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use E85 or not? #5391625 04/02/20 08:09 AM
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foresthawk Offline OP
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Hello,
With the 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan, it says E85 gasoline can be used.
Would it make sense to use this fuel, vs regular 89 octane unleaded gasoline?
I don't just mean for economy, but would it affect engine longevity in a negative way to use this fuel? I know its specified and should be OK, but it does have a lower energy content that regular gasoline, I understand? Any comments appreciated, thanks.

Re: use E85 or not? [Re: foresthawk] #5391627 04/02/20 08:13 AM
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64bawagon Offline
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Around here its priced the same as gasoline. With E85 offering less MPG and more frequent oil changes I cant see any reason to use it.


64 Chevy wagon, 10 Jeep Wrangler, 18 Silverado 1/2 ton
Re: use E85 or not? [Re: foresthawk] #5391637 04/02/20 08:31 AM
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racin4ds Offline
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Most of the time, its cheaper than regular gas (E10) but it does contain 85% ethanol so it has lower BTU and therefore will get much less mileage. Most say its a wash. The only advantage E85 has is for tuner cars and guys looking for high Horsepower with needs for high octane, cheap fuel. E85 was a joke and never took off and IMO should just be discontinued.


Just say NO to thin oils and M1!
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Re: use E85 or not? [Re: foresthawk] #5391639 04/02/20 08:34 AM
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dtownfb Offline
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I'm not sure if things have changed in the last decade with E85 gas but others had reported getting about a 1/3 less fuel economy using E85 gas vs. regular 87 octane gas. I also read a few experts who confirmed this. Again this was about a decade ago.

You shouldn't have any issues including longevity issues using the E85 gas. Your vehicle is designed for it. With gas so cheap, i see no reason to use it unless you feel like experimenting...which could be fun.

Good luck.


2006 Toyota Camry
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Re: use E85 or not? [Re: foresthawk] #5391700 04/02/20 09:41 AM
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Danno Offline
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With the global need for hand sanitizer, which can be made with ethanol, can a case be made to discontinue ethanol use, in gasoline, entirely?


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Re: use E85 or not? [Re: foresthawk] #5391713 04/02/20 09:54 AM
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E85 was developed at a time when gasoline prices were high and America wanted a solution to it. Times change, cycles occur and here we find ourselves with gasoline on the futures market at less than $0.70 per gallon. America's mid west farmers make a lot of ethanol. Profits on ethanol and oil production for that matter are nil, and will be for some time. Probably, without subsidies, the ethanol business will take a kicking and maybe disappear as with the Permian basin oil business.


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Re: use E85 or not? [Re: foresthawk] #5391718 04/02/20 10:00 AM
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E85 transforms our service trucks especially in hot weather. Shifting and overall driveability is excellent, Much better than E10 87 octane!

If your engine control system can recalibrate properly for it, E85 will probably win you over. That is, until you see how fast it disappears!


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Re: use E85 or not? [Re: foresthawk] #5391737 04/02/20 10:27 AM
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hatt Offline
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Unless there is a financial savings I can't see any reason to run E85 in a minivan.


2013 F150 5.0, Delo 400 SD 15W-30, Wix 57502
2010 Camry 2.5, PP 10W-30, Mobil1 M1C-251A
Re: use E85 or not? [Re: hatt] #5391746 04/02/20 10:43 AM
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Rmay635703 Offline
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Originally Posted by hatt
Unless there is a financial savings I can't see any reason to run E85 in a minivan.


Exactly

Instead of wondering buy a tank or two see how it drives track MPGs then go back.

Not all vehicles loose as much MPGs and it’s then becomes a purely financial decision

Re: use E85 or not? [Re: Rmay635703] #5391822 04/02/20 12:02 PM
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Wolf359 Offline
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Originally Posted by Rmay635703
Originally Posted by hatt
Unless there is a financial savings I can't see any reason to run E85 in a minivan.


Exactly

Instead of wondering buy a tank or two see how it drives track MPGs then go back.

Not all vehicles loose as much MPGs and it’s then becomes a purely financial decision


Technically you could just figure it out the cost based on the btu content of the fuel although some claim they get slightly better mileage than you would think even accounting for the cost per btu although that might actually be due to the fact that sometimes you get more gas than ethanol as E85 means up to 85% ethanol and if they have a lower mix due to low temperatures you actually end up making out and getting better gas mileage.

If you're near the source of E85 in the midwest, it can make sense to run it as the real cost is in transporting the ethanol as it doesn't go through pipelines. But further away, the price of E85 is higher and doesn't make economic sense.

Here's a chart that tells you how much btu E10 (111,836) has vs E85 (81,800). Then take the price of regular vs E85 and see which one is cheaper on a per btu basis. I'm guessing NY, E85 isn't that cheap.

http://www.hho4free.com/gasoline_vs_ethanol.html

Re: use E85 or not? [Re: foresthawk] #5391871 04/02/20 01:11 PM
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When I used to read about people tuning FXTs and WRXs, the use of E85 was usually the mark of a serious tuner.
In a Grand Caravan, I can only imagine that it be a PITA by making more frequent fueling stops necessary.
I'm sure it wouldn't hurt to try it!


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Re: use E85 or not? [Re: foresthawk] #5391928 04/02/20 02:36 PM
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I have run the E85 in a Chrysler Town & Country with the 3.6 that would be like yours. Went from 28-29 mpg down to 24. Van ran fine just lower fuel economy that wasn't worth the price difference.

My Grand Marquis loves a blend of E85 and regular. It also likes premium so it really prefers higher octane. Usually a 10 to 50% ratio is what I tend to go and it only loses about 1 mpg. Goes from 20 to 19 in city. On hwy 22 goes down to 21 cruising around 80. Car has a slight knock that goes away when I blend them. Performance is better acceleration is smoother and climbing hills is stronger. Downside if I push it hard going fast it tends to get a light pedal feel and almost misses above 85 I think some call it leaning out. Car is not meant for E85 so doesn't adjust.


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Re: use E85 or not? [Re: foresthawk] #5391947 04/02/20 03:07 PM
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blufeb95 Online Content
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I've never seen E85 be cheap enough to justify using it when you consider the 20-30% lower fuel economy, only time E85 may be cheaper is in a car that needs premium, but most of them aren't flex fuel anyways, I'd skip E85 leave it for the tuners that need the high octane.

Re: use E85 or not? [Re: Wolf359] #5391980 04/02/20 03:54 PM
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Rmay635703 Offline
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Originally Posted by Wolf359


Technically you could just figure it out the cost based on the btu content of the fuel although some claim they get slightly better mileage



BTU content ignoring octane is a very poor way to calculate fuel economy,
if it was accurate there wouldn’t be the,
“My car looses 33% of its gas MPGs on e10”
folks on every site.

https://www.greencarcongress.com/2007/12/study-finds-cer.html

I’ve never lost anywhere near 20-30% when I have run e85, in hot weather my economy is within 1mpg, cold worse.

Vapor Pressure inflection point, cooling effects and octane can have large effects on fuel economy, e85 tracks positively on all those metrics.

That said when fuel is expensive and e85 is a buck a gallon cheaper I usually ran e30 because my fuel economy would remain unchanged compared to RUG. Scientifically e20-e30 nets much better economy than BTus alone would account for anyway which explains it.

I’ve run ethanol fuels a long time and view it as a worthwhile test, if you have a flexfuel car, start tracking your MPGs then switch to e20 30 or 85, if those fuel are much cheaper and don’t drop economy off a rock go for it. At that it becomes a simple math problem for or against.

Last edited by Rmay635703; 04/02/20 04:00 PM.
Re: use E85 or not? [Re: foresthawk] #5392014 04/02/20 04:34 PM
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ondarvr Offline
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Originally Posted by foresthawk
Hello,

I don't just mean for economy, but would it affect engine longevity in a negative way to use this fuel? I know its specified and should be OK, but it does have a lower energy content that regular gasoline, I understand? Any comments appreciated, thanks.


It appears most people responding didn’t read the last paragraph.

It’s not going to affect anything as far as reliability goes.

Because you will be burning more fuel, some engines may need more frequent oil changes due to oil dilution, but that’s only a “maybe”.

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