It all depends on your car. If your car is stock with a stock tune, you probably won't even notice the difference.
However if your car has a modded prom chip and tuned to the edge of insanity, for gas that is not mixed with ethanol, you will find the car running rough, harder to start and a mired of other issues.
I don't exactly know what the changes are in the fuel, however I have a custom chip, adjustable FPR, no EGR system at all, and it is setup to run a touch on the lean side to add a bit of extra snap at low rpms leaving a light.
As soon as I went stateside, and all I could find was mixed fuel, the car started running rough.
I bumped the fuel pressure up a few pounds and dumped in a bottle of fuel system cleaner / octane booster and the car seemed to run fine.
I rum my timing at about 12' BTDC with a slight retard added when the engine goes over 4000. The engine seems to like a little less timing at high rpms.
FWIW, my 1988 Fiero Owner's manual says it's OK to use up to 10% ethanol... It says the same thing in my 1990 Firebird owner's manual... One service station chain where I live has been selling E10 for at least 30 years. People have been using it for the life of their cars with no ill effects.
Our province has mandated that all gas sold must be at least 10% ethanol. Nobody here has a choice anymore.
Up to 10% is ok in just about anything. Pretty much always has been. You have to be careful with boats and long term storage of things. (Too much water can make the Ethanol come out of suspension, which can cause a bunch of problems.)
The exact amount of Ethanol can vary by season and market. While they should not be running more than 10%, they can deliver less. Ethanol is part of the seasonal changes to reduce various pollution issues. It doesn't actually work but EPA says they have to use it. Ethanol replaces MTBE, which has been shown to be a major water polluter.
The statistics used to support Forced use of MTBE and Ethanol to "oxygenate" fuel have more to do with the fact the carburetor has become all but extinct on the American Highway. EFI sees these as if you had a small vacuum leak and sends more fuel to the engine. Both the Dems and Repubs have demanded this continue in fuels. At least they cut the number of blends from around 20 to I think 9. (It helped with carbs because nearly all of them run rich thru their entire fuel curve. Few are set even close to Stoic for fear of lean running and a cooked engine.)
------------------ Dr. Ian Malcolm: Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn't stop to think if they should. (Jurassic Park)
When tuning a carb you don't want a rich condition any more than you want too lean. The fact is that most carb'd engines make better horsepower when set a little lean. Mine, for instance, makes its best hp at close to 13/1 and is operating mostly around 12.4/1 air/fuel.
To say most carbs run rich is just not quite correct. Probably most badly tuned carbs run rich, or, most performance carbs run rich, or to be more accurate, there is a transition phase during the accellerator pump cycle that causes a rich condition when you blip the throttle. But, as I mentioned above, most carb'd engines run best a little on the lean side.
Posts: 11159 From: Benton County, OR Registered: Dec 2002
It's being phased in now and was required as of April 15, 2008 in this area. The area East of the Cascades has until September 16 to convert. They wanted to ramp up local production before requiring it which seems like a good idea.
Just after MTBE was banned in Arizona, much of the ethanol used to replace it had to be trucked in. It couldn't be delivered in the oil/gas pipelines (too corrosive) and there was little local production. That was a good excuse to raise prices at the time.
I do like the ethanol blend much better than the MTBE. That stuff smelled bad and also damaged the environment. Too bad ethanol production is now being blamed for wordwide food shortages.
[This message has been edited by spark1 (edited 04-22-2008).]
Apr 23rd, 2008
Posts: 44 From: Canton, Michigan, United States Registered: Jun 2006
has anybody ever tried running a 3.8 sc on E85 (with correct modifications of course)? I thought I had read somewhere that with GM's MAF systems all you really have to do for tunning would be to increase injectors by 30%. Is this true or am I waaaaay off. Also I figure having boost would really help out the power and maybe efficiency since ethanol loves either boost or more compression.
Posts: 3696 From: Riceville, IA Registered: Nov 2003
personally i'm not a big fan of the stuff. fiero runs fine on it but my blazer doesn't seem to like it at all. thank god we still have a choice around here. they were talking about taking the sticker off of the pumps so you wouldn't know if it had ethanol in it or not, gov. officials thought it would increase the sale of ethanol (by tricking consumers). ethanol made from corn isn't that great of a deal for the environment anyway, i remember hearing that it takes 1 gallon of petroleum to produce 2 gallons of ethanol (E85). if we were to use sugar cane we could get up to 12-15 gallons for every 1 gallon of petroleum. i'm not sure those numbers are correct but they were around those amounts IIRC. it seems every county in IA seems to need its own ethanol plant now, i've read in the paper there are some plants completely finished but sitting empty. IA actually need to IMPORT corn now...crazy. people have great ideas on how to save our environment but i think they need a little 'refining' to be practical. sorry for ranting, i get carried away sometimes...lol
------------------ 1986 Fiero GT 1992 Chevrolet Beretta GTZ 2000 Chevrolet Blazer ZR2
" I guess I've learned that there's more to life than racing, but not much more." -Paul Menard
Posts: 743 From: Nevada, Iowa, United States Registered: Dec 2005
It should run fine on E10/E15 but you're for instance in Iowa we pay 10 to 15 cents (3-5%) less for E10/E15 (state law) but you lose 10% mileage generally. I run regular in everything now, I've noticed that my 2.8L is getting at least 2mpg better on it.
Just my 2 cents worth I have run 10% Ethenol and I find not alot of power to climb up hills Normal Gas has more hill climbing power.
Probably true. ethenol does has less BTU's of energy than reg. gas.
Will be interesting to see what happens in the next 10 years. The ethenol bubble is already starting to burst here in NE. There are a couple plants that where being built and they have basically stopped constructions on them or are moving verrrry slow. Feel sorry for the people that invested in them late in the game. Think they will be lucky if they get their money back.
Posts: 3696 From: Riceville, IA Registered: Nov 2003
The Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) estimates that, during the winter months, the 10 percent ethanol winter oxygenate blend of gasoline used in Maricopa County reduces carbon monoxide by 70 percent and prevents 90 tons of particulate matter from entering the air.
E10 has proven to help reduce air pollution and that's the best argument for using it.
Capt Fiero Member
Posts: 7657 From: British Columbia, Canada Registered: Feb 2000
The only time I use the E10 stuff, is when I have to run through emissions. We have grain based 94oct Ethanol fuel from Mohawk gas stations. So I stop add 1 liter of Methyl Hydrate and then fill up with the 94oct E10. The Methyl Hydrate trick for emissions has gotten so common around here, that they sell it right along side the motor oil out at the pumps. My 93 Caddy motor seems to run great on the E10 however my 88 2.8 hates it. I am guessing it has something to do with the timing curves and compression ratio's of the 2 motors. I think if I went to town and tweaked my 88 I could get it to run fine on the E10 I just hate it being crammed down my throat.
I wonder if there is a fuel additive that could be added to a tank of E10 to make it more like regular gas. I read someplace on the net, that mixing common household stuff you could actually make your own octane booster. Hmm head is starting to smoke, but wouldn't we need to go the other way, and actually reduce the octane to make E10 have more punch. IE, making it easier to ignite and have more punch. (lower octane actually has more punch (btu's) than higher octane)