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gasisoutrageous

Now sneaking E30 into the dad's car

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So the other night, I met my dad at the Carriage Hills J&H Marathon in East Lansing to fill up his car, in order to pay back some money he loaned me. His car was quite literally running on fumes, so he really needed a fill up.

 

It has been 6 days now, and I'm happy to report that there have been no issues with it, aside from a small amount of what I thought I noticed as rough idling. The '04 Impala has had NO reduction in mileage. How's that for cost savings?

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Negative, he was running E-15. My dad occasionally bought E10 when he was running low or had points to redeem on a gift card at Speedway, as the afforementioned Marathon is the nearest E-15 station short of driving all the way out to the ethanol plant.

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Car with a long history of e10-15... should not have much gunk in the fuel system from dino-fuel to be flushed out by increased ethanol content.

 

e30 is a very safe level of blend for about any fuel injected non-FFV car to handle... in spite of what the manual and many "experts" out there.  From my experience splash blending, beyond this, as you approach the CEL (check engine light) threshold (splash blenders like to see JUST HOW FAR they can push this threshold) you start to see a few "glitches" that would cause the car to behave noticeably different.  My '99 Lumina (before the kit) when pushing the threshold would start a bit rougher (especially when cold), would seem to loose power going up very steep grades at full speed, and sometimes have a hesitation in the idle...  but that was when I was pushing the e45-55 barrier...

 

At e30 you couldn't really tell that it was not e10.

 

If he's not seeing any loss of mileage, this really is a no-brainer.

 

There is some good data out there from some small college in southern Minnesota (dan may know more) from about 8-10 years ago where they tested mid level blends in non-FFVs for long term damage to the vehicle.  You may want to share this data with your dad.  With the age of the car, there is no warranty to worry about.

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My dad definitely supports ethanol (especially considering he makes a point of using it in his state vehicle and has been for years, as well as getting me into it), but he's not nearly as "zealous", if you will, about it.

 

My dad understands that E85 can't damage any fuel related component of a flex fuel vehicle. He's definitely not the uneducated consumer who assumes that ANY concentration of ethanol in ANY vehicle can cause serious damage. On the other hand, he doesn't understand the fuel quite as well as I do. He was awfully concerned when I snuck E15 into my mom's car, and was subsequently leery when I urged him to use it in his car.

 

Frankly, I wish everyone was at least at the level of my dad. I don't expect everyone to be a full-fledged activist, memorize every last station in their state, and frequently go out of their way to buy E85. But it seems reasonable to want the public to at least have an open mind to it.

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