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1,000 gallons and counting

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Well, I don't have the big 100,000 mile claim yet (at least not on one engine...but if you add up the stock engine run on E85 and the improved rebuild, it's about there), but just before the holidays, I filled up with my 1000th gallon of E85 on the engine rebuild!  Some of the quick stats:


Total Mileage:  27,322

Overall mpg:  27.3

[gasoline mpg averaged 26.7 for 17 vehicles over 300,000 miles on fuelly.com]

Total paid for E85: $3,069


Savings on E85 vs Premium (corrected for MPG) $608.79


Savings on E85 from 9,000 mile oil change vs 5,000 on gasoline:  $120 (About 2-1/2 oil changes less on E85)


Total Savings $729!!


Overall, everything continues to work well.  I replaced some suspension components this past summer, but when I took the car in for alignment, the shop I went to botched the job…scrubbed down a set of tires in about 10K miles, so currently working on alignment #2 from a different shop.


I have 9500 miles on my latest oil fill – this brought the level down to the ‘add’ line, so I added 1/2 quart and plan run to ~12K miles....and hopefully warmer weather!


I have come to the conclusion this turbo is somewhat over sized for what I want.  The boost comes on quick around 3400-3500rpm which is right about where the calculations indicated it should, but with the TSX 6th gear, that means cruising 90+mph. So when I find a nice open stretch of interstate posted at 75mph and exercise a few mph of ‘leeway’ between my speedo and the officers radar gun, the car is a blast to drive. 


But for the more mundane 60-70mph highway runs, still plenty of power, but it loses that ‘snappy’ throttle response until I downshift to get the revs back in the sweet spot.  Since I do way more cruising than drag racing, I think a smaller turbine section would be happy to boost in the 2800-3000rpm range which should up the efficiency at ‘normal’ highway speeds.  So may have to re run some numbers and do a turbo change out this coming spring.


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Hey Corey I'm going to go for a MPG tune for the HHR (FFV) .. Just been thinking about the astm requirements that changed last year to allow 51% ethanol to be sold as E85.



That's been bugging me a bit..wondering if maybe I should have the tune done now on Winter Blend ..verifying of course that's it's E70 or so..just to be safe on the rich as well as lean side.. makes sense or I'm over thinking it?

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Ya, the ASTM hosed us again with that 51% bit - it's crazy hard to build an optimized engine when you never know what the fuel is going to be.  Can you imagine a gas engine that had to run on 60 octane, 87 octane or 93 octane.  About the only practical thing would be give it about 4:1 compression and let it run on 60!  That is the state we're at now with E85.


Anyway, tuning on E70 seems like a decent middle ground.  I always try to minimize the fuel trims, because that means the base calibration is pretty close and when you jump to open loop, you're already pretty close.  Without an ethanol sensor and some sort of feedback, it's about the best we can hope for.

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