Jump to content

Gasoline vs gasohol


JayW

Recommended Posts

A search revealed that ethanol has been discussed on these forums in the past, but I have some additional questions.

 

It is my understanding that, given the same octane rating, gasohol confers no benefits over pure gasoline and may have some disadvantages including less energy/gallon. I used to favor Shell gasoline, but it looks like they have ethanol in all their fuels now. I read somewhere that BP fuel is free of ethanol, but the station I tried had the 10% ethanol sticker on their pumps too.

 

Where can I get pure gasoline? Are there any branded fuels that do not have any ethanol? If a pump does not have the advisory sticker, then is it safe to assume it is pure gasoline? Should I relax and just stick with any Top Tier station regardless of ethanol content?

 

Any comments or thoughts are appreciated.

 

Jay

Link to comment
I used to favor Shell gasoline, but it looks like they have ethanol in all their fuels now.

I think that's regional because I haven't seen any ethanol stickers on Shell pumps around here, and AFAIK such notification is required.

Link to comment

In California, you can expect up to a 15% ethanol blend in normal pump gas, which is used as an oxygenating agent and octane booster. This is done seasonally during the Winter months between October and March. Some stations run it all year.

 

FYI the term "Gasahol" is generally applied to blends over 15% ethanol, like E85, (85% ethanol) that is becoming increasingly available in some places. A 15% ethanol blend is typically the limit most manufacturers place on non flex-fuel gasoline engines.

Link to comment

About 15 years ago Ford Motor Company "gave" us test vehicles to see how they performed and lasted. They ran on E85 Methanol. The biggest thing I remember is that the fuel ate the fuel delivery system. That stuff must be pretty corrosive. The gas mileage was no better. It ate fuel lines, fuel pumps and anything else along the path that wasn't "beefed up". The performance wasn't there (for a police car).

I'd personally like to find a fuel company that won't have any of that other "thol" stuff in it...if it's possible.

Link to comment

Most of the bio blends whether gas with alcohol or diesel bio blend have a nasty habit of "cleaning" the fuel system all at once. Resulting in clogged fuel filters, injectors, destroyed injector pumps(diesel), fuel pumps and possible damage to the engine if too much garbage makes its way into the combustion chamber. A safety notice, for the reasons above, just went out to power plants that rely on emergency backup generators as the petroleum/government industry has decided that B5 diesel (5% blend of biodiesel) requires no customer notification.

 

I filled up at a BP this summer that had just put the "Contains up to 10% ethanol" and my bike barely made it home. Now there may be other reasons like I filled up right after they got filled, they just got their first delivery of ethanol and thier system emptied all of its garbage into my tank or just a bad batch. But I sucked it out and bought some Chevron with Techron.

Link to comment

In MN there are still some stations that have a premium gasoline that is without ethanol. In addition, it is available at Marinas and airports that sell MoGas.

 

You can check for the presence of ethanol by adding about 10% water to a test tube sample of fuel, shaking it for a couple of minutes, and then see if the water volume has increased. If it has, the water has removed ethanol from the mixture. Unfortunately the remaining gasoline has reduced octane so it is unusable.

Link to comment

 

Where can I get pure gasoline? Are there any branded fuels that do not have any ethanol? If a pump does not have the advisory sticker, then is it safe to assume it is pure gasoline? Should I relax and just stick with any Top Tier station regardless of ethanol content?

 

 

Jay

 

I don't think you can get any gasoline without ethanol in it in the U.S. as of late. I think it is safe to assume (never assume..right?) that the BMW bikes as well as others have been using Viton seals (or whatever is 'alcohol proof') in the fuel system parts....? I think my 05 Nissan truck has them....I hope! But I must say I know people with cars and trucks from the late 80's/early 90's that have been using gas/ethanol mixture with no fuel leaks or related problems (yet)...I would prefer not to have ethanol, but I have no choice.

Link to comment

In Iowa usually 2 of the 3 grades have 10% ethanol. Because of subsidies, the 89 Octane wiht 10% ethanol is normally $0.10-0.20 cheaper than 87 Octane without ethanol. If both have ethanol, they are often the same price.

 

So that makes choosing fuel for the car a little tricky. Do I pay 5% more for 87 octane without ethanol and likely get 5% better mileage, or go with the 89 octane with 10% ethanol, support local farmers...but help cause food prices to go up.

 

In Missouri, I believe they passed a law or were considering one that requires no labeling at the pump so that more E10 is used since noone will know if it contains it. I think they found many were avoiding using it. OTOH, my lawnmower and string trimmer recommend NOT using it. Partly for stability.

Link to comment
About 15 years ago Ford Motor Company "gave" us test vehicles to see how they performed and lasted. They ran on E85 Methanol. The biggest thing I remember is that the fuel ate the fuel delivery system. That stuff must be pretty corrosive. The gas mileage was no better. It ate fuel lines, fuel pumps and anything else along the path that wasn't "beefed up". The performance wasn't there (for a police car).

I'd personally like to find a fuel company that won't have any of that other "thol" stuff in it...if it's possible.

 

Agreed.

Link to comment

In Alabama they passed a law this summer requiring 10% ethanol. The only effect I've seen to date is that if let the stuff sit it seems to mess with carbs more, and it killed or damaged a great many lawn mowers. which are simply not meant to run the stuff in many cases.

Link to comment
In MN there are still some stations that have a premium gasoline that is without ethanol. In addition, it is available at Marinas and airports that sell MoGas.

 

You can check for the presence of ethanol by adding about 10% water to a test tube sample of fuel, shaking it for a couple of minutes, and then see if the water volume has increased. If it has, the water has removed ethanol from the mixture. Unfortunately the remaining gasoline has reduced octane so it is unusable.

 

The water problem has become very noticeable in the marine environment. Boat fuel tanks develop a lot of condensation and the ethanol exacerbates the problem just as mentioned above in the test tube experiment. It happens to an entire tank of fuel.

 

The new bio diesel also has problems and they are also cutting the sulfur content in the fuel so the lubricating ability is less. A lot of us use Marvel's Mystery Oil to help.

Link to comment
In Alabama they passed a law this summer requiring 10% ethanol. The only effect I've seen to date is that if let the stuff sit it seems to mess with carbs more, and it killed or damaged a great many lawn mowers. which are simply not meant to run the stuff in many cases.

 

Actually, the 10% ethanol blend in itself isn't harmful for lawnmowers (I've had to use it for years) but in some parts of the country, there are still stocks of gas with MTBE in it. Alcohol and MTBE are completely incompatible, and if they are mixed, a gummy substance forms that clogs small carburetors. This has been a problem with motorcycles in many areas right after the switch from MTBE to ethanol.

Link to comment

Ethanol, get used to it. 10% ethanol in your gas is now a national policy that is unlikely to change in the foreseeable future. There may be a few stations that have not made the change, but I know of none in Oregon, Washington or idaho. When I first started using it in my 2002RT, I thought I could detect some low end changes, but overall, the bike continued to run just fine. I now have a new K1200GT and it has never tasted anything but the ethanol blend and it runs like the proverbial bat out of hell. I also have been feeding the blend to a hopped up 1991 FXSTC with no noticeable changes in performance. But, unless I can find the mythical, pure gas station or buy racing fuel, I may never know. I fear there is a lot of paranoia and misinformation regarding the 10% blend. <<<<>>>>

Link to comment

I have no way of quantifying whether or not my bike has suffered any power-related issues with the advent of 10% ethanol. However I do have the obvious method of determining whether or not mileage was affected. Before ethanol, I was able to get 50 - 52 mpg. After ethanol, I never again hit 50 mpg. Unscientific, as I can't rule out possible changes I may have made in how I ride, but I suspect they are negligible. I have heard horror stories of how ethanol "cleaned" fuel systems and dissolved the epoxy-lining of some gas tanks. Hopefully the majority of those problems were solved.

Link to comment

Thanks for all the responses. It sounds like straight gasoline is going the way of the leaded stuff. I am glad to hear that it does not seem to hurt mowers - I'd hate for my unmolested 1972 Dynamark push mower with Briggs & Stratton easy spin starting 3.5 HP engine to die prematurely. :mad:

 

Note: I thought I posted the above last night, but it seems to have disappeared so I'm trying again.

 

Jay

Link to comment

At the Shell station where I fuel my bike, the low and mid-grade have a 10% ethanol sticker, but the premium 93% does not.

 

MTBE was supposed to be some real bad stuff to many under-ground water tables.

Link to comment

Well now, finally a thread that may confirm my suspicitions:

 

I've had carb prob's for a time lately. The bike runs poorly.

 

After recently removing and rebuilding my R90S DelOrto carbs, I found a presence of a gummy, sticky substance in the bore of the carbs, and the intake manifold inlets..I drained the gas tank and found the interior degraded..( which years ago I had cleaned and re-sealed, i.e. slosh). The tank is basically junk now. I will have to find a way to remove the gummy residue and reseal.

 

I'm not a chemist, but obviously gasoline has changed. I don't like the way it ages, especially in a bike that I don't ride that often. And I especially don't like what it did to my tank.

 

Thanks Chevron. :dopeslap:

 

 

MB>

 

Link to comment
Well now, finally a thread that may confirm my suspicitions:

 

I've had carb prob's for a time lately. The bike runs poorly.

 

After recently removing and rebuilding my R90S DelOrto carbs, I found a presence of a gummy, sticky substance in the bore of the carbs, and the intake manifold inlets..I drained the gas tank and found the interior degraded..( which years ago I had cleaned and re-sealed, i.e. slosh). The tank is basically junk now. I will have to find a way to remove the gummy residue and reseal.

 

I'm not a chemist, but obviously gasoline has changed. I don't like the way it ages, especially in a bike that I don't ride that often. And I especially don't like what it did to my tank.

 

Thanks Chevron. :dopeslap:

 

 

MB>

 

That's exactly what you get when you mix MTBE with ethanol.

Link to comment

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...