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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-16-2019, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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Gasoline

My 2016 6 shows to use 87 octane regular unleaded fuel and that most 10% ethanol is ok but my question is, is it better to use the non ethanol 87 octane not just for better gas mileage but to be easier on the engine?
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-16-2019, 07:56 PM
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Originally Posted by jdelmoral81 View Post
My 2016 6 shows to use 87 octane regular unleaded fuel and that most 10% ethanol is ok but my question is, is it better to use the non ethanol 87 octane not just for better gas mileage but to be easier on the engine?
Non ethanol fuel is better by nearly every metric.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-16-2019, 09:26 PM Thread Starter
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Then that is what I will use. Thank you!!!
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-16-2019, 11:20 PM
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Hard to find regular gas that doesn’t contain any ethanol at least around here in BC. The only ones I see that don’t contain any ethanol is premium grade fuel such Chevron Supreme Plus 94 octane.
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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 08:43 AM
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Non-ethanol fuel will give you better fuel economy but it's almost-never worth the extra cost, which is typically exorbitant. In a car there's no storage issue as the fuel system and tank is closed-cycle (no outside air access) when shut down, unless your turnover rate is EXTREMELY low (e.g. a tank every six months or something like that.) The issue that arises here is that ethanol is hygroscopic (picks up water vapor from the air) so in a fuel system that has atmospheric air exchange you can run into severe problems with water content and corrosion.

Now in something where that's not true (e.g. marine engines where the tank is vented to the outside air, no charcoal canister closed-circuit system, etc) it's a different story. But this doesn't apply to any car made since the introduction of the first series of emissions controls, which prohibited to-atmosphere tank vents on passenger vehicles. If you have water in your fuel in a modern car it was in the storage tank at the gas station and you pumped it in unknowingly! Indeed if the fuel system is NOT sealed (e.g. you forget to put the cap back on the fill, etc) your check engine light will come in on all modern vehicles as they test the integrity of the vapor recovery system as part of normal operation and an unsealed system will trip a code.

There is no issue with ethanol being "hard" on the engine; before ethanol was put in fuel there was a potential issue with fuel system seals (O-rings and similar) that were not designed for ethanol and could deteriorate severely. This is no longer a factor.

Last edited by tickerguy; 07-17-2019 at 08:50 AM.
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
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I think that the 87 octane here in Oklahoma with no ethanol is $2-3 more to fill than 10% ethanol from a low gas light to full tank
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019, 12:35 PM
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BTW last winter I rebuilt the carb of an old snowthrower (think Tecumseh 2-cycle engine here!) that had the old classic diaphragm-pump style carburetor in it. It would not start but had compression and spark, so it had to be fuel.

Took the carb off and disassembled it; the diaphragm literally disintegrated in my fingers. The rubber gasket that sealed it likewise came out in pieces. It was obviously no longer doing any pumping of fuel, thus, no start.

The problem is that while you can get parts for that carb still, believe it or not, nobody is going to spend a nickel re-engineering them out of ethanol-compatible material. So if you put alcohol-laced gas back in the unit the same thing will happen again.

After replacing those soft parts and cleaning the mess up that they left while disintegrating it ran great. 40 year old -- literally 40 year old -- 2-stroke engine. New plug, rebuilt carb, smoked like a chimney as it always did (32:1 mix) but not a thing wrong with it. All of the geartrain components in the unit were METAL, and were in perfectly-good shape as well. Nobody makes anything modern in that sort of fashion any more, of course, and the eco-weenies killed the 2-stroke motors even for something like a snowthrower, but heh -- the person who has it now has one that will likely outlive HIM.

So yeah, ethanol in fuel can be a problem. But not so much in a car made in the last 20 or so years. It's "problem" is that it has less energy in it than straight gasoline, so it's inevitably going to harm fuel economy and there's no way around that. I think it's a crap sop to the corn industry simply on that basis alone, especially now -- the original argument for it was that the higher oxygen content in ethanol helped clean up emissions, and this was certainly true before modern, closed-loop, closed-cycle engines (e.g. throttle-body injected and before.) But it's not true anymore - it does exactly nothing to reduce hydrocarbon emissions in modern port or DI fuel injected engines that run closed-loop with oxygen sensors and catalytic converters and therefore, the argument for it originally has expired.
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 12:54 AM
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Hands down, if price is not an issue, and I simply want the very best of the best, what should I run in this car? Ethanol, no ethanol, 87 octane, 93 octane, etc. What is the very best fuel for a stock engine that maximizes performance not caring about cost?

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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 08:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jake Wilcox View Post
Hands down, if price is not an issue, and I simply want the very best of the best, what should I run in this car? Ethanol, no ethanol, 87 octane, 93 octane, etc. What is the very best fuel for a stock engine that maximizes performance not caring about cost?
In theory the car could do best on 93 octane pure gasoline. In practice there are way too many variables you cannot control.


My suggestion would be make a spreadsheet and track every tank of fuel; brand, ethanol, octane, and take notes.
After 45000 all I can really tell you:
- Best economy has been in June
- Worst was in January (warming up the car)
- Overall best brand has been Shell
- Highest mileage was on Speedway, which is not licensed as a Top Tier fuel
- Sticky brake caliper was dropping my mileage by 3%
- Plugs, wires, and the coil netted less than 2% increase.



Now most of these items are all about me- where/when/how I drive. Your Mileage Will Vary.
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 07-24-2019, 10:04 AM
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Here in Jacksonville there is a place where all of the fuel trucks fill up their tankers. It's all the same gas being pumped into differently branded tanks. To my knowledge, the only difference that could take place is whatever additives the tanks have in them before they fill up.

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