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-   -   I want to get to the bottom of this ethanol killing my mpg (

Nerys 09-26-2009 01:30 AM

I want to get to the bottom of this ethanol killing my mpg
Ok I have 493,000 miles on my 88 cherokee. I have 220,000 miles on my Clubwagon 74,000 on my WV thing 172,000 on my Voyager and on and on. My commute is 110 miles round trip NOT counting extra driving around.

in a few weeks (making payments) I will have a 94 metro xfi

So I have a pretty damned good idea on fuel economy. I have been taking mpg readings for 20 years over more than a million miles of driving. (I wish I recorded it all in one place etc.. would be interesting)

anyway since ethanol I have seen a 15-25 % drop in fuel economy across ALL of my vehicles. So has my father and so has my mother.

in the MILLION PLUS miles including 400,000 miles on my cherokee (it had 92,000 when I got it) I have NEVER ONCE IN TWENTY YEARS REPLACED A FUEL PUMP. neither has my dad neither has my mom.

Since ethanol EVERY SINGLE CAR WE HAVE HAS HAD ITS FUEL PUMP DIE. Every single one no exception. Ok except the VW thing but only cause it has not driven in 4 years so it has never tasted ethanol.

thats 7 Fuel pumps in an 8 month period. anyone who says thats coincidence is a moron :-) hehe (just joking but you get the idea)

I have also had to replace 5 O2 sensors something else I have NEVER had to replace in a million plus miles and 14 years of driving.

SO I want to do some tests WITHOUT ethanol to confirm my MPG returns without the ethanol. alas its illegal to sell gas in pa and nj without ethanol.

I got an ethanol test kit and now I only buy gas from stations with the lowest actual ethanol levels. Wawa is good 7-8% so is sunoco 8%

My cherokee used to get a SOLID 22mpg and thats lifted mud tires skid plates tire on the roof the works. I have 493,000 miles on this truck I KNOW what its mpg is.

I just put a new engine in it. (bought a $900 beater on ebay with a virgin engine 119,000 miles) swapped them runs like new again.

On the first run I got 21mpg on 3 year old gas! first fill up 17mpg second fill up 13mpg !! next 5 fill ups 13-14mpg O2 dies 8-10mpg replace O2 back up to 13-14 mpg

I get gas at wawa instead of el cheapo gas station mpg is now 17-19 mpg. Go back to el cheapo 13-14 mpg

I measure the ethanol. 8% wawa 11% el cheapo.

Then the idea hits me. My dads old motor home has 35+ gallons of more than 4 year old gas in it IE pre ethanol.

I siphon out 15 gallons to fillup the cherokee 19mpg!

I siphon out 14 gallons to fillup again 22mpg!

I am out of old gas and have to use ethanol gas again 19mpg

next fill up 17mpg

To this day I have to fight tooth and nail to get past 17mpg on a truck that historically got 22mpg DAILY.

SO I want to do more tests but HOW to get non ethanol gas? any suggestions?

I know how to REMOVE the ethanol. just add water till all the alcohol seperates from the gas then pour off the gas.

problem is ethanol is an octane booster so the gas you will be left with will be about 84 octane which I am thinking might not be good for the engines?

what do you think? ALSO

another idea. RACING fuel is pure gas. What kind of "mixture" ration of 84octane de ethanoled gas and racing fuel would i need to use to get the right roughly 87octane the engine expects?

I want to "make" about 200 gallons of non ethanol gas to do some REAL A B A B A testing to see if the ethanol REALLY is having that much of an impact.

suggestions? is there anywhere close by (100miles or so) from SE PA where I can get NON ethanol regular gas? delaware? maryland? NY?


Frank Lee 09-26-2009 01:42 AM

I think your testing will not be as accurate as the testing that has already been done under controlled conditions.

Nerys 09-26-2009 01:50 AM

well alas there are 2 problems with that perspective.

#1 it flies in the face of my actual experience (though maybe it would confirm its NOT ethanol causing my problems but what else would cause 7 vehicles to all lose 15-25% of there fuel economy ALL AT ONCE ?) Though its hard for me to ignore that I got NORMAL FUEL ECONOMY on 4 year old gas in my pops motorhome tank over The Ethanol laced gas we are using today.

NOT A SINGLE ONE of our cars gets anywhere near the fuel economy we were getting just 2-3 years ago.

Also those tests were mostly done with NEWER CARS

also those people running their tests in control conditions? I don't see them buying my gasoline for me.

The way I see it ethanol is causing me to spend an extra $1248 dollars a year over what I would be paying if I got my usual MPG levels.

I don't need anything more. Thats enough evidence for me to want to do some more testing.

The only way I can do any testing is to get my hands on gasoline WITHOUT ethanol.

Got any suggestions for me? Got an usable suggestions for what else could be causing a 15-25% across the board consistent economy drop in 7 cars driven by 4 different people with years ranging from my 88 cherokee to my pops 98 windstar.

Got any suggestions as to why I can CHART fuel economy to the AMOUNT of ethanol in the gas? why I get better fuel economy on wawa's 7% ethanol over US Gas's 11% ethanol?

is there "something else" different about the gas I should know about?

dsmracer 09-26-2009 02:00 AM

We all know ethanol makes for worse mileage, theres less energy in it, so it takes more fuel to make the same power.
take my car as an example - we use 93 pump gas on this turbo engine, it gets about 30mpg. when i change to E85, i have to add around 20% or more fuel to get it back into shape again (but its really good for making tons of power on alot of boost) and it will get 15-18mpg if im lucky. - ethanol in gas burns clean-er. but we use alot more. there isnt much to prove. using 100% alcohol in a race car you will eat twice as much fuel as using race gas.
The EPA and things look at it as burning cleaner, better for the environment, but its not any better for our pocket.

stoich on gas is 14.7:1 air / fuel ratio - stoich on 85% ethanol is 9.8:1 - that alone should tell you
with the newer gas (whish is supposed to be 10% ethanol (E10) im finding that 14.7 will cause a lean missfire - and 14.0 seems to be a better "clean burn" now.

BTW if your going tokeep testing - race gas is leaded (unles you buy the high dollar unleaded race fuel) and will coat your o2 sensors and cause them to fail early.

Frank Lee 09-26-2009 02:07 AM

It would be helpful if your charting was available for us to see. As it is, it appears you experience wide swings in fe tank-to-tank so analysis for fe change causes may be difficult/impossible.

Your claims look suspect to me because the ethanol fe drop you state does not match my and many others' experiences. I admit I do disregard the claims of those who have an obvious anti-ethanol agenda.

If there is a widespread IDENTIFIABLE fe drop in your region maybe there is something going on with the regional boutique fuel composition; maybe it is ethanol and maybe it is something other than ethanol.

Your fuel pump story also does not match my experience at all. I've been running old non flex-fuel vehicles (early '90's models) on E10 at a minimum and E85 at a maximum for several years and have not replaced a single fuel pump, sending unit, or even fuel filter.

P.S. E85 has proven to be easier on my pocket, either straight or blended with E10. It is often about 40 cents/gallon cheaper and any fe decline is more than offset by that.

dsmracer 09-26-2009 02:14 AM


Originally Posted by Frank Lee (Post 129914)

P.S. E85 has proven to be easier on my pocket, either straight or blended with E10. It is often about 40 cents/gallon cheaper and any fe decline is more than offset by that.

same goes in my truck, but it has a VERy hard time starting on it, even with the fuel turned up to compensate.

The car i use it in is a 93 - i have had no fuel pump problems or anything else out of it.

but i meant as far as putting Ethanol in the gas, it makes it worse, and we use alot more for how much it costs.

Frank Lee 09-26-2009 02:21 AM

I can't identify any fe loss at ethanol blends less than 50% vs E10.

My testing is pretty coarse but I've found agreement with those whose testing is presumably better than mine.

My modus operandi now is to occasionally use full-on E85 in the summer and only E10 in the winter- and proportional blends inbetween depending on temps- to manage cold start issues.

basjoos 09-26-2009 09:49 AM


Originally Posted by Nerys (Post 129902)
suggestions? is there anywhere close by (100miles or so) from SE PA where I can get NON ethanol regular gas? delaware? maryland? NY?


You might check nearby marinas that supply boat fuel for non-ethanol gas. Older boats have worse problems with E10 than older cars since E10 causes their fiberglass tanks to start dissolving so they are often the last bastions for non-ethanol gas in E10 regions.

gone-ot 09-26-2009 01:55 PM

...also, your local small airport sells 100 octane, low-lead, fuel but it ain't cheap.

...there's also new 94UL which is 100LL without the TEL.

dcb 09-26-2009 02:10 PM

I've heard of 100 low lead, which has an insanely large amount of lead in it still. Not heard of no-lead in the 100 octane variety in small airport use, but I don't get out to the airport.

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