are ethanol blends bad for cars?

Discussion in 'After Hours Lounge (Off Topic)' started by Kevin Farley, Jun 23, 2005.

  1. Kevin Farley

    Kevin Farley Second Unit

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    I have a 94 Camry, and the 10 cent savings look good. I had heard that the blends dry out seals and aren't good. Is this true?
     
  2. Mort Corey

    Mort Corey Supporting Actor

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    I think 10% ethanol is pretty common and presently used mostly as an oxygenate for air pollution reasons. I know that it's going to be used as a replacement for MTBE (which contaminates ground water) in California to meet air quality standards. This makes it sound OK for your car.
    http://www.ethanol.org/warrantystatements.html

    Mort
     
  3. Greg_R

    Greg_R Screenwriter

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    Most states have gas that already contains Ethanol. I would not worry about this with a 'new' car like your Camry. If you had a car built before the 70s gas crisis then I would research a bit further to see if it's really a problem or urban legend.
     
  4. Jonathan T.

    Jonathan T. Stunt Coordinator

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    Pretty much all Canadian gas has been ethanol blended for A LONG time now. I can't imagine there are any issues.
     
  5. Ken CG

    Ken CG Agent

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    We talking about ARCO gas? AVOID IT!!!!!!!! The car dealers around here even say not to use it.
     
  6. Todd Hochard

    Todd Hochard Cinematographer

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    You will get lower fuel economy from ethanol-blended fuel, than from "ordinary" gasoline.

    Track the mileage, you'll see. I did.
     
  7. alan halvorson

    alan halvorson Cinematographer

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    You live in Iowa, the corn state, and don't already have ethanol blended gasoline? For shame! Up here in Minn-e-so-ta, by government mandate, we've used 10% ethanol blended gas for years. It's actually tough to find straight gasoline and if you can find it, you're restricted as to what you can use it in (in reality, you can use it in whatever you want). You should have no problems; manufacturers gave the ok many years ago.

    Iowa must be subsidizing ethanol as it's actually more expensive to produce than gasoline. Minnesota does also. And, as Todd says, your mileage will drop a bit. Ethanol has roughly half the BTUs as gasoline by volume. On the plus side, it's an octane booster. Something about high latent heat content (which is why it's used at the Indy 500 and other car races). On my turbo-charged 1988 Chrysler Conquest (that I no longer own but - sometimes - wished I did) I saw a 2-4 MPG drop on ethanol over straight gas. On my current Nissan Sentra, I can't tell the difference.

    The promoted advantage to ethanol is a cleaner exhaust (this is disputed by many), but my cynical side says it's a rural vote buying scheme. Even though ethanol producing plants can make a profit, they still receive subsidies from the state. I don't like it, but as Iowa is even more rural than Minnesota (isn't it?), you're going to be stuck with them for years.
     
  8. Steve Schaffer

    Steve Schaffer Producer

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    Ethanol was used as an octane booster in unleaded gas here in California back in the late 70s, early 80s. It was a 10% ethanol, 90% gasoline mix marketed as "gasohol". It caused damage to some rubber fuel and vacuum lines and attacked rubber diaphragms used in carburetors. It disappeared from the pumps here after a couple of years or so.

    This 10% or less ethanol gas has been in use here in most of the US outside of California long enough for auto mfgs to insure it won't damage modern cars. I wouldn't worry about something as recent as a '94 Camry.
     
  9. Dave Gorman

    Dave Gorman Supporting Actor

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    When the gas prices started escalating several weeks ago I decided to try using ethanol blend gasoline for $.10/gallon less (I drive a 2001 Civic). I noticed the engine pinging quite a bit and poorer performance overall. Between that and the lower gas mileage, I decided I really wouldn't be saving any $ in the long run and went back to real gas.
     
  10. Jeff_CusBlues

    Jeff_CusBlues Supporting Actor

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    Just for the sake of accuracy, IRL cars (which run the Indianapolis 500) run on Methyl Alcohol and have for a long time (at least since the early 70s). They will however start using a 90% Methyl 10% Ethyl mix in 2006 and 100% Ethyl in 2007. I'm not sure about CHAMP (formerly CART) cars. I know they used to use Methyl. Formula 1? I don't know at all. And after last week's race in Indy, who cares?
     

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