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jmdomini

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About jmdomini

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  1. Haven't seen any MPG improvements yet, I can definitely say that wind plays a big part though. High winds again this morning, only got 15MGP at 75 mph. Got the Ultragauge working, support was not very helpful. The combination of forcing the mode to CAN and setting the shut off detection mode to "2" seems to have done the trick. Only tested it briefly to confirm that there wasn't an unexpected behavior. whowey, thanks for the heads up to the Green Fleet rebate. Wonder what my chances are of actually getting any money from the state? For those of you that don't know, our state government is broke and hasn't been paying all of it's bills. Overall I'm happy with my purchase. My one wish for it is that they would have made a V6 version. More power!! 8)
  2. I've been fighting high winds all week, gusting to 40mph at times. Running the AC at full blast because it's hot and humid as well. I'm sure as was pointed out that doesn't help. Haven't made any attempt to figure out city mileage yet. Will just have to see over time how the mileage works out. Tried to put the Ultragauge on it earlier this afternoon so I could watch what's going on a little more closely. The ECM went completely bonkers with it plugged in. It was like all of the electronics were running completely out of control. Had to unplug the Ultragauge turn off and restart the car to stop the "seizure". I don't know what that was all about, but I don't think I want to try that again!
  3. OK so looks like 22MPG highway running on E85, that's mostly 75 mph on rural interstate and 65 mph for about 10 miles of the outer Chicago suburbs. I mathematically calculated that value, however the DIC was only about 0.5 MPG off. It also exactly the EPA estimate from the window sticker for highway MPG on E85. According to the calculator on this site, even with regular gas being 4.12 and E85 being 3.25 right now in the long run it still costs more to run E85 losing that 8 MPG. On the other hand by using E85 your sending less money to countries that would be just as happy to blow us up as sell us oil, and it reduces CO2 emissions. Edit: Forgot to say that it seems like performance actually might have been a little better on E85. That might have just been in my head though.
  4. Well see probably later in the week, I have to burn through the tank of regular gas that's in there first. I can tell you though over the past few days I'm getting ~30 MPG driving mostly rural highways and a few farm roads on regular gas. I'll be very interested to compare both mileage and performance running on E85.
  5. The saga is over, the Malibu is gone and has been replaced with a 2011 Chevy HHR. Probably would not have been my first choice to go with another GM vehicle after going through this service nightmare. However another dealer would not have given me almost all of what I owe on the Malibu. They were guilted into it since they pretty well killed it! They most certainly will not be so much as touching the new car going forward! It's also flexible fuel "out of the box" so I'm all set there as well. ;D
  6. Here's the latest in the ongoing saga. The dealer has has the car all week, they contacted GM's techline on Monday who suggested that there was probably debris logged in the heater core and recommended back flushing the cooling system. If that didn't fix it, then replacing the heater core would be the next step. So they back flushed the cooling system on Monday which did not help. So they agreed to replace the heater core mostly at their cost, they were going to just charge me $250. They spent most of the rest of the week working on that, and drum roll..........it didn't fix it. They are not going to charge me at all now for replacing it since it was time wasted. So this week they are going to start tearing down the engine again to see if they missed something in the first go around, or perhaps "forgot something" inside (eyes rolling). I suggested that perhaps they should take a look at the head gasket. He dismissed that and stated it couldn't possibly be the cause. At the end of the day I have to wonder if it wouldn't have cost them less to just replace the bleeping engine with a factory rebuilt one, or even a new one instead of playing lets guess which parts are broken until we get it fixed! I wish they would just give up and pay off what I owe on the car and junk it! >
  7. Well surprise surprise it's still not fixed! :mad: If anything it's worse! Left the car with my parents, my Dad is kind enough to drop it off for me tomorrow so I don't have to take time off of work and let me borrow one of their cars for the week. I'm getting pretty disgusted with this, how many tries is it going to take for them to get it fixed right? I'd like to take it somewhere else at this point, but I don't want to pay to have someone else fix their mistakes. 1outlaw, here's the answer to your questions.... >>Did they clean/flow injectors? Were they fouled? Yes to both, they were cleaned off-car on a injector cleaner machine. >>Can you get at the plugs that were on the problem bank? Yes, but it's a real PITA they are the back plugs which are up against the firewall. Taking them out on a regular basis is not a thought I relish. >>How much oil use have you had at 3,000 miles after an oil change? (1 quart?) Less than a quart, it's more like a quart per 5000 miles. >>What oil is being used? (Viscosity, brand, and mineral/synthetic blend/full synthetic?) Valvoline Maxlife 5W30, it's a synthetic blend. >>Oil change interval? Based on the oil life indicator, I normally change it when it's at around 25%. This typically results in roughly a 5000 mile interval. Normal drive cycle? (city, rural hwy, mixed- and most importantly- run time) 95% rural highway and/or interstate typically put on about 100 miles a day.
  8. Dropped off the car at the dealer last night, they spent most of the day working on it today. Just got it back a little while ago. Seems to be running well knock on wood. Won't know for sure until morning when this engine is cold if the gurgling is resolved, they said there was air trapped in the engine and they spent a good two hours purging it out though. Seems to me they should have done that when they originally put everything back together. ??? Outlaw1, it did have OEM plugs in it. Another completely non-ethanol related question, as I noted carbon buildup has been a long running problem with this car. Well before it started burning oil (or at least enough for me to notice). Is there anything that actually works to keep deposits at bay? I typically will pickup a bottle of Gumout Fuel System Cleaner at Farm and Fleet about once a month and throw it in the gas tank. That clearly hasn't accomplished a dang thing however.
  9. Corey, I think you're on to something here. Two of the conditions that you mentioned were present, a slight issue with burning oil (about a quart between oil changes) along with heavy carbon buildup. Actually carbon buildup has been a long running issue with this car. So I'd say it's quite possible that what happened was pre-ignition and it could have been going on for some time to a lesser extent unnoticed. Replacing the upper and lower intake gaskets were a give and covered by the power train warranty, the extra charges were for cleaning off the carbon deposits, piston work (rings I assume), fuel injectors, flushing the oil and coolant system and some other unrelated repairs (transmission and power steering). Still not fixed right, first cold start of the day it sounds like running water in the heater core. Also I had filled up the tank with premium gas the day I picked it up and it ran great. Well, had to fill it up today and regular gas is now up to $4.29 in my area so I wasn't going to spring for premium. It's not liking 87 octane, idling rough and feels like it lost quite a bit of power. Dan-As far as I know the gaskets are silicone rubber on this engine. I immediately though if the Dex-Cool fiasco with blown gaskets though. GM claims that this is no longer an issue however, that said not sure I believe them.
  10. Hi All, wanted to drop in with an update. The past month has been crazy busy, so I haven't really had time to post. Unfortunately the lower intake manifold gasket and head gasket failed causing anti-freeze to leak into the oil leading to major engine damage. Fortunately rebuilding the engine was covered by the power-train warranty, made it just under the wire since I have 97,000 miles on it. However there were $2200 in additional repairs needed that were not covered. Still having issues with the car, back to the dealer it goes on Friday. The dealer is not aware of my adventures with ethanol, it had been several fill-ups since ethanol was last in the car. I had changed the spark plugs since experiencing the detonation and did not see any evidence of detonation caused damage their either. Some of the electrodes were quite eroded, but other than that nothing unusual. So the question is, could running ethanol in a non-flex fuel car have been responsible for my seal failures and resulting engine failure? Or is it just fine GM quality to blame here?
  11. Well, I got a little over over confident after doing so well with 50% E85 and seeing Dan's great results with the 2.2L and decided to throw 100% E85 at my 3.5L. That turned out to be not such a good idea. Filled it up and drove it home a few miles from the gas station and all was well. Took it out the next morning started fine, it became obvious within about five minutes however that the engine was not happy. Accelerated gently from a stop sign and PING PING from the engine, uh oh detonation x2. CEL came on about 30 seconds after that. After the CEL things seemed to stabilize and the engine ran normally for 50 miles. Went to visit my parents, so the car was parked for a while. Left early evening and same exact performance again including the x2 detonations followed by everything running normally for 50 miles. I pulled the codes, which were lean on bank 1 &2 (P0171,P0174) didn't need a scan tool to tell me that! Filled it back up with regular gas, I at roughly 60% E85 at this point with no CEL's and normal performance. I would say that to err on the side of caution, I would consider 50% to be the maximum safe ratio at this point. There is no immediate apparent damage done to the engine by the detonations. I don't hear any bits of metals getting slapped around by the pistons. I will have to keep an eye out for oil consumption and coolant level. I hope my recklessness didn't seriously reduce the lifespan of the engine. :'(
  12. OK I filled her up with half a tank of E85 on lunch today (so it's running 50% E85).Drove it home 50 miles, mostly highway with no apparent ill effects. Engine seems to be running nicely, no hesitation, hard starting, sputtering or anything else unusual. It took at WOT twice and acceleration was normal. Got 24.7 MPG which is within the normal range I get of that trip on gasoline (24-28MPG). Keep in mind the car has 94,000 miles on it and could use new spark plugs. So we'll see over the next few days how it goes. Experimenting beyond 50% gets messy since it's not like I can buy E60. I'll have to do the math and figure out how many gallons of each. First thing is to figure out the capacity of the gas tank, I've never let it get down to empty. 1outlaw, right now I only have a very basic scanner. It's the kind that will just let you read the codes and turn off the CEL and that's all. I'll have to check out the one you mentioned. I'd kill for a Tech 2 tool that the dealers have, then I could really poke around. They cost some serious $$$$$$ though. Johnny Energy, thanks for the information. I'm not quite ready to go down that road yet. If would be nice if someone could come up with a chip solution, or something that would plug in to the OBDII connector for these sorts of situations. I was wondering if it would be possible to make a harness that would go at the ECU end of things instead of on the injectors themselves, I haven't found a wiring diagram so far for the connectors on the ECU however.
  13. This is somewhat encouraging, don't know why I couldn't find this thread earlier when I was searching the site. http://e85vehicles.com/e85/index.php?topic=4573.0 He was able to run 100% E85 with no ill effects other than throwing a CEL. Didn't mention which engine however. So far I've only run E20 which ran perfectly, it's easily available at a local fleet fuel depot as is E85. I was thinking of bumping it up to 50% and seeing what happens.
  14. Has anyone successfully converted a 2008 Chevrolet Malibu Classic /2007 Malibu V6 3.5L to E85? I've been looking into this for some time, you can't use the standard kits that are available which plug in directly to the fuel injectors. On this engine you need to remove the intake manifold to access the fuel injectors, that's not going to happen. Besides, looking at the Haynes manual I have it appears even if you did the injectors plug directly into the fuel rail and the fuel rail then plugs into a single harness. So in other words there would be nothing to plug the cables into any way. I've read that you can cut the wires and splice in the converter. I'm really reluctant to do this, if this adventure doesn't work out it's not easily removable. I'm also concerned about mixing up the wires and really messing up the car. Are there no other options out there?? The second part of this has to do with the ECU itself. Along the way I discovered that the ECU used in this vehicle is the same part number as the ECU used in the 2007 Impala which is native flexible fuel. So what's missing on the Malibu that it's not E85 compatible while the Impala is? Is the programming of the ECU different between these two vehicles even though it's the same part?
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