• Welcome Visitor! Please take a few seconds and Register for our forum. Even if you don't want to post, you can still 'Like' and react to posts.

100% gas vs. Gas with ethanol


sgtsandman

Aircraft Fuel Tank Diver
Forum Moderator
Supporting Member
U.S. Military - Active
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Mar 11, 2017
Messages
6,301
Reaction score
3,724
Points
113
Location
Aliquippa, PA
Vehicle Year
2011 & 2019
Make / Model
Ford XLT & FX4
Engine Size
4.0 SOHC & 2.3 Ecoboost
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Tire Size
31X10.5R15 & 265/65R17
My credo
I work in fuel tanks for a living. Don't judge me!
My power equipment gets 89 only because that is the minimum octane specified by Stihl for their engines. The vehicles get 87.

I would prefer non ethanol but not at the prices they charge around here.
 


Rock Auto 5% Discount Code: F9A1A579ACFAD1: October 1st, 2021

RonD

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 2, 2012
Messages
19,355
Reaction score
3,497
Points
113
Location
canada
Vehicle Year
1994
Make / Model
Ford
Transmission
Manual
All gasoline has water in it, it comes from condensation in the storage tanks and transport tanks, then in the gas station tanks
Too much water is called "bad gas"

Gasoline and water can not bond/mix, gasoline is lighter than water so if allowed to sit in a container the water will settle to the bottom of the container, easily visible separation line
Storage tanks have "water traps" at the bottom, and are pumped or drain out often

Vehicle gas tanks don't have that
And fuel pumps suck in "gas" from the bottom of the tank

Gasoline has a very low freezing point, so winter temps are not an issue
Water on the other hand freezes at 32degF or 0degC
So any water in a fuel system will freeze at lower temps, and if its at the bottom of the gas tank or in the fuel filter..............well

Ethanol can bond with water, and when it does it lowers the freezing temp to at least -100degF
So its like anti-freeze for a fuel system in winter months
Ethanol also "boosts" the octane level of gasoline, this is why its also used in summer months, to bring an 85/86 octane up to the 87 minimum

Alcohol/ethanol can break down some rubbers, like seals, which is why it not great in older engines that used older seals
But new rubber compounds are OK

Ethanol has less stored energy per gallon that gasoline, so will have lower MPG, same as diesel has more stored energy per gallon so gets better MPG than gasoline
 

cbxer55

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
1,299
Reaction score
290
Points
83
Location
Midwest City, Oklahoma
Vehicle Year
1998
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
3.0
Transmission
Automatic
BTW, three years ago, filled a half gallon clear plastic liquor bottle (Yukon Jack) with a 50-50 mix of E85 and 93 octane. Put it on my shelf in the garage and just left it there. Never separated. Last year, put a few ounces of Marvel Mystery oil in it, to see if it would stay suspended. It has. Nice red color in the bottle from bottom to neck. Never seen one sign of any separation in the bottle in three years.
 

Shran

Junk Collector
Forum Moderator
Supporting Member
Article Contributor
V8 Engine Swap
Solid Axle Swap
Joined
Mar 4, 2008
Messages
6,245
Reaction score
1,519
Points
113
Location
Rapid City SD
Engine Type
V8
Engine Size
5.0
I just run whatever. I used to make a point to run ethanol free fuel but at a lot of stations it all comes out of the same nozzle... so if the last guy filled up with E10 and you choose ethanol free, there's still a bunch of E10 in the hose and pump. So I quit worrying about it. Maverick stations have 91 octane ethanol free but I have noticed that it makes my '88 run weird, and it definitely made my chainsaw act up. So now I just run whatever is cheapest, except 2 stroke equipment, which are run so infrequently that True Fuel or whatever makes sense financially.
 

wildbill23c

Well-Known Member
U.S. Military - Veteran
TRS Banner 2012-2015
TRS 20th Anniversary
Joined
Aug 22, 2012
Messages
3,732
Reaction score
409
Points
83
Location
Southwestern Idaho
Vehicle Year
1988
Make / Model
Ford Bronco II
Engine Type
2.9 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
0
Total Drop
0
Tire Size
235/75-R15
My credo
19K, 19D, 92Y, 91F
For a vehicle you drive all the time, regular 87 octane with ethanol is fine, you burn the fuel up quick enough to not really have any water absorption issues. However, in something you only drive occasionally, or use occasionally like small engine equipment run non-ethanol. I just use the non-ethanol fuel in my lawn equipment, chainsaw, etc. Yeah, occasionally I'll top off the tank in my pickup when I go fill up the lawn equipment fuel cans, but I don't run it all the time.

I tried a couple tanks of non-ethanol fuel and didn't notice any difference in fuel economy in my pickup, just a slightly larger hit to the wallet...but that was before gas prices jumped back up to $3.35/gal again for regular...its over $4/gal for premium 91 octane non-ethanol fuel.
 

rubydist

Active Member
Joined
Dec 16, 2016
Messages
202
Reaction score
91
Points
28
Location
Denver
Vehicle Year
2009
Make / Model
Ford Ranger FX4
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
10 years ago or so I did some extensive testing with straight gasoline compared to the ethanol mix stuff (back when one could still find straight gasoline here) because I was studying the hypothesis that adding a little acetone to the gasoline improved fuel economy as well as keeping all the fuel system really clean. The results of my testing was that straight gasoline with a little acetone in it did improve fuel economy enough to be worth the hassle of adding it, but adding the acetone to the gasoline/ethanol mix made no difference in economy. Then they changed things so all the stations offer the gasoline including ethanol, so I quit doing it. But if I could get straight gasoline I would still be adding a little acetone to it and getting better mileage.

The gasoline de-icers like Heet are mostly methanol, since it will absorb the water and let it pass through the fuel lines without freezing up. Don't really need that stuff nowadays since the gasoline already includes ethanol which is much the same and absorbs water similarly but is a safer chemical to humans if accidentally ingested.
 

Dirtman

Former Middleweight Moss Fighting Champion
Supporting Member
Joined
May 28, 2018
Messages
17,845
Reaction score
11,844
Points
113
Location
41N 75W
Vehicle Year
2009
Engine Type
2.3 (4 Cylinder)
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
2WD
Total Lift
It's up there.
Total Drop
It's down there.
Tire Size
Round.
Don't really need that stuff nowadays since the gasoline already includes ethanol which is much the same and absorbs water similarly but is a safer chemical to humans if accidentally ingested.
You really shouldn't drink gasoline no matter whats in it...
 

cbxer55

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
1,299
Reaction score
290
Points
83
Location
Midwest City, Oklahoma
Vehicle Year
1998
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
3.0
Transmission
Automatic
10 years ago or so I did some extensive testing with straight gasoline compared to the ethanol mix stuff (back when one could still find straight gasoline here) because I was studying the hypothesis that adding a little acetone to the gasoline improved fuel economy as well as keeping all the fuel system really clean. The results of my testing was that straight gasoline with a little acetone in it did improve fuel economy enough to be worth the hassle of adding it, but adding the acetone to the gasoline/ethanol mix made no difference in economy. Then they changed things so all the stations offer the gasoline including ethanol, so I quit doing it. But if I could get straight gasoline I would still be adding a little acetone to it and getting better mileage.

The gasoline de-icers like Heet are mostly methanol, since it will absorb the water and let it pass through the fuel lines without freezing up. Don't really need that stuff nowadays since the gasoline already includes ethanol which is much the same and absorbs water similarly but is a safer chemical to humans if accidentally ingested.
Acetone. Just buy Berryman's B-12. It has Acetone, MEK, Methanol and I believe Toluene in it. I use it occasionally, since I have a friend who owns a Sinclair station here three miles away. Sells 93 octane Shell V-Power and 110 Sunoco, at the pump. I buy the B-12 by the case full from him for a really good price. So I use it in the old Ranger a few times a year. Otherwise, I just pump a gallon of E85 into it at the halfway mark on the fuel gauge, then fill it with 91. Two gallons of E85 in the tank is right around 10% ethanol. Truck loves it, runs swell. Same as it does on 93.
 

Dirt Squirt

Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2020
Messages
36
Reaction score
39
Points
18
Location
Silver Spring, MD
Vehicle Year
2003
Make / Model
Ranger FX4 L2
Transmission
Automatic
Not to get all technical and stuff, but it is a Federal law (EPA) that all gas stations must sell at least 10% ethanol fuel for on- road use only. Similar to diesel fuel. It is illegal to run non-ethanol fuel in on- road vehicles. A law passed in I believe 2018 that required stations to sell 15% ethanol depending on some weird formula of supply/demand. I can find if anyone really cares. Ethanol fuel is supposed to be used within 2 months of coming from the station, it also suffers from what is called "phase separation" meaning the water separates from the fuel ethanol mix. Water is heavier than gas or ethanol so it sits on the bottom and is the first thing that goes into your carb. We know the only thing that burns water is a Stanley Steamer. You also must be aware that ethanol is "hygroscopic" meaning it absorbs water from the air, so your 10% ethanol you bought 4 months ago may be 15-20% higher in water content than what it started life as. As a career small engine mechanic for the last forty years, I have had my share of fuel related repairs. Oy, you got me started preaching.
 

cbxer55

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
1,299
Reaction score
290
Points
83
Location
Midwest City, Oklahoma
Vehicle Year
1998
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
3.0
Transmission
Automatic
So you're telling me that all the stations here that advertise NO ETHANOL, 100% PURE GASOLINE, and there are a lot of them, are lieing? Also, in Oklahoma, it is the LAW that if the fuel contains ethanol of any percent, it has to be advertised on the pump as containing ethanol. All the stations that advertise NO ETHANOL, their pumps have no such stickers. So they'd be breaking Oklahoma law if there is any ethanol in it.

Once again, OnCue stations here sell E85 with a yellow nozzle, E10 with a black nozzle, and 87, 89 and 91 NO ETHANOL with a red handle. It would be false advertising of them to sell fuel with ethanol in a pump, with another nozzle on the same pump that actually purports to be 10% ethanol. And another on the same pump with 85% ethanol.
 
Last edited:

G8orFord

Well-Known Member
RBV's on Boost
Joined
Mar 31, 2019
Messages
603
Reaction score
536
Points
93
Location
FL
Vehicle Year
2001
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
4.0 V6
Engine Size
4.0 SOHC S/C
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
0
Total Drop
0
Tire Size
Just the right size to touch the ground.
Water is heavier than gas or ethanol so it sits on the bottom and is the first thing that goes into your carb.
Only if your running a sump.

Granted, if enough water gets into the tank, you are correct, but most draw straws and in-tank pumps are at least 1/4" off the bottom of the tank
 

cbxer55

Well-Known Member
Joined
Oct 9, 2009
Messages
1,299
Reaction score
290
Points
83
Location
Midwest City, Oklahoma
Vehicle Year
1998
Make / Model
Ford
Engine Size
3.0
Transmission
Automatic
Only if your running a sump.

Granted, if enough water gets into the tank, you are correct, but most draw straws and in-tank pumps are at least 1/4" off the bottom of the tank
And besides that, every time you fill the tank, you stir it all up. And when you are driving, especially if you live in PotHoles R Us USA, as I do, it's always getting stirred and shaken up. Just like all the bones in my body, every damn time I drive. Especially the Ranger, rides like a buckboard. My Lightning is a lot more forgiving.
 

JohnnyO

Moderator Emeritus
Forum Staff - Retired
Joined
Jan 6, 2002
Messages
5,182
Reaction score
1,121
Points
113
Location
Pittsburgh, PA
Vehicle Year
2020
Make / Model
Ranger
Engine Type
2.3 EcoBoost
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Tire Size
255/65-17
My credo
"I'm not Mr. Lebowski, YOU'RE Mr. Lebowski. I'm The Dude."
+1

Basically don't run it in a carb that isn't ran often. It does not store well.
Advice I got a few years ago from the mower shop after I had carb problems was to put Sta-Bil in the gas ALL the time, not just for winter storage. Have not problems since I've done that.
Agree, in a modern car I don't think it makes any difference. Regular gas here has up to 10% ethanol and I often run E-15 since it costs 20 cents less. MPG seems to be unaffected. I did have issues with my old Sport Trac when it hit about 65,000 miles with the injectors being clogged, shop advised using a fuel system cleaner at every oil change and dry gas once in a while, I use Chevron Techron, after that I put another 150,000 miles on it without a problem.
 

John97

Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2008
Messages
41
Reaction score
28
Points
18
Location
Spring Hill, Florida
Vehicle Year
2018
Make / Model
Nissan Titan XD
Engine Size
5.6 Endurance V8
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Tire Size
265-60-20
I live in FL. There's E0 all over the place. It's 89 or 90 octane. I run it in all my power equipment, both two and four stroke.

My Ariens zero-turn has a supposedly ethanol-tolerant Kohler engine. I still buy the E0.

I can get it at Wawa or the Circle-K Shell station that's a little closer has Circle-K branded E0.

At the Circle-K, it's a separate standalone dispenser. At Wawa it's a separate hose on the MPD.
 

Robertmangrum.rm

Well-Known Member
RBV's on Boost
Joined
Mar 8, 2021
Messages
407
Reaction score
314
Points
63
Age
46
Location
Tennessee
Vehicle Year
2020
Make / Model
Ford Ranger
Engine Type
2.3 EcoBoost
Transmission
Automatic
2WD / 4WD
4WD
Total Lift
2.5 level kit
Tire Size
255/75r17
My credo
Buy it, build it, and drive it like you stole it
You find it in rural areas here in TN. Usually the dinky little stations.
 


Top