Tuesday, October 21, 2008


Is your vehicle a Flex Fuel vehicle? If the answer is yes, then it can run on E85 Ethanol. E85 is 85% Ethanol , 15% gasoline. The question is should you buy and use E85? Here are a few facts about E85 Ethanol. Ethanol significantly reduces your fuel mileage because alcohol contains less energy than gasoline. The EPA says you will get about 7 mpg less with E85 that with 100% gasoline. You need to figure the lower mileage coupled with the cost to actually see if using E85 will save or cost you money. In most cases it cost more to run than gasoline. Another downside to E85 is that to grow corn to make E85, American farmers are plowing up native prairie grass that is breeding ground for wildlife and planting corn. They are also not planting soybeans and instead switching to corn. This has not only driven up the price of soybean derived products, but the increased demand has driven up the price of all corn based products. In Brazil they are burning down the rainforest to grow sugarcane for ethanol and soybeans for biodiesel. Some studies indicate that it requires more fossil fuel energy to produce ethanol than the alcohol it contains. Ethanol also cannot be transported by pipeline but rather must be transported by truck or rail which uses more diesel fuel. And lastly, the use of E85 has increased the price of food all over the world. These are the facts, you be the judge. 

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Mayfield, Ky, United States
Retired and have been working on automobiles for over 50 years. I have learned that the best way to care for your car is to DIY. I personally do not trust the kid working at Spiffy Lube to change my oil. If, I want it done right I do it myself. Automobiles today are very complex but some things you can still do yourself. I have years of experience working on all kinds of vehicles and want to pass along what I have learned to those wishing to DIY.