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E85 concentration level and pump signage #4552249
10/23/17 05:57 PM
10/23/17 05:57 PM
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 939
IL
04SE Offline OP
04SE  Offline OP
Joined: May 2007
Posts: 939
IL
My usual station sells E10, E15, E30, E50 and E85. The E85 button says 51-83% ethanol concentration.

I wasn't able to make it to my usual E85 station so I used a station I haven't used before. Their E85 seems to be more gasoline than E85 as my truck has obviously reverted back to the gasoline tune (reduced HP/TQ). So, I have been trying to research the ethanol content minimum percentage required to trigger the E85 tune in my truck. Internet wisdom pins it between 70 and 80 percent.

Today I visited a third station in my quest for E85 with high ethanol concentration (still unable to make it across town to my usual station). I took the below picture at this third station. The button clearly states 70% minimum whereas the tag next to the nozzle cradle indicates 51-83%. I know the blend it down for the winter but which tag is the real/required specification?

I am planning on contacting my state's department of Ag (weights & measures) but per their website I am required to file a complaint to get it looked into. I just want to know which tag is what the station/blender has to follow.



Life's little problems can be solved with a shovel and silence.
Re: E85 concentration level and pump signage [Re: 04SE] #4552272
10/23/17 06:12 PM
10/23/17 06:12 PM
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 4,866
The Midwest
skyactiv Offline
skyactiv  Offline
Joined: Mar 2013
Posts: 4,866
The Midwest
That is cornfusing!


Wife: 15' Audi A4 quattro 6 speed manual
Me: 13' VW GTI 3 door 6 speed manual
Re: E85 concentration level and pump signage [Re: 04SE] #4552281
10/23/17 06:17 PM
10/23/17 06:17 PM
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 1,108
Lyndhurst NJ
Audios Offline
Audios  Offline
Joined: Nov 2011
Posts: 1,108
Lyndhurst NJ
Im assuming the pump manufacturer makes one button for e85 across all of the machines, and the sticker is more of a state by state notice. Im assuming you guys get alot more options regarding ethanol, I havent seen a pump with it around me, all are 10-15% ethanol and below.


2002 VW Golf TDI-Mobil 1 5/40 TDT
2007 Mercedes GL320 CDI Fuchs 5/40 GT Pro XTL
2005 BMW M3 BMW Twin Power 10/60
2003 BMW M5-Fuchs 5/40
1998 BMW M3/4/5 Fuchs 5/40
Re: E85 concentration level and pump signage [Re: 04SE] #4552401
10/23/17 08:18 PM
10/23/17 08:18 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 267
Minnesota
bmod305 Offline
bmod305  Offline
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 267
Minnesota
As you stated,depending on the time of year, E85 fuel's alcohol content varies greatly. During the winter to improve engine starting, the refiners greatly lower the percentage i.e in the 50% range-at least in Minnesota it does.. Maybe that is why the label shows the range. I agree the pump button percentage is probably from the pump manufacturer.

Non-related note: I used to build SBC dirt track motors. I had a few E98 fueled motors that would only start in cold weather (40-50 deg range) if we primed the carb with regular gas. They won't fire off on E98. They did run really cool on hot nights. Intake manifold would be ice cold at the end of a 20 lab feature in 90 deg weather.

Re: E85 concentration level and pump signage [Re: 04SE] #4552581
10/24/17 05:29 AM
10/24/17 05:29 AM
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 389
Michigan
khittner Offline
khittner  Offline
Joined: Jul 2012
Posts: 389
Michigan
If you get the low E85 price for fuel that actually has a higher concentration of gasoline in it, what's the basis for your complaint?

Re: E85 concentration level and pump signage [Re: 04SE] #4552586
10/24/17 05:53 AM
10/24/17 05:53 AM
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 908
Indiana (IN)
shanneba Online content
shanneba  Online Content
Joined: Jul 2004
Posts: 908
Indiana (IN)
The 51 -83 % is the ASTM D5798 Standard Specification for Ethanol Fuel Blends for Flexible-Fuel Automotive Spark-Ignition Engines.

https://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/ethanol_e85_specs.html

Last edited by shanneba; 10/24/17 05:53 AM.

2003 BMW 330Ci
2013 HD Sportster XL1200C
Re: E85 concentration level and pump signage [Re: 04SE] #4552640
10/24/17 07:16 AM
10/24/17 07:16 AM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,537
Jupiter, Florida
Cujet Offline
Cujet  Offline
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,537
Jupiter, Florida
You can easily test it yourself using a proper "test tube" graduated cylinder.

http://www.waldeneffect.org/blog/How_to_measure_the_ethanol_content_of_gasoline/

Like you, my Ford F150 performs better with high ethanol content as the tune compensates for the ethanol content and the ignition timing is advanced.


People who count on their fingers should maintain a discreet silence.
Re: E85 concentration level and pump signage [Re: Cujet] #4552703
10/24/17 08:11 AM
10/24/17 08:11 AM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 6,000
Michigan
ZZman Offline
ZZman  Offline
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 6,000
Michigan
Originally Posted By: Cujet
You can easily test it yourself using a proper "test tube" graduated cylinder.

http://www.waldeneffect.org/blog/How_to_measure_the_ethanol_content_of_gasoline/

Like you, my Ford F150 performs better with high ethanol content as the tune compensates for the ethanol content and the ignition timing is advanced.


Thank you


2003 Mercury Grand Marquis. PP HM 5w-30 and Fram Ultra
2008 Sebring Hardtop convertible. PP HM 5w-30 and Fram Ultra
2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 LT. Amsoil Metric 10w-40
Re: E85 concentration level and pump signage [Re: shanneba] #4552706
10/24/17 08:13 AM
10/24/17 08:13 AM
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 6,000
Michigan
ZZman Offline
ZZman  Offline
Joined: Mar 2008
Posts: 6,000
Michigan
Originally Posted By: shanneba
The 51 -83 % is the ASTM D5798 Standard Specification for Ethanol Fuel Blends for Flexible-Fuel Automotive Spark-Ignition Engines.

https://www.afdc.energy.gov/fuels/ethanol_e85_specs.html


Thank you


2003 Mercury Grand Marquis. PP HM 5w-30 and Fram Ultra
2008 Sebring Hardtop convertible. PP HM 5w-30 and Fram Ultra
2006 Kawasaki Vulcan 900 LT. Amsoil Metric 10w-40
Re: E85 concentration level and pump signage [Re: 04SE] #4552792
10/24/17 09:19 AM
10/24/17 09:19 AM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 436
TN USA
Crispysea Offline
Crispysea  Offline
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 436
TN USA
I often put E85 in my wifeís Grand Caravan. The 3.6 Pentastar loves it. I sniff it to check the alcohol content. Itís usually over 70%, since it smells like corn whiskey. Sometimes itís closer to 50%, and smells like gasoline.

Re: E85 concentration level and pump signage [Re: 04SE] #4776125
06/03/18 09:05 AM
06/03/18 09:05 AM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 3,308
Central Iowa
TiredTrucker Offline
TiredTrucker  Offline
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 3,308
Central Iowa
The percentage allowances at the pump are state certification directed. For instance, in Iowa, E85 must have a minimum of 70%, even for winter.

And all blends will usually test lower for ethanol than their pump label says. The other factor is that no blend may exceed their label number percentage. So to avoid the risk of having that happen, most blends are not quite the ethanol content percentage that they say they are. They can be under the percentage by a specified allowance, but they cannot be over the percentage.


Freedom is not about having the choice to do what you want, but the choice to do what you ought.

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