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Author Topic: Ethanol effect on mileage Back to Topics
lefty78312

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Message Posted: Oct 28, 2009 7:51:08 PM

Last week, I found a station selling ethanol for about a nickel less than everyone else so I filled up. It seems to have cost me money; my mileage on that tankful was 2 mpg below normal and 3 mpg below the previous tankful. My driving habits and conditions were exactly the same as the week before. Does ethanol normally give lower gas mileage?
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Houckster
Champion Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: Oct 28, 2013 12:17:32 PM

DASSFG writes: They tell you upfront it will cost you 25% in fuel economy
_____
This is a ridiculous statement, E10 will NOT cause that much of a loss in mileage. I figure somewhere in the area of about 3-5%.

FuelEconomy.GOV

[Edited by: Houckster at 10/28/2013 12:21:11 PM EST]
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Sammy197676
Sophomore Author North Carolina

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Message Posted: Oct 28, 2013 9:13:04 AM

I heard it did
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dontuknowOH
Champion Author Ohio

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Message Posted: Oct 28, 2013 8:53:15 AM

The first time I found that I had pumped a low percentage into my vehicle, pump stated 3% added and that was added to about 1/2 tank of non E.. fuel I then noticed the mileage dropped but didn't think about why,. We were on vacation then 2004 and only one station had it that I visited along our way. Our vehicle was new with low mileage at the time, about 4600 M.. on the odometer.
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dassfg
Champion Author Fort Worth

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Message Posted: Oct 28, 2013 8:05:25 AM

They tell you upfront it will cost you 25% in fuel economy
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the1roadhog
Champion Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: Oct 27, 2013 10:10:23 AM

E-85 is a boondoggle.
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Houckster
Champion Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: Oct 27, 2013 9:24:42 AM

This topic died in January, 2010. We didn't need this discussion to be ressurected.

[Edited by: Houckster at 10/27/2013 9:28:38 AM EST]
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MertieMan
Champion Author Lexington

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Message Posted: Oct 27, 2013 7:56:12 AM

Ethanol most generally will cause all vehicles to get 1-4 miles less per gallon than regular gasoline. That is my experience with my vehicles.
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Glasman
Champion Author South Carolina

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Message Posted: Oct 26, 2013 1:56:48 PM

I'm against using it !
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reb4
Champion Author Chicago

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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2010 10:23:35 AM

yes, typically. but you got pretty good results from your tank full. I would have expected worse.... of course you didn't really say what it was...
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weenerdog
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Message Posted: Jan 2, 2010 9:08:11 AM

If you get 25% less mpg, then it would only be cost effective if the price was 25% less. I think they've taken away the subsidies, it appears to be only 5 cents less now.
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Houckster
Champion Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: Jan 1, 2010 9:30:31 AM

While I'm no fan of ethanol, I don't lose nearly so much mileage as I'm hearing here. I figure my loss is about 5-7% but that's just a WAG.

I think ethanol was introduced in May of 2008 in Georgia but until this year, the E10 probably had less than 10% ethanol in it. Now I think it's right at 10% because gas consumption has gone down but the Congressional mandate to accelerate ethanol use means they are probably adding a full 10% to the gas. And what's worse, they want to add more.

What we need is a thorough and completely scientific look at biofuels. That won't be easy because political considerations are primarily why we have ethanol in the first place and the farm lobby aided by ADM will fight to keep ethanol in place.

[Edited by: Houckster at 1/1/2010 9:30:59 EST]
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RedRider1OK
All-Star Author Oklahoma City

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Message Posted: Dec 31, 2009 7:07:53 PM

Yes is does and here is why: Ethanol is an oxygenate and when added to gasoline it increases exhaust temperatures. This causes the oxygen sensors located in the exhaust system to send signals to a vehicle's computer that the fuel mixture is lean. To offset this "lean burn condition" a vehicle's computer richens the fuel mixture up. How much it richens the mixture up is how much your fuel mileage will drop. Most vehicles I have monitored lose anywhere from 8 to 25% in fuel mileage on E-10 vs. 100%. If the computer finds the exhaust temps out of parameters it throws the CEL. Usually, by just filling the vehicle up with 100% gasoline this will remove the CEL, lower the exhaust temps and all will be well. Hope this saves someone $ and a headache at the stealership.
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rimpyCA
Champion Author Los Angeles

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Message Posted: Dec 31, 2009 12:13:21 PM

ok
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bluebird1
Champion Author Toronto

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Message Posted: Dec 31, 2009 11:31:54 AM

Where have you been, its one of the biggest arguments people have against E.???
This 5-10% E. affects most but not all cars mpg - 3 of my last 4 cars affected. The 80% stuff, which is what you likely talked about, is expected to get 25% less mpg in the dual fuel vehicles.....ouch. Here in Canada, its always priced same or higher than normal gas.
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mooneagle
Champion Author Oklahoma City

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Message Posted: Dec 31, 2009 10:26:39 AM

ok
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ekelly7
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Dec 31, 2009 9:29:26 AM

ethanol drops my mileage about 20%
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sluggopyle
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Message Posted: Dec 30, 2009 1:03:41 PM

OK, that bears clarification. Again "2 to 3 mpg" doesn't tell us what's going on since we don't know what the base mpg is. Let's go apples to apples and use percentages.

My car for instance loses 15-20% of its mileage on E10 vs. E0. If the E-free is priced at, say, $2.60, then the E10 would have to be priced AT MOST $2.21 per gallon ($2.60 minus the minimum 15%) just to equate to the same cost-per-mile.

Figuring the other end of the range at 20%, it would have to be $2.08.

So the E10 would have to be priced between $2.08 and $2.21 per gallon, just to *have a chance to equal* the performance of the E-free priced at $2.60. That represents in this case a difference of 39¢ to 52¢ a gallon, a price gap I've never seen anywhere close to on the road, regardless of the general price of gas. To be a better value it would have to be priced even lower.

If the difference between an E10 and and E-free pump is less than 39¢ to 52¢ a gallon, then the E10 costs me more to run, FAR more if it's selling for just five or ten cents less at $2.50 ...and that's about the biggest difference we ever see on the real road.

(If there's a price difference at all that is-- I know some spots in go-cat-go's state where E-free also goes for the lowest price, which is obviously a win-win)

[Edited by: sluggopyle at 12/30/2009 1:07:16 PM EST]
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NanookAK
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Message Posted: Dec 30, 2009 12:48:01 PM

I have seen reports that using gas with ethanol will reduce your MPG.
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bar1035
Champion Author Charlotte

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Message Posted: Dec 30, 2009 11:32:10 AM

How do you know what you have? Not all states require labels on the pumps for up to 10%? Did everyone see the story on the main page last week that a study (Stanford?) showed ethanol burns dirtier than pure gas?
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gougedQC
Champion Author Montreal

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Message Posted: Dec 30, 2009 10:55:32 AM

wow! how has this thread escaped the attention of the ethaholics???

Seems like everyone here has a negative opinion and/or experience with ethanol.

If the ethaholics (who cannot tolerate any negative postings about eth) elsewhere on the GB forum discover this thread, the flames and badmouthing will really begin
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gocatgo
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Message Posted: Dec 7, 2009 12:20:44 AM

I have been over the wonders of ethanol in gas for sometime now. I am very fortunate to have a no name ethanol gas in a convenient location. The 5-10 cent extra in price gives me 2-3 extra mpg which is a real value. As for ethanol, thanks but no thanks!
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pinbuster2005
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Message Posted: Nov 27, 2009 3:44:19 AM

sluggopyle - I wish we could get still get the real stuff here but we can't. If your automobile is a flex-fuel automobile you shouldn't notice much of a difference. But if your automobile is a non-FFV that is when your going to see the difference in fuel economy.Houckster - "The E10 we buy could have any amount of ethanol in it up to 10% so its energy content can vary widely and that means we can't easily compare E10 fuels reliably."

I agree that is why I average out my mileage over multiple tanks when comparing brands. If one brand ends up averaging less ethanol in it than another then your going to get a higher overall average mileage out of it. But I also think the additives in the gas also have something to do with it as well.
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sluggopyle
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Message Posted: Nov 26, 2009 12:34:01 PM

Rendering mileage difference figures in absolute numbers (xMPG) is meaningless when we don't know what your base is. Express as a rate. Mine drops 15-20% on E10 vs. E0, making for, as Houckster notes, a net loss.

Fortunately I can still get the real stuff.
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ekelly7
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Nov 22, 2009 8:55:41 AM

terrible mileage using it
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rfe330
All-Star Author Winston-Salem

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Message Posted: Nov 21, 2009 5:20:13 PM

Any alcohol will decrease mileage - the more the worse mileage will be. It has less energy per unit of measure than gasoline. The laws of physics are a bitch.
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Houckster
Champion Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: Nov 21, 2009 10:56:51 AM

GVAN asks: Does anyone know if EPA mpg estimates are with 100% gasoline or E10?

Since EPA mileage estimates are a deriviative of the tests for emissions compliance, a special fuel with a known carbon content and other strictly controlled properties is used for testing, last I was able to check. I read an article on this fuel a few years back but I haven't been able to find it to provide a link.

This fuel isn't available to consumers and it's very expensive.

The main point however, is that the fuel itself, for estimating mileage isn't that important in the government's view. The special fuel is needed for accurate emissions testing and mileage estimates are a secondary consideration. Consequently, you can probably say with some confidence, that if vehicle A has a better EPA rating than vehicle B, you will get better mileage with vehicle A but just what mileage you get will depend on your driving, where you drive and the fuels you can obtain.

Add to this that E10 is not a real standard. The E10 we buy could have any amount of ethanol in it up to 10% so its energy content can vary widely and that means we can't easily compare E10 fuels reliably.

[Edited by: Houckster at 11/21/2009 10:59:49 AM EST]
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gvan
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Message Posted: Nov 19, 2009 11:08:58 AM

Does anyone know if EPA mpg estimates are with 100% gasoline or E10?
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ekelly7
Champion Author Twin Cities

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Message Posted: Nov 19, 2009 9:00:55 AM

negative effect
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Houckster
Champion Author Atlanta

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Message Posted: Oct 29, 2009 11:51:14 AM

In reply to LEFTY78312, AJHOLIER writes: "Supposidely the environment likes it though, which is why we have decided to lace our gasoline with 10% of it...."
____
Ethanol's claims to reduce pollution including greenhouse gases while reducing oil imports have proved to have absolutely no substance. As for gas mileage, expect about a 5% loss. Many have claimed greater losses than this and that's why ethanol doesn't reduce imports. Those who sing the praises of ethanol are centered in the Midwest where they produce this stuff. The rest of us simply have to live with it.

I suspect that some of the environmental groups who championed this stuff now regret their decision. Meanwhile current legislation means that ADM is laughing all the way to the bank.

And we're spending billions each year in subsidies to produce this braindead fuel.

And it's going to get worse. Legislation now on the books has us on the track to use more and more ethanol. A proposal for E15 is now being considered. I've written letters in opposition to this because, in addition to the objections above, my ride is only rated to tolerate E10, E15 may cause some problems because of the higher amount of corrosion.

None of this means that we should rely on gasoline. Biofuels, like butanol, can help us if they are produced in a proper manner. But we'll never get there unless politics is reduced in the decision equation.
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WEPSMAN
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Message Posted: Oct 29, 2009 9:17:58 AM

When I had my Silverado 2500HD with the 6L gas motor I would not run ethanol. The cost per mile was higher running "cheaper" gas. I run ehtanol in my cars and do not notice much difference in mileage.
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ajhoier
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Message Posted: Oct 28, 2009 10:32:20 PM

> my driving habits and conditions were exactly the same as the week before. <

Careful with that statement around here :)

Many people will blame

1) the weather (wind direction....sunny, rainy, windy, etc.....cold, hot, warm, dusty.....foggy, smoggy, smokey, etc.)
or
2) the operator (we are humans, we may think we operate our vehicles the same way each time we get in them, but I will say; I do not. I don't switch lanes at the same moment each trip, nor do I step on the brakes at the same moment each trip, etc. all kinds of variables)
3) the road condition (pot holes, speed bumps, speed humps, sewer covers you happen to run over, kids/dogs/pets you happen to swerve around as you cruise down the neighborhood streets at 20 mph, and the list goes on).

And any other abundance of things (just browse thru these forums some more, you've been here longer than me, so I think you already have the sort of idea lol).

But yes, ethanol will give lower gas mileage. It's also got some of the same characteristics of alcohol.

Supposidely the environment likes it though, which is why we have decided to lace our gasoline with 10% of it....

And well, obviously those corn (and soon, if not already?) sugar cane farmers like it too. Keeps them in business (even if the consumers don't by their product, leave it to the government to buy it up, to lace it with their gasoline).
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thirteen1
All-Star Author Milwaukee

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Message Posted: Oct 28, 2009 9:06:14 PM

They have mandated Ethanol here. It is not good. You pay less however use more. Engines do not like it.....
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2granny
Champion Author Michigan

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Message Posted: Oct 28, 2009 9:00:38 PM

I use a log and found that when I used ethanol my mileage dropped 3 to 4 mpg. I have not changed my driving habits a bit.
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gvan
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Message Posted: Oct 28, 2009 8:32:18 PM

It's possible that E10 gets a little less mpg than 100% gasoline. Some studies have shown a 0-3% decrease in some vehicles. 2-3 mpg decrease sounds a bit high but it does vary from vehicle to vehicle.
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