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Ethanol Blended Gas = Lower Mileage?

Written by Nickel - 265 Comments

According to a recent article, drivers in Honolulu (and perhaps elsewhere) are complaining of reduced gas mileage in the two months since Hawaii switch to gasoline blended with 10% ethanol. According to the Ethanol Promotion and Information council, most drivers using a 10% ethanol-blended gas will experience a 1-2% drop in mileage. But some drivers in Hawaii are claiming that their mileage has dropped by 25-30%. While I’ve heard of substantially lower mileage in cars running on E85 (a blend of 85% ethanol and 15% gasoline that can be used in certain makes/models) I never really heard anything about reduced mileage in the more ’standard’ 90/10 ethanol blend.

[Source: KHON.com]

Published on June 1st, 2006
Modified on August 6th, 2006 - 265 Comments
Filed under: Automotive, Energy

About the author: is the founder and editor-in-chief of this site. He's a thirty-something family man who has been writing about personal finance since 2005, and guess what? He's on Twitter!

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265 Responses to “Ethanol Blended Gas = Lower Mileage?”

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  1. 1
    Dus10 Says:

    You have to take it for what it’s worth. Sure, these people are experiencing lower gas mileage… but, they are probably not attempting to measure it. They notice that they go to the pump sooner, and then exaggerate. I know absolutely no one, besides myself, who ever “tests” their gas mileage.

  2. 2
    Nick Says:

    My MINI Cooper gives me a live readout of my at-the-moment gas consumption as well as my average gas consumption. Maryland also just made the switch to 10% ethanol a few weeks ago, and I can definitely confirm that my mileage has dropped a good 10-15% since then. My driving habits have not changed, and I made the comparisons based on both city and highway driving; both have gone down 2-3 MPG since the switch.

    So who do I sue to get my money back? (I’m half serious…)

  3. 3
    Debt Free Says:

    Ethanol has a lower energy density than gasoline, so it seems logical that mileage would drop a bit. Also, ethanol could be the ticket for reducing our dependence on foriegn oil, but it’s actually less energy efficient to fuel vehicles with the stuff, as opposed to gasoline, if the entire energy production chain is accounted for. As one of the editors of Car & Driver Magazine (can’t remember which one) said recently, “if the gasoline engine didn’t exist, we’d have to invent it to save the planet”

  4. 4
    car buying saving tips Says:

    great post thanks :)

  5. 5
    Gary Dikkers Says:

    I do religiously check my fuel mileage and here is my experience using E10:

    Driving a compact pickup with a 4-cylinder engine I usually get about 32 mpg while driving at steady highway speeds and using gasoline.

    When using E10, my mileage drops to about 29 mpg.

    That means on a trip of 320 miles I would burn 10 gallons of gasoline. If I used E10 for the same trip, I would need just a bit less than 11 gallons.

    But, 90% of that E10 would be gasoline. That means when I burn 11 gallons of E10, I burn 9.9 gallons of gasoline.

    Whether I buy gasoline or E10, I burn almost exactly the same amount of gasoline, but if I use E10, I have to buy 11 gallons of fuel.

    I now buy E10 only when I really need gas, and have no choice.

  6. 6
    Jim Kartes Says:

    I have for two years carefully tracked my gas milage and have found that I get 2 miles per gallon less with an Ethanol blend. This means I pay an extra $15 per month at the pump. This seems to me to be a state imposed extra gas tax.

  7. 7
    Debt Free Says:

    There was an article in a recent Car & Driver magazine that looked at the subject of E85. Using a flex fuel Chevy Tahoe, the magazine found a substantial drop in fuel economy. It was as much as 25%! Although it’s great to save the environment and help eliminate the U.S. dependence on foreign oil, I doubt too many U.S. consumers are willing to incur a 25% increase in fuel bills to do it. If ethanol supplies can be increased, prices of E85 may drop and it may become more economicly viable for the average consumer. Given that ethanol production is heavily subsidized at the moment, the real cost is even higher.

    If the quantity demanded was high enough, however, there would be an economic incentive for supplies to increase and production methods to improve. We’d then see lower prices, leading to even greater productivity. Prices would then likely fall enough to offset the decreased fuel economy.

  8. 8
    Evil Gurgle Says:

    I measure gas milage every couple months (I drive a min. of 120 miles a day). I dropped from 30 mpg in my 2003 Jetta to 27 mpg when the Shell gas station I use swapped over. I don’t beleive in coincidences.

  9. 9
    Steve Says:

    I am an economic statistician by trade so I constantly collect data on numerous things just by habit. I’ve collected MPG stats on my 92 Sentra since I got her new years ago. Prior to the 10% ethanol switch, I would get a median average of 35MPG with a range of about +-1mpg. This was established over about the past 30k miles. After the ethanol switch, I am now down to a median average of 33MPG with a range of about the same as before. This shows a 2MPG drop or about 5%. I’ve racked on about 10k since the switch so my data is fairly conclusive: Ethanol switch did indeed drop my mileage by 5%.

  10. 10
    John Perez Says:

    Mileage has dropped at least 20% on the two vehicles we tested, resulting in an overall INCREASE in gasoline consumption and emissions.

    The assurances of a small 2% drop in mileage seem like propaganda to me, and someone is surely making money off of this while increasing damage to the environment. I suspect the “testing” done to ensure vehicle compatibility was a sham.

    Reprehensible.

    If only I had Al Gore’s e-mail address.

  11. 11
    Mark Peterson, Ph.D. Says:

    I am a Ph.D. chemist and worked in fuels research 20 years ago for a major oil company. My 2004 SAAB 9-3 has a trip computer. I live in Houston. Average gas mileage was just above 30 mpg on gaosline. Once the switch was made to 10% ethanol, that dropped to 24-25 mpg (for a 17% drop in gas mileage). No change in driving habits. I just got a new 2007 SAAB 9-3 and am getting 25.8 mpg over the first 3000 miles. This is easily tested by someone with an engine lab. I am surprised it hasn’t been done. I believe that not only is the energy content less (by about 3%), but that burn in the engine is less efficient (probably burns at a lower temperature). This means that the energy use is not as efficient and so gas mileage is reduced far more than the 3 % theoretical. I have a friend who is an R & D director for a major chemical company who has anecdotedly noted the same result in his car and those of about a dozen of his friends. No wonder we are using more gasoline this year!!

  12. 12
    Stets Says:

    I have a 2006 Dodge Ram. I keep very good track of mileage. 10% ethanol meant a 10% drop in mileage for me in both the Dodge and My Ford Explorer. That’s a fact. No driving changes. Just a change in fuel

  13. 13
    Beth Rodzinski Says:

    I’m so very glad to read these posts. I drive a Prius and have an absolute 10% drop in my mpg with the 10% ethanol blended gasoline. Going from 50 mpg to 45 makes it very obvious and I have a constant readout. We just need someone articulate and vocal to bring this to the fore to expose that it harms the air and water quality, costs the taxpayers a fortune in gov’t subsidies, raises the price of food and gasoline, and all for naught. It doesn’t get us any farther on a gallon of gas!

  14. 14
    Bill Goswick Says:

    My brother just ran a test on this. He took a trip to Missouri, filling up with 10 percent ethanol at a Quik Trip station in Tulsa on 22 November, and filling up with straight gasoline at a Phillips 66 station in Missouri before starting back to Tulsa. Driving a Lexus ES 350 (3.5 liter V-6 engine) he got 28 mpg on the tank with 10 percent ethanol, and 31 mpg on straight gasoline averaging approximately the same speed on both legs of the trip, which calculates to 7.14 percent better fuel mileage on straight gasoline. Of course, that’s only a single test, but it does seem to indicate a significant decrease in fuel mileage with a 10 percent ethanol blend. Seems very logical when you consider that ethanol produces significantly less heat when burned than gasoline.

  15. 15
    Maurice Bertrand Says:

    So now we pay the same in gas prices and get less mileage. What is that all about? My wife and I have also noticed a 15% drop in our mileage here in Texas. What can we do about it? We have checked and we dropped from 250 to 200 for a jeep and 300 to 250 on a chevy truck.

  16. 16
    Gary Says:

    I live in Maryland and have kept detailed records of fuel mileage for years. I experienced a drop of 10% on one vehicle and over 15% on another when the 10% ethanol became mandatory. Where is the advantage or savings in using 10% ethanol if we pay more to begin with and get fewer miles per gallon. We still burn the same amount or more gasoline plus the ethanol that is mixed in. We pay more and any reduction in pollution per gallon is more than offset by burning more gallons. We have been had!

  17. 17
    Roy Says:

    My Kia got from 33 to 36 mpg on the highway. Then it dropped down to 28 or 29 mpg. In Kansas E-10 by law dosnt have to be labeled as such. I asked the station owner where I by gas if it was E-10. He said yes and they started it right at the time my mileage dropped. I wish there was a way to find stations that sold pure gas. Ethanol sucks!!

  18. 18
    Steve Says:

    They just opened an Ethanol station in my area (Meijer). I have a 2005 Ford Explorer FFV. So I thought I would give it a try. The first thing I noticed is that my instantaneous/avg MPG readout was much lower than with regular gasoline. Normal highway is around 20. It looks like I am getting about 17 or maybe a little less with the E85.

    I guess part of the benefit is supposed to be cost as well. The E85 was $2.57. Regular was going for about $2.87 in the area. Doing the math on a 500 mile trip, the gas would be $71.75. Wit E85 the same trip would be $80.31. the the 30cent savings doesn’t really make up for the loss in MPG.

    I do get some pleasure in knowing I am not buying a gallon of foriegn product. And I think I am helping the environment. Maybe if we can improve the price of ethanol to even it out, and get more people buying, we really can get the oil prices to come down??

  19. 19
    tom Says:

    I have a 07 Prius and have tracked mpg for about 15 months. Used E10 mix for 3 months and have noted a 15% drop in efficiency.

    So now we will be using more fuel to travel the same distances; 5 gal of fossil fuel to produce 1 gal of ethanol; more smog as in summertime ethanol’s volitility pumps more pollutants into our air (EPA data);and ADM & Co take home our tax dollars in subsidies.

    Write your congresspersons and demand answers

  20. 20
    Joe Says:

    I measured a consistent 5% drop in my Civic when using MTBE and Ethanol blended fuel when they used it in my area. Stations could use either so I’m not sure if one had more negative impact than the other.

  21. 21
    Larry Says:

    With Oregon’s switch to 10% ethanol, my 2000 Beetle dropped from 26 mpg to 21 mpg. This 24% drop in gas mileage means my vehicle spews our MORE petroleum by-products than before, my cost for driving goes UP at least 24%, and the state of Oregon collects 24% more gas tax.

  22. 22
    Nick Says:

    Handy, very handy. Thank you guys.

  23. 23
    jay Says:

    I have been expierencing the exact same reductions in mileage with the ten percent ethanol in a 2006 G-6. Here in Kansas the stations don’t have to label the pumps and you must ask a clerk what you’re purchasing. How do we get this stuff abolished? I doubt any lawmaker will actually listen to reason.

  24. 24
    Thad Says:

    I live in Iowa, and we are being praised as providing the savior to the internal-combustion engine with ethanol. Well, I’m not convinced. I also did the fuel mileage check for myself and experienced 2 mpg loss. So I did the math for my family and here’s what I’ve come up with: If the ethanol blend(E10) is 11 cents cheaper per gallon then regular, then I break even on cost. Anything less than that, I put in the regular. I spend a little more at the pump ($2.00 at most), but I get an extra 30 miles out of a tank. I’m convinced that the sun is causing the earth to warm, not humans, so I would rather put a few extra bucks in my pocket every tank, than give in to the American love affair with ethanol. I suggest you do the math for yourself. If nothing else it’s a good mental activity and could save you a few bucks.

  25. 25
    Herb Says:

    Interesting dialog. I have 5 vehicles, two of interest might be a 1996 windstar and 1998 Wrangler. The windstar has 225k miles, always logged every gallon of gas that went in since new. Same with the Jeep, 200k miles. During the life of these vehicles we installed E10. I have graphed the consumption, shows the obvious annual flucuations due to temperature, also variability due to long trips. Nowhere in the data can you detect the installation of E10. So until somebody at a lab does the testing, I think people should avoid the anticdotal evidence. There was a lab that tested, search report ACE optimal ethanol blend study, that actually followed the BTU curve of the ethanol/gasoline blends, from straight gas to E85, but found some interesting peaks at intermediate blends. I know it was sponsored by ethanol, but was done by an independant lab. I am tempted to try them, but don’t really want to mess around with two pumps when filling. I would be interested in others that actually keep logs, graph the data, and show the results. Just watch what 10 degrees of temp does to your data. you can get the temp data from NOAA site.

  26. 26
    Andrew Says:

    This E10 stuff is SOME BULL. I used to get 16 mpg solid out of my silverado (5.7) and sometimes upwards of 18 on the highway. what do i get now with E10 everywhere? 12 city/13 highway. and we’re still being charged the same price as conventional gasoline! Al Gore is a dead man. hes about to incite a riot.

  27. 27
    Bill G Says:

    Dus10 – for your information, I check my gas mileage at every fill-up.

  28. 28
    Joshua Says:

    I suppose having a lab test would be nice, but considering most people are noticing the drop, I think there might be something to it. I didn’t even know I was running 10% a few months ago, but I did know my milage had dropped. I thought something was wrong with my car, I was getting a worried. Then I heard about the reduction in milage so I decided to test it out. I went to a station that sells straight gas, and every time, I get better milage. With 10%, I get about 400 miles, with straight gas, I get about 440. I’m glad its not my vehicle, but it ticks me off that I’m paying so much money for less efficiency. Plus, even if demand did get the price down, food prices would skyrocket out of control.

  29. 29
    Richard Scott Says:

    Oregon now requires E10. I record every gallon purchased. I recently took a trip to Colorado. Got 15.9 with E10, averaged 18.4 without. Note that the interstate speed limit here in Oregon is 65 and was 75 in Idaho, Utah and Wyoming. Didn’t travel on a freeway in Colorado but the limit was 70 on the 2 lane highway I drove. I go 86% as far on E10. E10 is costing us MORE foreign oil, not saving any.

  30. 30
    Nick in Oregon Says:

    My mileage is down 30% since the ethanol came online. Even had my fuel system cleaned, no difference.

    Plus, the dealership told me that the ethanol was likely responsible for my cracked o-rings.

    Thanks, ethanol!

  31. 31
    Pat in Oregon Says:

    My ‘98 Corolla has suffered a distinct drop in mileage with the mandatory E10 rule that went into effect last summer (in Portland). With 100% petroleum, I got 39 mpg. That’s about 25.6 gallons to go 1000 miles. With 10% ethanol, I use 30.3 gallons to go 1000 miles. If 90% of that is petroleum, I used 27.3 gallons of petrol. To coin an acronym my kids use, WTF? Ethanol appears to have degraded my performance so much I actually burn more fossil fuel than before. Is there a flaw in my math? I’m very diligent in checking my mileage and gas usage. Or is this just another con to line the pockets of oil producers?

    I’ve also read that ethanol (a solvent, not a lubricant), is very bad for older cars, and will degrade your fuel system. We’ve got three older cars, a 1998, a 1996 and a 1984.

  32. 32
    Rich Says:

    Yes, I’ve noticed about a 4 mpg drop in my escort doing all city driving, from 27 to 23. (since the E10 blend started) My car is 19 years old, so i hope that the ethanol isn’t screwing up my fuel system. I was wondering when they are going to switch back to straight gas, and if anyone knows of any stations that still sell straight gas even though the other ones are using the blend. Thanks everyone!

  33. 33
    Jim Says:

    10% ethanol in IA is ten cents less per gallon than regular. My car’s instant and average mpg drops 2 to 2.5 mpg using ethanol.
    For me ten gallons of Ethanol = about 190 miles (city).
    Ten gallons regular = 210 miles (city) so it’s actually $2 less per ten gallons to use regular gas over ethanol because ten gallons of regular only costs $1 more than ten gallons of ethanol, while I have to pay $3+ for a gallon of either gas to drive the extra approx. 20 miles I lose burning ethanol.
    Most people don’t figure this out and just use the cheaper priced ethanol without realizing its actually costing them more (total miles driven is the “hidden” higher cost of using ethanol).
    Octane also tells the same story. Regular is about 87 octane (more BTU’s = more power), ethanol is about 89 octane (less BTU’s = less power). Ethanol needs to be 0.30 cents less a gallon than regular for me to break even and drive the same total miles using it compared to regular gas.

  34. 34
    Jeff in Southern California Says:

    For about nine years, my 4 cylinder SLK has been consistently getting 27 mpg. In the last year, it has dropped to 25 mpg – over a 7% reduction. This seems to have occurred with the introduction of ethanol in the gasoline. This means if I travel the same number of miles per week, I am using virtually the same amount of oil as before, in addition to the ethanol. Considering the energy involved in the manufacture of the ethanol, it appears this 90/10 “solution” is contributing to the problem, not solving it. Do you think with big business and politics involved, the consumer has any chance this “solution” can be rethought?

  35. 35
    Dennis Atkins Says:

    I have a 1995 gsxr motorcycle, Last year I could run 87octane(100% gas). Now I have to use 97octane or it runs like its running out of gas at low rpm. My 1990 civic got 40.5mpg before, Now it gets 37mpg with the new ethanol gas. And yes i know how to check it.(most don’t)

  36. 36
    Darrell in Pennsylvania Says:

    I started noticing a drop in gas mileage the first of the year. I keep track of fill ups and mileage for business purposes. I was averaging 20 mpg prior to January. I am now averaging 15 mpg or a 25% loss. I contacted the local gas providers in the area and they confirmed they changed to an E10 formula in January. Prior to calling, not knowing what was going on, I asked about ten friends if they noticed a drop in mpg and they all confirmed they have. None of us knew what was happening. I started doing everything suggested to increase gas mileage – ie. tire pressure, etc without any change. At first I was thinking I was having engine problems of some sort. So now we are paying the same price at the pump but getting less miles for the product, while corn prices rise as well. I asked the provider if they had any suggestions and they suggested changing the fuel filter as the ethanol probably cleaned out the fuel system and gunked up the filter. My problem is that my fuel filter is attached to the fuel pump inside the gas tank, which means if it is gunked up and is causing problems, the E10 has just caused me another expensive headache. I asked if the pumps are marked indicating the blend is E10. I was told there is a small sticker that says it “may” contain up to 10% ethanol. I have yet to notice it. So, what do we do now?

  37. 37
    Bill in Delaware Says:

    You can stop this thread here.

    There have been many careful studies of the ethanol issue, Pimental at Cornel probably the best.
    Ethanol absolutely contains less energy when burned per gallon than gas. Thus the more alcohol you add the lower the mileage you will get until with 100% ethanol you would see about a 30% decrease in MPG. The actual mix in the gas you buy may vary since it is not mixed at the refinary but more locally. Ethanol is also more expensive than gasoline and goes up with the price of gas.
    It is a government boondoggle that helps get the vote in the midwest.
    We are now trading food for energy and according to most studies we are not getting much if any additional energy.
    This will pass due to the rapid increase in grain prices.

  38. 38
    Richard Scott Says:

    Ethanol contains about 70% as much energy as gasoline, so theory would suggest only a 3% loss of mileage when gas is diluted 10% with ethanol. But as postings above suggest, experience says something else is going on to reduce mileage below what theory suggests.

    The only “studies” I have seen online are published by ethanol advocates and they suggest a loss of 3% at most and some assert an increase in mileage–obviously an outright lie. I would like to see some organization with some credibility and reputation for objectivity do a study. The simplest would be to run a car using E10 on a track at a constant speed until the tank ran dry, then do the same with pure gasoline and compare distance traveled.

    BTW, the petroleum companies had to invest big bucks (big to us, pennies to them) to buy sophisticated mixing equipment, to insure it does get thoroughly mixed as it goes into the truck. The gas at the stations in Oregon is regularly tested to insure it meets the 10% standard.

  39. 39
    Steve Zeigler Says:

    I also drive a Prius in Oregon. So do several of my friends. Each of us noticed an immediate 12-20 % drop in mpg when Ethanol started, and ths has continued every tank for months, and for all driving conditions: city when from 46 down to 37; highway went from 53 down to 46.

    This is not anecdotal. This is measured. On tank after tank.

    Friends who do not drive riuses report similar drops, but with less accuracy. Hill climb power seems reduced – but is not measured.

    The burn of E10 must be weaker – i.e. the energy delivered by gasoline is hindered:
    1) Ethanol may absorb water
    2) Ethanol may change the burn of gas, perhaps by reducing the heat or molecular impact energy
    3) The computers may inject more gas (sensor)
    4) The E10 may “age”

    There are ethanol.org and other Ethanol insiders who claim otherwise. But we get what we get. And that is NOT Good.

    We need credible testing in real-world conditions. Not special mixes made on the spot, but “pump” E10. And against real controls, not un-identifiable gas. With gas tested chemically, not taking oil company word.

  40. 40
    Scott Says:

    I ride a motorcycle, and when i first started to ride this bike, I would get 192 (+/-4) miles before my low gas light would come on. Recently, it has been coming on at 166 miles. I have not changed my riding habits at all. I actually make a shorter highway commute to work, and yet, I have lost almost 20 miles per tank! 4.8 gallon tank. that’s boils down to a 5 mile a gallon loss. (light comes on with .75 gallons left in the tank). With my bike which was getting roughly 50 mpg, I now get 45. (I know, poor me) But think of the average car driver. If you drive a vehicle that gets 25 mpg, you now get roughly 20 mpg. Which means you fill up more frequently, spending more money on a lower quality product. Prices are going up, yet quality goes down! Is anyone else outraged about this!!?!?!?!

  41. 41
    James Johnson Says:

    LETS THINK
    ETHANOL= WASTING GAS & GRAIN

    Government statistics document that a mix of 15% ethanol and 85% gasoline “E85” will
    Produce a drop in gas mileage of approximately 20%. When I first read these figures
    I thought it sounded strange. So, I decided to make a “rule of thumb example” that could be easily related to by the average American, and here is what I came up with.

    Just to make things simple:
    A car traveling 100 miles and getting 10 mpg on regular gasoline.
    100 mi / 10 mpg = 10 gal of gasoline.
    The same car using E85 would get 20% less gas mileage, 80% of 10 mpg = 8 mpg.
    100 mi / 8 mpg = 12.5 gal of E85
    How much of this is gasoline ? 85% of 12.5 gal/mix = 10.625 gal. of gasoline.
    ?? I am trying to keep this simple .
    We just burned .625 gal more gas with the E85 mix plus the additional Ethanol.
    How much additional ethanol? 12.5 gal. mix – 10.625 pure gas = 1.875 gal of ethanol.
    It is my understanding that it takes about 1 gal of gasoline to make 1 gal of ethanol.
    So we have 1.875 gal (used to produce the ethanol) + .625 gal = 2.5 gal of additional gas or 25% more gas just to go the same distance as we did with straight gasoline.
    That’s 25% more pollution from gasoline and 25% more gas dependency per gal of E85 used, etc., obviously we are not reducing our oil dependency with this choice.
    Now we have to add in the Ethanol, another 1.875 gal with it’s associated pollution , environmental and geopolitical problems created by over farming our ground , changing our crop rotations and grain balances, both U.S. and exported.

    Even if you got the ethanol for free, you still used 6.25% more gasoline!

    I understand from people who drive flex fuel cars that the reduction in fuel mileage is closer to 30% to 35%. So here is the calculation for a 30% gas mileage reduction using the example above (7mpg).

    14.29 gal. of mix, 12.14 gal. of gasoline (a 21.4% increase in gas consumption before considering the gas it takes to produce the ethanol), 2.147 gal of ethanol and the matching 2.147 gal of gas to produce the ethanol. That’s a 42.9% increase in gasoline consumption for each gal. of gas used, plus the ethanol.

    I have never thought it a good thing to burn our primary food sources, no matter what the reason (unless of course its toast in the morning). However, if I were wanting to terrorize the U.S., this might be an effective way to do it.
    Of course these figures might not be perfect, but they should be good enough for rule of thumb.
    Additional thoughts:
    For the same 100 miles driven starting with 10 mpg on std gasoline at a price of $3.50 per gallon;
    Standard gasoline cost for 100 miles would be ……… $35
    E85 cost at the governments estimated 20% reduction….. $43.75.….or $4.38 per gallon.
    E85 at 30% (estimated by motorists) $50.00 ….or $5.00 per gallon.
    Figuring gas prices in this way gives us an equivalent price per gallon, looks like the gas companies are getting more per gallon, without raising the price. Just a thought.
    I estimate the 10% max. additive disclaimer now being used could reduce gas mileage 10% to 20%, most gas stations seem to have this disclaimer, good luck finding pure gasoline. My wife says when she uses pure gasoline in her new car, it increases the gas mileage about ……..20%!

    Sincerely,
    Jim Johnson
    Port charlotte, Florida 4/8/08

  42. 42
    Herb Says:

    Just for info, E85 means 85% ethanol, not gasoline. That is about as close as you can get to pure ethanol. And if you do the simple BTU calcs, that number quoted by the feds was pretty close to what you might expect for a linear adjustment based on BTU. But here we pay less than 80% of the price of normal gasoline for E85. I’ve been burning it in anything that will take it. It is a bargin, albeit highly subsidized.

  43. 43
    Roy Says:

    I posted here ealier about an 03 Kia. My milleage has gone back up to where it is supposed to be. I now use Shell V-power gas. The best grade they have. The only one without ethanol in it. I have gone from about 25 to 27 mpg back up to 34 to 36. That cost me between $3 and $3.50 a tank more to fill up but well worth it. You can pay less for ethanol but I wont. Not worth it.My tank is 11.7 gallons. I live in Kansas

  44. 44
    Roy Says:

    $3 and $3.50 a tank more to fill up that is. 11.7 gallons.

  45. 45
    Rusty Says:

    I have a 1982 model Kawasaki Motorcycle. It’s air cooled. Although ethanol burns cooler it does burn longer than gasoline and causes engines to retain more heat. As you can imagine I get a serious reduction in mileage, almost 30% or about 20 in stead of 10 and I just about burn up because the engine stays considerably hotter. Either way I read somewhere once that a tune up could make any engine run fine on E10 gas, you just have to tune it for that and then you would lose milage on non E10 gas, since I live in Tennessee I can be picky, but if you live in a state where it matters it might be worth doing a little home work about the tuning idea, although it couldn’t hurt any of us to have the car tuned by a pro at the current prices.

  46. 46
    Auston Says:

    I drive a 2000 Toyota Echo and live in Northern Kentucky (three counties alone have E10 and RFG in the gasoline). I keep detailed mileage logs, and as soon as I started filling up with straight gas in Ohio, I saw a 16% jump in mileage. It’s been consistent for the last two months, and when I filled up with E10, it IMMEDIATELY dropped back 15%.

    Ethanol is the biggest scam ever perpetrated on the American public by the energy industry.

  47. 47
    Rob Says:

    There is a definate loss in fuel mileage when using the ethanol fuel. I drive the exact same route between Nebraska and North Dakota a couple times a year in the same car. My mileage is always the same every time I check it. I get 5mpg better mileage with regular unleaded gas. I have quit using ethanol completely in both of my cars.
    Ethanol is bad for our economy and will soon be proven to be one of the greatest mistakes ever made.
    In a recent Popular Mechanics issue it was reported that it takes approx. 1.3 gallons of oil to produce 1 gallon of ethanol. This is tue to the cost to transport the fuel in diesel powered trucks. It’s just not worth it.

  48. 48
    Gian Says:

    I drive a 2006 Toyota Corolla XRS. Unfortunately it requires premium fuel. At first I thought oh gerat 10% ethanol mix. It’s good and good for you… Until I noticed a drop in fuel economy. I took a trip to St. Augustine from Tampa on the 10% mix and got about 290 miles for the tank. On the way back I used straight gas and made a return trip and got 330 miles for the tank. I had cruise control set to 75 both ways. Now to me that is a significant fluctuation in fuel economy. I say corn is meant to be eaten not driven on.

  49. 49
    Glenn Says:

    We recently purchased a 2008 Mercury Milan. I have two credit cards I use for gas. Mobil & Shell. My very first tank, averaged 26.2 MPG. The 2nd & 3rd…..increased to 27-28 MPG combination of city/highway. The last fill-up was at a Shell station. The first thing I noticed was a sign posted that Shell regular is now mixed with 10% Ethanol. (I live in VT.)

    I constantly monitor my wife’s Milan by checking the MPG reading on the dash. To my horror when I checked the readout with the 10% Ethanol mix, the MPG fell off by 3 mpg to around 23 MPG. Putting some highway miles on the vehicle improved it to 28 MPG, but the same type of driving with a previous fillup of Mobil delivered 32 MPG. I am guessing I am losing around 10% using the Ethanol mixture. And to add insult to injury, Shell is around
    3 cents higher than regular Mobil gas.

    Needless to say, I am going to inform Shell I will no longer purchase their gas as long they use an Ethanol mixture. We as consumers somehow have got to convince our ‘clueless’ politicians to give up on this Ethanol Craze. I am convinced that Ethanol is really consuming more oil than it saves.

  50. 50
    Norby Says:

    I have a new (8000 miles) 2008 Toyota Avalon. Before my Costco changed to 10% ethanol, I was getting 29 mpg highway and 24 mpg city; I am now getting 25 mpg highway and 21 mpg city. These are repeatable results.

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