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scottcunni

Whats a good spread

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I just purchased a 2008 Impala flex fuel and I'm trying to make heads and tails about the best percentage to use E85 ? It seems with my driving habits regular gas at $3.19 gets me 40 Miles further on a tank full than E85 at $2.99. its all about how much I'm putting out weekly in gas budget. Guess I may have to do a month at a time on each blend to see what price difference makes the most sense ?

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Approaching things scientifically will probably be your best bet.  Write everything down.  Figure out your mileage, and then figure out what the price difference needs to be, in percent, to justify buying E85.

 

Also know that some vehicles prefer blends like E20, E30, and so on.  My old converted Ford gets the best mileage on E20 out of anything, E0 included, although it makes the most power on E85.  So sometimes I'll buy E85, even though it costs a little more to run, to get the additional power.  That's a qualitative decision that everyone has to make for themselves.

 

Keep a small notebook, a pencil, and a calculator in the car.  It helps a lot.

 

Let us know how it goes!

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I have a 2002 Ford Taurus and have been tracking mileage vs. various Ethanol blends over the past 10,000 miles or so with a mix of city/highway driving... 

 

My experience is that for E10 to E40, I get around 24 mpg with almost no variation due to ethanol; at most maybe a 5% drop at E40 over E10.

 

At E50 to E85, I get around 19 mpg with again little variation. 

 

Between E40 and E50, I get around 21 mpg.

 

This is splash blending with assumptions of 10% in regular and 70/75/85% in E85 (dependant on the season), so there is some uncertainty in the exact mixture. 

 

As long as E85 is less than the price of E10, I mix to approximately E35.  If E85 gets less than about 75% the price of E10, then I will go straight to E85.

 

Your Impala will probably have a different profile due to the fuel mapping by the car, your driving habits, etc.  But keep track for a while and you should be able to determine the most economical mix for you.

 

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I see I just turned MN yellow again yesterday. No doubt the $2.49 price in Monticello (lowest on the national board) helped. Didn't help me much tho since I only had room for 4 gallons after filling in Alexandria, 20 cents higher. One reason ND has such lousy spreads lately is the gas there has been about 15 cents cheaper, $2.99 for Christmas, now about $3.05.

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I stopped at the Wexford GetGo station today and was surprised at the $2.99 E85 price and E10 at $3.39.  I believe that is a 12% spread.  The E85 is trucked in from a plant on the southeastern side of Cleveland, Ohio.  That is about a 135 mile trip one way for the tanker.  I will attemp to stop at this same location in mid-January to see what effect the expiring tax credit has on prices.

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I see I just turned MN yellow again yesterday. No doubt the $2.49 price in Monticello (lowest on the national board) helped.

 

... and now it's gone after I posted a 6%...  ;D

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