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-   -   The effects of ethanol gas on a Jeep (http://www.wranglerforum.com/f290/the-effects-of-ethanol-gas-on-a-jeep-64198.html)

95jeepthing 10-05-2010 12:36 PM

The effects of ethanol gas on a Jeep
 
I recently bought a 1995 Jeep wrangler (YJ) and I live in Missouri. For some reason in the state of Missouri our politicians feel that all gasoline sold within the state should contain 10 percent ethanol. I bought this Jeep in Kansas where they sell REAL gas and now after several tanks of 10 percent ethanol the Jeep doesn't seem to have the "pep" that it had when I bought it.... Just wondering if there is anything that I should do to make the engine more ethanol friendly?

Walkingstick 10-05-2010 12:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by 95jeepthing
I recently bought a 1995 Jeep wrangler (YJ) and I live in Missouri. For some reason in the state of Missouri our politicians feel that all gasoline sold within the state should contain 10 percent ethanol. I bought this Jeep in Kansas where they sell REAL gas and now after several tanks of 10 percent ethanol the Jeep doesn't seem to have the "pep" that it had when I bought it.... Just wondering if there is anything that I should do to make the engine more ethanol friendly?

It's like that in NC.
My Jeep doesn't like that ethanol fuel not unless it's from a good gas station where there is less sediment in the fuel tanks in the ground

NAVYCHIEF 10-05-2010 12:39 PM

stp every 3rd tank

95jeepthing 10-05-2010 12:43 PM

I'm wondering if the ethanol had an effect on my catalatic converter...

Walkingstick 10-05-2010 01:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by NAVYCHIEF
stp every 3rd tank

I use Marathon gas. Has a wee bit of stp in it.
Thus no more need to use a full stp bottle every oil change. :p

kik 10-05-2010 01:28 PM

Try adding Startron.

VHunter 10-06-2010 10:39 AM

Ethanol has lower BTU than gas, which means less power per gallon so you need more to get the same work done. Some vehicles seem more affected by this than others

While Ethanol may look better on the sniffer test, in my experience I get worse mileage and have less power. I have a hard time believing it is better for the environment when you end up burning more of it.


But it shouldn't harm your Jeep in any way.

Thuone 12-21-2010 10:14 AM

Good info...
BELL PERFORMANCE FUEL ISSUES SERIES: ETHANOL PROBLEMS FACING CONSUMERS

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The blending of ethanol into gasoline across the nation is now a common practice due to recent EPA mandates for 10% ethanol blends. These mandates are aimed at improving air quality and reducing air pollution from fuel emissions, which ethanol blends achieve through the lowering of harmful emissions. But ethanol causes major issues for consumers, who face loss of mileage, storage issues and a tendency for ethanol to corrode plastic and fiberglass tanks and parts, especially in marine applications.

POPULARITY OF ALTERNATIVE FUELS AND OXYGENATES

In many states, it's hard to find a gas station that isn't selling at least 10% ethanol in their gasoline; you see the warning stickers on all of the pumps. Most people don't really know why it's put into gasoline; they just know they may have heard bad things about it. Ethanol is classified as an "oxygenate", meaning it increases the oxygen content of the fuel that it is blended into. The EPA has historically used government mandates (as allowed by the Clean Air Act) to force the introduction of oxygenates into gasoline, as a way to help reduce emissions like carbon monoxide and improve urban air quality.

There are really three pieces of legislation that were the biggest influencers in the rise of alternative fuels like ethanol. Actually, there were four. President Carter, some of you may remember, talked during his presidency about reducing the US dependence on oil imports and one of his efforts was spearheading the 1980 Synthetic Fuels Act - one of the initial efforts to get people to think differently about the fuels they use. Unfortunately its momentum was thwarted when the price of oil plummeted in the 1980s, and alternative fuels kind of dropped off the radar - gasoline and diesel were too cheap for people to seriously consider using other things.

Three pieces of legislation followed. The 1988 Alternative Fuels Act required government agencies to purchase vehicles that run on alternative and provided financial incentives for auto makers to develop more kinds of vehicles to run on these fuels. This was a big step of faith at the time because ethanol and biodiesel really weren't widespread in availability. The 1990 Clean Air Act gave the EPA authority to push for mandates (like requiring use of alternative fuels) in order to make air quality better. The 1992 Energy Policy Act codified a long-term goal that by 2010, non-petroleum alternative fuels would have penetrated 30% of the fuels market.

So for changing the mainstream fuel supply, the EPA really first started mandating this practice on a large scale in 1992, when MTBE (which had already been used in the 1970s as an anti-knock agent in gasoline) began being blended into gasoline to help cut harmful emissions. At its peak in 1999, 200,000 barrels (8.4 million gallons) per day of MTBE were being produced, all being added to gasoline at a 10% treat ratio. Unfortunately, scientists began to find evidence that MTBE was linked to ill-health effects, and also found it easily contaminated ground water; these led to its widespread withdrawal from the market. This is what allowed ethanol to displace MTBE as the dominant oxygenate of choice to blend into gasoline which satisfied these EPA emissions requirements.

THE GOOD - ETHANOL ADVANTAGES

Lower Emissions

To be sure, ethanol imparts some advantageous qualities when blended into gasoline. First and foremost are reduced emissions. These may not be so important to the average consumer (unless they are concerned about going green), but this is the advantage the EPA and environmental scientists like. Ethanol blended into gasoline at a 10-85% ratio makes fuel that produces lower levels of carbon monoxide, unburned hydrocarbons, particulate matter (another form of unburned fuel) and harmful aromatic compound emissions (which have been linked to cancer) than pure gasoline. All of these together offer positive effects on smog and pollution levels in urban areas that may have traditionally struggled with this problem. These urban areas, if they aren't concerned about their citizenry, have a financial incentive to care about the problem, because areas out of compliance with Federal air quality standards (hence, the EPA's jurisdiction applies here) can be at risk of losing access to important federal funds for the many things they use federal money to pay for.

Higher Octane

Oxygenates like ethanol and MTBE already had historical use before the 1992 Clean Air Act as octane improvers. Pure ethanol has an octane rating of 113, while E10 blends have the octane rating listed at the pump, which is usually the same as regular or premium gasoline. Unfortunately for the consumer, it is likely because, despite the ethanol additive having a high octane rating, the fuel blender uses a lower octane base gasoline in order to end up with the same octane rating in the E10 blend as they had before. So the consumer doesn't really get an added octane benefit in an E10, despite the ethanol fraction having a higher octane rating.

Renewable Fuel

Ethanol is made in the United States from corn (in Brazil it is made from sugar cane), making it a renewable fuel that reduces (somewhat) our dependence on oil imports. This is a big plus for a lot of people who want to go more "green".

Flex-Fuel Vehicles

No doubt you've heard of the "flex-fuel" vehicles. These are vehicles that have had engine modifications to enable them to run on either gasoline or a high concentration of ethanol like E85. Putting such a high concentration of ethanol in an engine that has not been modified is never a good idea - flex-fuel vehicles have special fuel sensors to properly read the ethanol-fuel mixture and special fuel injection changes to ensure the mixture isn't too rich or lean. Without these modification, the vehicle won't run right and you can very easily get a damaged engine over time.

THE BAD - ETHANOL PROBLEMS FOR CONSUMERS

Loss of Mileage

Loss of mileage from use of ethanol blends results from the ethanol molecule containing less energy value than gasoline. The energy value in petroleum fuels is a function of the number of carbon bonds in the molecule. Gasoline molecules are much longer with more carbon bonds than the small ethanol molecule, so you have less energy potential in that blended fuel. Pure ethanol has a gross BTU value 35% less than the equivalent amount of gasoline. However, most cars don't run on pure ethanol - in fact, running on higher than 15-20% ethanol concentration can cause engine damage because the engine has to be adjusted to account for the differing combustion property of that concentration.. The commonly found E10 blend only has 10% ethanol, so the actual drop in energy value is more along the lines of 3.5%-5.0%.

In October 2010, Congress will consider raising the minimum ethanol requirement from 10% to 15%. When this happens, fuel mileage drops will be even larger. 5% may not seem like that much, but consumers have already demonstrated that they are extremely price conscious and do not take any added expense lightly in this economy.

Water Attraction

Pure ethanol has a strong ability to absorb water from the atmosphere around it. This is true also of the blends made from pure ethanol and gasoline. Ethanol has such a strong attraction to water that chemical producers cannot even sell 100% pure ethanol - it is always 99.8% or less, because there will always be at least a tiny bit of water. As you may expect, attraction of water is an even bigger problem for marine users of E10-E85 than it is for on-road drivers.

When water accumulates in a fuel or storage tank, it sinks to the bottom of the tank because water is heavier than fuel. It then contributes to a whole host of fuel problems and issues, which can be summarized here:

Breeding Ground for Microbes

Microbes like bacteria and fungi all need accumulated water in order to grow and thrive in a fuel storage tank. If an infestation takes hold, problems with corrosion, filter plugging and reduction in fuel quality can follow. However, ethanol blends, like gasoline, tend to be used quicker than stored diesel fuels, so this is not so much of a problem in actual practice.

Phase Separation

Phase Separation means the ethanol 'phase' separates from the gasoline 'phase' and results in two layers of two different compounds, instead of a homogenous mixture of gasoline and ethanol. At this point the ethanol will sink below the gasoline phase and mix with any more accumulated water, giving an ethanol-water phase mixture.

Loss of Octane

When ethanol separates from gasoline, it causes a loss of 2-4 octane points in the fuel mixture; in effect, as it separates, it drags the octane value of the gasoline. An 87-octane fuel that separates can have its octane rating drop to 83-84, which is unsatisfactory for most vehicles and will cause performance issues.

Potential for Equipment Damage

An ethanol blend that has separated will have the ethanol and water mixture settled at the bottom of the tank, where the fuel line is. The fuel line potentially can suck this mixture up into the combustion chamber, where it will burn like an overly lean mixture (lean = not enough gasoline). Because it is not mostly gasoline now, burning this kind of fuel gives real potential for valve damage. This becomes an expensive proposition.

Oxidation and Deposit Buildup

Water is one of the impurities that will accelerate oxidation reactions in any petroleum-based fuel, whether gasoline, diesel, biodiesel or ethanol blends. Oxidation reactions are responsible for fuel stratification and the fallout of heavy ends from the fuel mixture. These heavy fuels can build up in the bottom of a fuel storage tank, and when they are injected as fuel, they do not burn like pure fuel but will leave deposits in all parts of the combustion system - combustion chamber, valves and fuel injectors. At best, you get raised emissions to the catalytic convertor, rough running and poor engine performance, while at worst you get a drop in mileage.

Ethanol Solvency

Boat owners in the northeast can readily testify how ethanol blends up to E85 attach and dissolve rubber and plastic parts, even fiberglass fuel tanks. Ethanol has always been an excellent solvent and unfortunately this is not a good thing for engines and fuel delivery systems which rely on rubber and plastic parts for their function. Repeated exposure over time will cause the plastic resigns to dissolve in the ethanol; they subsequently build up as new deposits on valves, causing the same kind of performance issues as carbon deposits can.

CONCLUSION

In exchange for becoming more "green", consumers face a trade off with certain problems that ethanol blends can cause in their vehicles and boats. The EPA's pending increase of ethanol concentration to 15% in all reformulated on-road gasolines will only increase these problems. Subsequently there is a substantial market for additives out there to treat ethanol blends and blunt these problems. Some of them are better than others. The best ethanol additives will contains combustion improvers to blunt the mileage drop, detergents to clean out deposits and any dissolved resin buildup, an ingredient to disperse and control water buildup sand an ingredient to protect rubber and plastic parts from ethanol solvency. Beware of products that make outrageous claims and guarantees - if it seems too good to be true (guaranteed 35% mileage increase?), it very likely is too good to be true.

FOR MORE INFORMATION

For more information on these and other fuel-related problems and solutions to those issues, visit Bell Performance on the web.

Article Source: Erik Bjornstad - EzineArticles.com Expert Author

Ibuildembig 12-21-2010 10:22 AM

All ya gotta do is buy premium gas, no ethanol in it :)

Tang87 12-21-2010 10:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ibuildembig
All ya gotta do is buy premium gas, no ethanol in it :)

Where I live all grades have ethanol. Ok maybe not at all stations some don't have ethanol but you gotta really look for them lol.

Ibuildembig 12-21-2010 10:48 AM

In MO all premium is straight gasoline

hannahuffster 12-21-2010 11:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ibuildembig (Post 937092)
In MO all premium is straight gasoline

Not true buddy! There are many gas stations here in joplin where premium gas has ethie in it. Many stations in fact where premium and regular are the same price even- which I dont fully understand that.

But to the point of the thread - My 93 2.5 wont hardly even run on corn gas at all (IE: casey's gas station). I can be at about a 1/4 tank and stop in there for gas and get another 1/4 tank and it even has trouble staying running at stop lights sometimes. Hard to start in winter mornings, and almost no power...

Tang87 12-21-2010 11:09 AM

Man it used to be like that here but not anymore.

Ibuildembig 12-21-2010 11:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by hannahuffster (Post 937112)
Not true buddy! There are many gas stations here in joplin where premium gas has ethie in it. Many stations in fact where premium and regular are the same price even- which I dont fully understand that.

But to the point of the thread - My 93 2.5 wont hardly even run on corn gas at all (IE: casey's gas station). I can be at about a 1/4 tank and stop in there for gas and get another 1/4 tank and it even has trouble staying running at stop lights sometimes. Hard to start in winter mornings, and almost no power...

Hmmmm maybe you should turn um in then.,,,here's the statute.

Ethanol Free Premium Coalition

hannahuffster 12-21-2010 11:25 AM

Do you guys have casey's gas stations there in fruitland? All their gas grades have corn in them and are the same price every day. They run like water in my jeep. I dont think turning them in would help much - since they post this on signs right next to the roads about 30 ft in the air and on their pumps...

Ibuildembig 12-21-2010 11:33 AM

Yeah actually that's exactly what I thought of when you said premium and regular were the same price. They have been doing that for years, the difference is, they don't have "premium" like the others. I believe to be called that, it has to be above 91 octane.

Jeep_Geek 12-21-2010 11:44 AM

We still have regular unleaded here and two sets of premiums 92 and 93. I still use 10% ethanol though, I have never had a problem with it. I get 14mpg no matter what i put in the tank or what type of driving city/highway. Just my 2cents

Ibuildembig 12-21-2010 11:48 AM

My ole mans escalade gets 4-6 mpg better with gas gotten anywhere but Missouri

Thuone 12-22-2010 12:22 PM

All grade have Ethanol in them where I am in Florida found one mom and pop place you can still get real gas. Us with older Jeeps need to be careful the rubbers and plastics in the fuel system may not meet ethanol standards, this can cause deterioration.

ISUSteve 12-22-2010 05:44 PM

I live in Iowa, the start of the ethanol craze. The regular and premium gas here does not have ethanol. The mid-grade is E10.

It does loose some pep in the jeep, but not in my other cars. Gas mileage is about the same with either, about 16mpg.

It does burn cleaner though. Its also about 20 cents cheaper than anything else.

rogertc1 12-22-2010 06:24 PM

I use Ethonol living in Iowa on my 95 Wrangler and my 8 other autos. I have no problems what so ever. Do not need to add Heat and we are using 10% of home grown fuel..

444 12-23-2010 02:31 AM

We have that ethanol mixed dog water for gasoline here too. Basically all it does is raise the price of gas and drop my fuel mileage. It's only a matter of time before this world has more people on it than we can feed with the land we have, and we're using farmland to grow crops for fuel. That can only do one thing to the cost of food and it's not going to lower it.

rogertc1 12-23-2010 06:17 AM

CRAP. Supposed you would rather give the middle east your money. There is no corn shortage. Being in the heartland, we can produce more corn than you can even eat. Gasohol is not the reason all the prices are going up.




You must be from Canada.

Ibuildembig 12-23-2010 08:58 AM

Yeah but ears of corn are more expensive now too....any alcohol based fuel is never gonna generate the energy gasoline does, its simply not possible.

nick50471 12-23-2010 09:25 AM

If you don't like ethanol don't buy it. I personally don't like Howard Stern. I learned to turn the station and wow, no more Howard Stern for me.

Ibuildembig 12-23-2010 09:30 AM

Yeah, um kinda hard when your state mandates it in everything but premium.

Tang87 12-23-2010 10:00 AM

Lol we don't have that kind of freedom with gas. It's like every radio station playing some Howard stern, so you're still gonna hear him unless you listen to a cd or mp3 player....but that is equivalent to making your own gas....and I can't do that

Ibuildembig 12-23-2010 10:18 AM

Oh I make plenty of gas......just aint figured out how to make it run in my truck though hehe

rogertc1 12-23-2010 12:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ibuildembig (Post 940677)
Yeah but ears of corn are more expensive now too....any alcohol based fuel is never gonna generate the energy gasoline does, its simply not possible.

A 10% difference. Soy Beans and GOLD is more expensive too..cause were using too much corn?:eek:

Only thing ears of corn is good for is feeding squirrels who can survive without wasting corn..hell we could all drive electric cars save the world. Electric Jeep.:D

mhaines 12-23-2010 12:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ibuildembig
Oh I make plenty of gas......just aint figured out how to make it run in my truck though hehe

Propane conversion kit


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