing are adjusted automatically according to the actual blend detected by a fuel composition sensor.
The most common commercially available FFV in the world market is the ethanol flexible-fuel vehicle, with about 39 million automobiles, motorcycles and light duty trucks manufactured and sold worldwide through October 2013, and concentrated in four markets, Brazil (23.0 million), the United States (10 million), Canada (more than 600,000), and Europe, led by Sweden (229,400). The Brazilian flex fuel fleet includes over 3 million flexible-fuel motorcycles produced since 2009 through October 2013
Though technology exists to allow ethanol FFVs to run on any mixture of gasoline and ethanol, from pure gasoline up to 100% ethanol (E100), North American and European flex-fuel vehicles are optimized to run on a maximum blend of 15% gasoline with 85% anhydrous ethanol (called E85 fuel). This limit in the ethanol content is set to reduce ethanol emissions at low temperatures and to avoid cold starting problems during cold weather, at temperatures lower than 11 °C (52 °F). The alcohol content is reduced during the winter in regions where temperatures fall below 0 °C (32 °F) to a winter blend of E70 in the U.S. or to E75 in Sweden from November until March. Brazilian flex fuel vehicles are optimized to run on any mix of E20-E25 gasoline and up to 100% hydrous ethanol fuel (E100).
E85 ETHANOL MYTHS
1. E85 Ethanol is corrosive
Yes ethanol is corrosive, but not very much. Gasoline is corrosive too. Ethanol is biodegradable in water. So it has a tendency to contain and attract water. It is not the corrosive properties of ethanol that can cause damage to your vehicle; it is the water which can rust a vehicle’s fuel system from the inside out. Today’s vehicles (since mid 1980s) have fuel systems which are made to withstand corrosive motor fuels and rust from water. Also today’s distilling processes are superior to way back when. We now have better techniques for drying out ethanol or reducing the water content.
On side note, gas contains water too. Ever hear of dry gas?
2. If I put E85 in my gas tank, it will eat it away.
If your car was built in the old days, it was had a lead coated, steel tank. The water in ethanol would cause the tank to rust from the inside out. The government mandated that all gas in the USA contain 10% ethanol to help reduce tail pipe emissions. In the 1980s, automakers made vehicles with fuel systems to be ethanol and rust tolerant. Gas tanks began to contain polymers and Teflon which are extremely durable.
3. If I put E85 ethanol in my non-Flex Fuel vehicle, it will ruin it.
One tank won’t hurt. Some dealers are spreading rumors and charging $300-$3000 for one tank of accidental E85 use. This use may cause misfiring and a rough ride. Your check engine light will come on. If you should accidentally or on purpose put E85 in your vehicle, drain the tank, put in regular gas and all will be well. If you use E85 without a conversion kit or non-Flex Fuel capable vehicle for an extended period, you can damage your engine.
4. Ethanol will burn up my engine.
Ethanol has a lower ignition point than gas. Ethanol has about 115 octane and E85 has 105 octane. It burns cooler and will extend engine life by preventing the burning of engine valves and prevent the build-up of olefins in fuel injectors, keeping the fuel system cleaner.
5. Ethanol will ruin gaskets, seals, rings and more.
Running 100% ethanol or alcohol in an engine can cause damage to cork products.
The rubber neoprene used in the last 20 + years is resistant to the drying effect that ethanol may have.
Today’s vehicles are built to withstand the corrosive effects of water in ethanol and gasoline. Any vehicle built since 1985 will have no ethanol related issues. Older vehicles that used more steel in the fuel systems or cork gaskets may have issues from long term exposure to water.
Vehicles in Brazil have been using ethanol for 30 years and they are completely free from using any foreign oil.
6. E85 will eat my rubber fuel lines.
This is another myth from the old days. Rubber technology has significantly advanced so the concerns of a 20 year old car or newer having issues like this are extremely rare. Plus the 15% gas will help keep lines lubricated.
7. E85 will destroy my fuel pump.
E85 won’t destroy your fuel pump. If you convert a high mileage vehicle to Flex Fuel, the E85 will cause the sediment in the gas tank to dissolve and then get sucked up by the fuel pump. It is believed that this sediment may shorten the life of the pump of your higher mileage vehicle (100,000+). We have had no reports from customers with damaged fuel pumps.
Uploaded on Aug 12, 2007
This is a video of a 2000 Chevy Tahoe which was run almost exclusively on E85 Ethanol for over 100,000 miles.
The amazing thing is that this is NOT a Flex Fuel vehicle-it was not Flex Fuel ready from the factory.
They probably used an E85 conversion kit, but do not mention this in the video. The Tahoe’s engine was taken apart and inspected.
The results prove that E85 will not harm a standard engine, fuel pump, fuel lines and other components of the fuel system. The results showed that the engine was in excellent condition. So we highly recommend that everyone use E85 however we do not recommend running a standard vehicle without an E85 converter kit. If you would like to learn more about an E85 converter kit for your vehicle, please visit http://www.change2e85.com.
8. It takes more than a gallon of energy to make a gallon of E85.
This was true at one point in time. Today’s advanced technology and distilling processes actually create considerably more units of ethanol than units of energy used. The processes continue to advance and the ratio will continue to increase.
9. E85 Ethanol is worse for the environment than gas.
There have been some people who have published reports stating that E85 is worse than gas for the environment. They have yet to show any scientific proof or case studies that support their claims. Because E85 is cleaner than conventional gasoline, it emits less hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and hydrogen. E85 reduces carbon monoxide emissions by as much as 70 percent — and less carbon monoxide helps reduce ozone formation and greenhouse gas levels. According to EPA, gasoline is the largest source of manmade carcinogens. Ethanol reduces overall toxic pollution by diluting harmful compounds found in gasoline such as benzene and other aromatics.
10. Using E85 ethanol will get 50% less mileage per tank.
There are some stories floating around about 50% reduction in mileage or twice as much ethanol is needed. Some of the automakers who introduced Flex vehicles did a terrible job with the fuel management systems that mileage did decrease as much as 50%. After some trial and error, the automakers have significantly improved their Flex systems and mileage conservation is within reasonable losses such as 5-15%. Conversion Kits like the Full Flex have been around for over 20 years. Realistic losses range from 5-15% as well.
11. Vehicles need more E85 ethanol so there is less power.
It is true that a vehicle does require more E85 than regular gas since the amount of energy per unit of ethanol is less than that of gas. Ethanol has a lower ignition temperature so the engine overall will run cooler increasing power. It also burns slower so instead of just burning out in one violent explosion forcing the piston down, it continues to burn the entire length of the piston stroke expanding gases more evenly and smoothly. So running E85 will give any engine more power over any pump gas. Also E85 is 105 octane. Gas comes in 85, 89 and 91 octane. The 105 octane of E85 will help to eliminate knocks and pings. All of these benefits will make an engine run smoother and quieter.
12. Won’t E85 production deplete human and animal food supplies?
No, actually the production of ethanol from corn uses only the starch of the corn kernel, all of the valuable protein, minerals and nutrients remain. One bushel of corn produces about 2.7 gallons of ethanol AND 11.4 pounds of gluten feed (20% protein) AND 3 pounds of gluten meal (60% protein) AND 1.6 pounds of corn oil.
13. Ethanol does not benefit farmers.
The ethanol industry opens a new market for corn growers, allowing them to enjoy greater profitability. Studies have shown that corn prices in areas near ethanol plants tend to be 5 to 10 cents per bushel higher than in other areas. This additional income helps cut the costs of farm programs and add vitality to rural economies. The additional profit potential for farmers created by ethanol production allows more farmers to stay in business — helping ensure adequate food supplies in the future. Ethanol production also creates jobs, many of which are in rural communities where good jobs are hard to come by. A 2005 study by LECG found the ethanol industry powered the U.S. economy by creating more than 147,000 jobs, boosting U.S. household income by $4.4 billion and reducing the U.S. trade deficit by $5.1 billion by eliminating the need to import 143.3 million barrels of oil. Those kinds of numbers help farmers and all Americans.
14. Ethanol production wastes corn that could be used to feed a hungry world.
Corn used for ethanol production is field corn typically used to feed livestock. Wet mill ethanol production facilities, also known as corn refineries, also produce starch, corn sweeteners, and corn oil — all products that are used as food ingredients for human consumption. Ethanol production also results in the production of distiller’s grains and gluten feed — both of which are fed to livestock, helping produce high-quality meat products for distribution domestically and abroad. There is no shortage of corn. In 2004, U.S. farmers produced a record 11.8 billion bushel corn harvest — and some 1.3 billion bushels (about 11 percent) were used in ethanol production. Additionally, the 2005 crop was among the largest on record. 2007 will yield the largest corn crop since the 1940s. In other words, there is still room to significantly grow the ethanol market without limiting the availability of corn. Steadily increasing corn yields and the improved ability of other nations to grow corn also make it clear that ethanol production can continue to grow without affecting the food supply.
COMMENTS: The TRUTH that the Oil/Gas companies don’t want you to know..
“Run my 2002 jeep non flex fuel on e 85 has more power, I only loose a 1mpg and runs so much smoother!!! Wake up america!”
“I have ran my OLDS BRAVADA 03 SUV on E-85 for about4 years now following this video all i had done to the car is oil change every 3000 miles.”
5 years ago
“Ha! I have changed my car to E85 and it all runs fine.”
“I have a dodge grand caravan se 09 i spend 40 bucks to fill the whole tank, it runs for 2.99 a gallon where i live, and im wondering can it work for my 04 chevy malibu? it has 138k miles.”
“So any fuel tank made after 1980 should be able to withstand rusting out from e85 ?”
“We wont run out of food, you are right, but, food will get even higher because farmers make more money per acre to grow corn than other staples. Especially if you live near an ethanol plant, you can deliver it for processing on your own saving on the cost of shipping. Missouri is planting corn everywhere this year…”
“E85 is clean, renewable and made in America. Gaosline is none of those things. I use E85 in both my cars. One is flex fuel and one is not. It gives me more horsepower and I feel better supporting an American farmer.”
“It is true.. I have been running E85 in my truck now F150 for the last 2 years or more… the truck is NOT made for it. I was told by FORD and their SERVICE centers it would not even run.. But guess what… IT DOES!! and no damage what so ever to the truck in 2 years. This video is the TRUTH that the gas companies dont want you to know.. and they pay off the car makers to LIE to you and tell you it wont run.. But dont belive me.. Give it a try in your car..”
change2E85 6 years ago
Please remember that it is not ethanol or E85that can casue harm, it’s water that causes the corrosion. There is no definitive date as to when corrosion resistant parts were being used. It began in the early 80s.
So we always say 85 or newer is safe. Remember that it takes years for a steel tank to rust out. Many out there think that ethanol will eat through it in a week. It’s moonshine – not sulfuric acid.
“I’ve had many of these trucks, 97 tahoe and pickup with a 5.7, I’ve had the fuel pumps out of them and the whole top end… Gasoline is by far by the looks worse on it… Everything turns yellow, brittle and nasty.”
“My 1996 Audi A4 has over 340 000 kms. I did over 150 000 kms diving on Ethanol without any problem. Just fill it up with gasoline every 10-15 000 kms to clean (lubricate) a tank and lines. Ethanol means no money for Oil Wars for oil.”
change2E85 2 years ago
Actually the need for lubing up the fuel system and top end disappeared with leaded gasoline.
change2E85 6 years ago
“Ethanol does not effect rubber lines. That is a myth. People all the time mistaken the nasty caracteristics of methanol with ethanol. Ethanol and gasoline have about the same corrosive potential. So any rubber is just fine. Ethanol may rust steel due to water absorbtion. The automakers started using rust free components in the fuel systems starting in the early 80s. That is why the Tahoe in this video was able to tolerate E85 with NO ill affects.”
“I love my Van, Its a 2000 Chrysler Voyager 3.3L v6 FFV From Factory, We have been running ethanol for around 50 K miles, We Love it, Much More Power, Slightly Less Fuel Economy.”
“I run e85 in my 99 montecarlo z34. Full exhaust, no tuning, stock injectors, runs much cooler, no loss in mpg and the exhaust note is a bit deeper.”
“I have a 1995 Chevy Corsica 2.2 and been using E85 for over 9 months now with no ill effects. I have replaced my fuel filter, cleaned the injectors, changed oil and oil filter and the car runs great. The main thing is if your car is older E85 will clean your gas tank and fuel lines so keeping an eye on your filters will help. As far as rubber being used in gaskets or seals they have been replaced back in the mid 80’s by car manufactures. A cleaner fuel leads to a cleaner engine!”
“E85 will not harm your fuel lines. I own a 1993 pontiac grand am with the 3.3 v6. The fuel lines on the grand am are a hard plastic i converted this car over 3 years ago never did have anything go wrong. With rubber parts in the fuel system. So people that think it will harm there car thay are full of BS.”
“Renewable, clean… creates more horsepower, better gas mileage… and is WAY cheaper than gas. There ARE no downfalls to E85. I have been running it for YEARS now, and I have NEVER had an ill effect, only benefits!”
3800GTV6 4 years ago
“My car would run 10PSI boost, with about 13* of timing and it would knock. Switched to E85, I can now run 16 PSI with over 20* of timing with no knock retard at all. E85 = 5/5”
In 1896 Henry Ford built his first automobile, the Quadricycle, to run on pure ethanol.
In 1908 The first Ford Motor Company Automobile, Henry Ford’s Model ‘T’, was designed to use Corn Alcohol, called Ethanol. The Model ‘T’ ran on Ethanol(Alcohol) fuel, or could run on a combination of Gasoline and Ethanol.
In 1925, Henry Ford tells the New York Times that ethyl alcohol is “the fuel of the future” which “is going to come from fruit like that sumach out by the road, or from apples, weeds, sawdust — almost anything. There is fuel in every bit of vegetable matter that can be fermented. There’s enough alcohol in one year’s yield of an acre of potatoes to drive the machinery necessary to cultivate the fields for a hundred years.”
In 1921, leaded gasoline is developed at the General Motors research laboratories in Dayton, Ohio. GM researcher Thomas Midgley still maintains: “The most direct route which we now know for converting energy from its source, the sun, into a material that is suitable for use in an internal combustion motor is through vegetation to alcohol… It now appears that alcohol is the only liquid from a direct vegetable source that combines relative cheapness with suitability (although other sources might be found)… Alcohol will stand very high initial compressions without knocking, and at high compressions is smooth and highly satisfactory.”
In 1909, the U.S. Geological Survey reports: “In regard to general cleanliness, such as absence of smoke and disagreeable odors, alcohol has many advantages over gasoline or kerosene as a fuel… The exhaust from an alcohol engine is never clouded with a black or grayish smoke.” Overall, alcohol was “a more ideal fuel than gasoline.”
In 1917 Alexander Graham Bell says: “Alcohol makes a beautiful, clean and efficient fuel… Alcohol can be manufactured from corn stalks, and in fact from almost any vegetable matter capable of fermentation… We need never fear the exhaustion of our present fuel supplies so long as we can produce an annual crop of alcohol to any extent desired.”
In 1923 Rolls-Royce engine designer Harry Ricardo writes: “…It is a matter of absolute necessity to find an alternative fuel. Fortunately, such a fuel is in sight in the form of alcohol; this is a vegetable product whose consumption involves no drain on the world’s storage and which, in tropical countries at all events, can ultimately be produced in quantities sufficient to meet the world’s demand, at all events at the present rate of consumption.
By the use of a fuel derived from vegetation, mankind is adapting the sun’s heat to the development of motive power, as it becomes available from day to day; by using mineral fuels, he is consuming a legacy – and a limited legacy at that – of heat stored away many thousands of years ago. In the one case he is, as it were, living within his income, in the other he is squandering his capital.
It is perfectly well known that alcohol is an excellent fuel, and there is little doubt but that sufficient supplies could be produced within the tropical regions of the British empire…”
In 2005, E85 sells for 45 cents (or 30-75 cents wholesale) less than gasoline on average in the United States. Wholesale ethanol prices are $1.75 to $1.23 per gallon in the U.S.
How To Do A Flex Fuel Conversion
If your vehicle is fuel injected, and is 1995 or newer, you will only need two things in order to convert your engine to flex fuel. You will need an electronic control module that plugs in between the fuel injectors and the factory fuel injector electrical connectors. There are a number of companies that manufacture these units and you can find them for purchase online without too much trouble. The other part needed which is an absolute must is a fuel sensor that detects the ethanol/gasoline ratio. This fuel sensor is connected to the electronic control module you just bought above, and is used by this module to determine how much fuel flow is needed based on how much ethanol is in your fuel. The higher the ethanol content, the higher the fuel flow needs to be.
On older vehicles you may need to change such things as the fuel pump, fuel tank, fuel injectors, steel and rubber fuel lines. These items are the parts susceptible to the corrosive damaging effects of ethanol.
Uploaded on Jun 5, 2011
Installation instructions for the EZ85 kit. This kit allows your standard injection engine to run on any mixture of gasoline and ethanol, including E85 and E70. Visit us on the http://www.ez85.us for more information.
E85 conversion kit 4cyl (alloy case) with Cold Start Asst.,
1. BUILT IN TEMP. SENSOR;
2. COLD START ASST / Cold Engine Starting Asst ;
3. 4, 6, 8 Cyl models with connector types;
4. CE approved and compliance with European directives
5. Good Quality, with industrial longest 5 years’ factory warranty ;
6. Competitive price;
* ETHANOL PERFORMANCE(TM) E85 Flex Fuel Converter allows gasoline only vehicles to run on ethanol as an alternative fuel. This product installs as a plug and play device in the vehicles fuel Injection system, by means of rerouting the signal from the E. C. M. to the fuel injectors.
* We provide OEM manufacturing service for world distributors on E85 industry;
* We offer full series flex fuel conversion kits, consist of 4, 6, 8 Cyl models with connector types available for EV1, EV6, Nippon Denso, Delphi, Toyota and Honda.
This Unit only works with some Ford, G.M. and BMW Model vehicles that use Bosch Fuel Injectors.
White Lightning International’s e85 flex fuel conversion kits
E85 Conversion Kits
4 Cylinder E85 Kits starting at $189.99
White Lightning International’s e85 flex fuel conversion kits, allow gasoline operated vehicles to run on ethanol, gasoline or any blended combination. Our e85 conversion kit is fully automatic and requires a simple, one time adjustment and is completely controlled by the vehicle’s already existing, highly capable “ON BOARD COMPUTER SYSTEM”. White Lightning International offers the most advanced conversion kits on the market, which come equipped with a five-year warranty, a $4 Million Product Liability Insurance Policy, and customer service that you can depend on. Our E85 conversion kits can be installed on any vehicle with a fuel injection system.
Uploaded on Feb 22, 2008
http://www.e85conversionkits.net E85 conversion kit installation. Convert your Ford, Chevy, Honda, Toyota, etc to a flex-fuel vehicle that can run on gas and/or ethanol. Our E85 kits are a simple installation.
Can You Put E85 in a Regular Gas-Only Car?
We recently tried it and succeeded. Click here to read why we wanted to burn E85 in our car. This is what happened:
We’d read the letter by John Kolak on using E85 in regular cars, and then we read Marc Rauch’s response. Rauch describes his ongoing experiments with E85 in non-flex-fuel vehicles (which you can read here). And we also read about Robert Zubrin’s experiments with methanol and his discovery that non-flex fuel cars already have the components to be flex fuel cars.
But we were still skeptical and didn’t want anything bad to happen to our beloved 2001 Prius, so we bought a conversion kit and installed it (which you can read about here).
In order to fix an unrelated problem with our car, we took off the conversion kit (temporarily, we thought) but in the process, we broke one of the conversion kit’s plugs. So we decided to gather up some courage and try E85 without a kit just to see what would happen. We were watching David Blume’s video where he says he once mentioned on a national talk show that anyone could put E85 in their regular car, and immediately the petroleum industry made it mandatory for all gas stations to put stickers on their E85 pumps warning people not to put E85 into non-flex-fuel cars. Watch Blume’s video here. Blume’s reassurance that you can put E85 into any car (and that it’s perfectly legal) was the final straw for us.
We decided to do it. We thought we’d try it in stages. So first we waited until our tank was pretty empty and put in one gallon of E85. By our calculations, that meant we were running on 33% alcohol. We figured if there was a problem, we had plenty of room in the tank to fill up with regular gasoline and dilute the ethanol enough to stop whatever problem it was causing. But we didn’t have any problems. We couldn’t even tell the difference. Our 2001 Prius was successfully burning E33! This was encouraging.
The next phase of our experiment was to let the tank empty out some more. Then we put in three gallons of E85. By our calculations that made it E70 (70% ethanol in the tank). We still had enough room to add four more gallons of regular gasoline if there was a problem, which would have brought it back down to about E30, and we already knew the car could handle that.
But again, there was no problem. We couldn’t tell any difference. The car was running perfectly! We drove around quite a bit, using up most of the tank. Everything was going smoothly.
This was great. Then we embarked on a 500-mile trip and on our way out of town, we filled up with E85, which put us at probably E80 or so. While we were at the station, we looked carefully at the little warning sticker. It said we should check with the clerk before putting E85 in our car. So we went in to see what the clerk would say. He said the warning was on there because E85 can damage engines. “Where did you hear that?” we asked. “The tow truck guy told me,” he said, “apparently it burns too hot or something.”
We straightened him out. Alcohol burns cooler than gasoline.
Anyway, with our tank full of E85, we drove up over the Cascade Mountains (in Washington State). No problems. The only thing that seemed different is that the car had a little more power than we were used to. This is not surprising. They use ethanol in the Indianapolis 500 because it is safer but also because it can give a car more horsepower (it’s a higher-octane fuel).
Other than that, we couldn’t tell any difference. So our non-flex-fuel Prius went up a long grade to a high elevation burning E80 with no problems. This was incredible. We were so happy. John Kolak and Marc Rauch and David Blume were right!
After about 90 miles, we stopped at a rest area and when we got back on the road, the engine light came on.
But we already knew this was a possibility. Rauch said he has put straight E85 into many cars and in some of them, the engine light came on. Our car kept running fine. There wasn’t really a problem. But the O2 sensor was detecting fewer emissions than expected, and the car’s computer thought something must be wrong.
Rauch said he took his car into a shop and had them check why the engine light was on (without telling them he was burning E85). They told him his O2 sensor was broken. He said thanks, drove away, filled up on straight gasoline and after awhile, the engine light went off. He took the car to the shop again, told them the engine light was coming on intermittently and had them check it out. Nothing was wrong now. The sensor had healed! Not really. It was never broken in the first place.
So we decided on our trip to drive the Prius for awhile with the engine light on. The car ran perfectly. When it was time to fill up, we put in one gallon of regular gasoline to see if that would make the light go off. Apparently that wasn’t enough. So we filled up on regular gasoline. Still the light stayed on. We thought we were going to have to take it to the shop to get it reset or something.
But before we headed for home, the light went off and has been off since!
Now we think we’ll just burn E85 all the time and let the engine light shine like a badge of courage. We took a risk and discovered we can immediately stop sending our fuel dollars to OPEC and we can give it instead to American farmers and American workers where it can do some good for our economy and our air quality (ethanol produces fewer emissions that cause health problems).
Maybe once in awhile when we get nervous about it, we will fill the tank with gasoline just to see the engine light go off again. But then again, maybe not. It feels too good to fill our tank with freedom.
“Transition into using e85, rather than going cold-turkey and make the immediate shift. The reason, they explained, is that the ethanol will loosen (and clean) the deposits left by the gasoline and that the gunk could clog the system.”
Experimenting With Alcohol
FRIDAY, JUNE 22, 2012
The letter below is a response to John Kolak’s article, On Using Ethanol Fuels In Unmodified Vehicles. The letter was written by Marc Rauch, the Executive Vice President and Co-Publisher of The Auto Channel, who, by the way, just launched a television station earlier this month (which you can read about here). Anyway, here is Marc’s letter:
Hi John –
I just finished reading your article on the Open Fuel Standard website and I wanted to add my personal experiences to your compendium of information.
For a few years, whenever I would rent a car or get a new vehicle from a manufacturer to test drive and review, I would manually fill the tank with a blend of regular gasoline (e10) and e85, if e85 was available to me. Depending upon how much fuel I needed to fill the tank, sometimes the blend would give me only about 30-40% ethanol, and sometimes I might have 60-80% ethanol. I did this with almost every make and model vehicle you can think of, and almost none of them were “flex-fuel” vehicles. I did this specifically to see what, if anything, would happen.
Other than the “check engine” light illuminating in some instances, I never encountered a starting, driving or acceleration problem. Knowing that the “check engine” light illuminated merely because the cars’ sensors detected something different, I knew that there was no problem with the vehicle. Often, if the test drive or rental period was long enough, and I had the need to fill the tank again — and only had access to regular gasoline — the check engine light would go off, confirming that there was no problem with the engine.
Of course, because the test or rental period was of rather short duration, I knew that my experiments were not really conclusive since I wasn’t able to witness what ill effects, if any, might occur from longer, more sustained usage.
With this in mind, about a year and a half ago I purchased a used 2002 Ford Taurus non-flex-fuel sedan to be able to go all out on my test of e85. Because I’ve never had a situation in which my tank was completely empty, I’ve never had the opportunity to fill the Taurus fully with e85. However, I’ve run the vehicle on virtually all other blend levels. Similar to the short duration tests, I have run the Taurus on straight e10 gasoline to as high as 65-80%. Keep in mind that because even e85 might contain only about 70% ethanol (according to the label on the pump), it’s hard to really get a blend that’s much higher than 80%.
When I bought the vehicle, my friend David Blume — perhaps the world’s leading expert on ethanol production and use — sent me one of the conversion kits that he endorses and sells for use on non-flex fuel fuel-injector vehicles. The purpose was for me to test the device and to maximize my vehicle’s ability to handle e85. To date I have not installed the device. I’ve been waiting to push the car to the point where it screams “I can’t take any more ethanol.” That point is nowhere in sight. This isn’t to say that the device is not necessary, it’s to illustrate just how well an un-modified non-flex fuel vehicle can perform with e85.
Long before I purchased the Taurus, David and his associates alerted me to the need to transition into using a lot of e85, rather than going cold-turkey and make the immediate shift. The reason, they explained, is that the ethanol will loosen (and clean) the deposits left by the gasoline and that the gunk could clog the system. Because of this, I did transition to high ethanol blends through the first 3 or 4 fill-ups. I don’t know if I would have experienced any problems if I didn’t heed the advice, but I have not had any fuel line clogs.
In the nearly 18 months, I have driven the vehicle a little less than 25,000 miles — enough time and enough miles to make a more enlightened evaluation. I can report that the results are what they were in the short-term evaluations: my car runs fine, as good — I think — as any 10 year-old car should run. And I have noticed no difference in how the vehicle runs regardless of how much ethanol I use.
At an early stage I did have an interesting experience with Meineke. After watching one of their TV commercials about bringing your car in for a free test if the engine light goes on, I brought the Taurus in for the free check-up. After the test was completed the service manager told me that my O2 sensor had gone out and that it needed replacing (for a cost of about $200). I knew the light was on because I was using e85, I just wanted to see if the test system could discern the reason.
I declined the O2 replacement and told the service manager why I thought the engine light was illuminated. He reacted as if I was speaking Martian; not comprehending what I was saying about using ethanol in a gasoline-optimized engine. He argued a bit with me and warned that if I didn’t get the O2 sensor replaced that I was driving an illegal vehicle. For the heck of it, I went through a couple of fill-up cycles where I only used e10 gasoline. As expected, the light went off. I brought the vehicle back into the same shop and told them that I had been experiencing an intermittent check-engine light, although the light wasn’t on at that moment. They put the test through what I assume was the same computer test and told me that the vehicle was okay (with no mention of an O2 sensor problem).
Incidentally, I have to tell you that I have never experienced the huge mpg reduction that is typically cited by both ethanol critics and advocates. In my experience I lose only 5-10%. Considering that the e85 costs less 15-30% less than regular gasoline I still get a respectable net savings. Earlier today, May 12, 2012, when I drove past one of the Shell stations that I use to get my e85, I noticed that e85 was selling for just under one dollar less than premium gasoline. That represents nearly 25% savings per gallon.
In closing, I will admit that there is one major drawback to using ethanol, but fortunately it’s not my problem, it’s the oil companies’ problem: They make less money!
Thanks for your time. I hope that this case study helps your efforts.
Marc J. Rauch
Exec. Vice President/Co-Publisher
THE AUTO CHANNEL
Will Deliver, June 23, 2012 at 11:05 AM
When my wife & I visit relatives in North Dakota we always fill up with E-85. Our car is a 1996 Chevy Lumina…Not a flex fuel car. We do not notice any difference in performance or mileage. Our visits don’t last long enough to really get much more than 1 or 2 fill ups during those visits, so the alcohol percentage doesn’t get up to 85% for very long. It does save us about a dollar per gallon for fuel.