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Old 06-27-2008, 03:06 PM   #1 (permalink)
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E85 in a non flex-fuel vehicle

What are the pros and cons to running a non flex-fuel vehicle on E85?

As of now, I don't even know if I can get it in my area. I'm just wondering what I should expect to see.

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Old 06-27-2008, 05:58 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Straight E85 in a non flex-fuel vehicle will possibly throw the check engine light. In warm weather when the engine is warmed up it will run fine even if the dang light is on, although it probably won't give you full power at wide open throttle. That doesn't stop me from doing straight E85 fills for three seasons, cuz I don't use WOT. The colder it gets, especially sub-freezing, the more it doesn't want to start right up. On straight E85 I notice a drop in fuel economy, but not as bad as many people claim.

I have found, on my stuff, that a 50/50 E85/regular (which is E10 here) mix avoids just about everything I mentioned above- no CEL, WOT power, and also no loss of fuel economy. Last winter I did get in trouble with E85 in below zero temps. I don't remember how strong my fuel mix was but in the future I am going to stay away from E85 when I think it'll get below zero.

I have had no problems running my 14 and 16 year old vehicles on E85 for the last 3 or 4 years. No bad injectors, no plugged filters, no disintegrating lines or pumps. Some people claim E85 causes all these problems. Well I know what kind of luck I usually have, so it's not that I'm lucky.
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Old 06-27-2008, 06:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm with Frank on this. I've run varing mixtures from E10-E85 although mostly E20 for 2 years no problems and better FE. The cars are 1999 or newer.
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Old 06-28-2008, 12:08 AM   #4 (permalink)
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it varys depending on the vehicle, some vehicles have worse results than others, for instance my dads 98 cavalier runs like dookie with e85 while some other vehicles will notice no real difference. it is worth checking out, most of the "negatives" associated with e85 are either myths or blown out of proportion.
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Old 06-28-2008, 12:35 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Does anyone know the octane rating of E85? It might be cool to build a high compression motor to get the best of both worlds: higher FE and cheaper fuel.

- LostCause
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Old 06-28-2008, 09:03 AM   #6 (permalink)
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according to this article on wikipedia it is 105
Octane rating - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 06-28-2008, 11:27 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LostCause View Post
Does anyone know the octane rating of E85? It might be cool to build a high compression motor to get the best of both worlds: higher FE and cheaper fuel.

- LostCause
When I first had a Subaru, I read the NASIOC forum, and there were guys with WRXs who experimented with E85, and concluded that it's great if you tune for it. Since it's equivalent to very high octane gasoline, it allowed really high boost pressures. Of course, for the Subaru WRX and STI, there is available an ECU-tuning device, so you can switch between modes optimized for different fuels, boost, etc., so it is relatively safe.


As an aside, if anyone is running a Yaris/Echo/Prius/xA/xB (they all have the same engine, except the Prius has different cams and timing, essentially) on E85, I'm curious to hear how it works out. I can't get it here, either, but I'd like to know.
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Old 06-28-2008, 01:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have seen fuel rails corrode through due to E85. But my friend ran straight E85 in his non flex fuel 94 Acclaim. I thought the car ran OK most of the time, though it did have some stumble issues now and again. That turned out to be a couple injectors leaking. Was it the E85? Don't know.
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Old 06-29-2008, 05:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Guys, I've been running E85 in my non-flex fuel Saab since March. I'm documenting my experience in a blog:

www.drunkenswede.blogspot.com

The biggest problem with E85 is simple its availability. I'm lucky that I live behind a Meijer. They sell E85 at this location.
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Running E85 in a non-flex fuel '07 Saab 9-3 2.0T
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Old 07-08-2008, 02:16 PM   #10 (permalink)
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The high percentage of ethanol in E85 can destroy certain hoses and seals in your fuel system. At the minimum, you should replace your fuel lines with an E85-compatible material to prevent major leaks. Your fuel pump and injector O-rings may also need to be upgraded in order to ensure full compatibility.

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