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Discussion Starter #1
My father in law just bought one of those b-series mazda trucks last night (b2300) and was talking to me about how it can run that 10% ethanol gas they have out now. I was woundering becuase the sales advisor at Mazda commented that most all of the new mazdas can run this fuel. She said to check the manual of the car to be sure what % to use. We checked my father in laws manual and sure enough it said that he could run 10% ethanol mix in his truck saftly. I have yet to look in my manual since its at home but does anyone know if ANY of the 3's can run this mix? If so what are some of the advantages and disadvantages?

~Saint
 

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You will probably see a small drop in fuel economy with the 10% ethanol blend. Ethanol is being used to replace the very toxic MTBE in most gasoline. Ethanol does not have the same energy content as gasoline per gallon. As a result, your fuel economy will go down slightly from gasoline with MTBE. Now one side benefit is that the ethanol is cleaner burning and better for the environment. I've been using gasoline with 10% ethanol in my van for years and it seems to run fine.
 

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In a lot of places (particularly the colder climes), 5-10% ethanol is common, or even standard. The laws vary from region to region, but you'll find places where all gas is 10% ethanol year-round, or where it's 10% only in the winter months, etc. There should be zero problems with those blends.

It's just the E-85 (85% ethanol) that you want to steer clear of. You need a specially-designed engine to run that stuff (FFV, or flexible flue vehicle). But it's usually set off from the rest of the standard fuels, just like diesel, so you don't accidentally use it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Ok so running 10% ethanol would give a bit less mpg but would be safe to run in the 3 correct?

Really what would be the point though, enviroment aside. I mean if you save 50 cents at the pump dont you lose that with mpg loss?
Unless the point of ethonal is to help the enviroment then I guess it makes a bit more sence.

~Saint
 

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Yes, perfectly safe.

It's mostly an environmental issue. My dad has a Ranger that's a FFV and he says that, despite the lower per-gallon price, he ends up paying a bit more for gas, since you consume it more quickly.

The cost difference compared to running a 10% blend is probably going to be pretty small. However, that small percentage of ethanol apparently has a fair effect on reducing emissions.

I believe that when it comes to the 5 or 10% blends, that it's going to be standard throughout your region. In other words, it's not like it's a special fuel offered only at certain locations--it's either going to be in your regular gas or it won't be available at all. I'd check with your local regulations to find out for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Cool. Thanks guys for the information.

~Saint
 

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Yeah, I always see those new labels saying that the gas we pump contains whatever percentage ethanol. To me, it's not really a big deal. But my fuel mileage is pretty bad.
 

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Who says it's bad for injectors?

Meh, for every article or stat against ethanol, there's one for it. It's a complex issue, and we already have several threads debating the politics and science of fuel ethanol.
 

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[quote author=mica3speedy link=topic=68127.msg1176498#msg1176498 date=1170172855]
almost all of them here in Michigan have 10% ethanol too
[/quote]

yeah i noticed when i moved here my MPG dropped
 

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[quote author=small town king link=topic=68127.msg1182078#msg1182078 date=1170383694]
[quote author=mica3speedy link=topic=68127.msg1176498#msg1176498 date=1170172855]
almost all of them here in Michigan have 10% ethanol too
[/quote]

yeah i noticed when i moved here my MPG dropped
[/quote]

Where did you move from?
 

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[quote author=Saint link=topic=68127.msg1174379#msg1174379 date=1170085369]
Ok so running 10% ethanol would give a bit less mpg but would be safe to run in the 3 correct?

Really what would be the point though, enviroment aside. I mean if you save 50 cents at the pump dont you lose that with mpg loss?
Unless the point of ethonal is to help the enviroment then I guess it makes a bit more sence.

~Saint
[/quote]

Indeed... all modern cars should be able to run with at least 10% ethanol safely. As others have already said, it's the E-85 stuff you want to avoid.
 

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Every car I have seen since the early 90's can run 5% methanol or 10% ethanol safetly. As mentioned you will see a slightly mpg and performance drop (maybe performance drop, see below) as using an alcohol in the fuel adds oxygen in the place of carbon and hydrogen reducing the energy per unit weight.

The car's ECU is not setup to run the extra ethanol/methnol as such, so full throttle operation will not be adjusted for. In the case of running alcohol you can run a richer A/F mix due to the presence of the oxygen in alcohol...so you can actually get more power out of running some alcohol...but you have to tune for it which is not done on on most cars...this does seem to be done on cars that are able to run on an E85 mix...at least to some degree. The caveat here is that most cars run to rich at full throttle as it is...so running an E10 mix might actually keep power about the same as you are running at a closer to optimal A/F ratio with the ethanol in the gas then before, making up for the lower energy content of the gas. Call it a crap shoot on whether or not E10 will reduce power or not. An E10 mix would have about 4-6% less energy then straight gasoline...or something like a 1-2mpg decrease in milage (MBTE has less energy then gasoline, so going from an MBTE mixed gas to E10 doesn't reduces the milage as much as moving from straight gas to E10 would. So if you drove on MBTE to E10 you might see maybe a 1mpg reduction in milage).

E10 or even E5 is quite a bit better for the environment, especially under cold startups. Ethanol will actually help clean out the fuel system some due to its corrosive nature (of course not so good for lines, pump, and seals...which is why most cars can't run more then E10). It also resists engine pre-detonation better then straight gas does, effectively increasing octane (by about 1.5 points for E10 in regular 87 octane gas).

With tuning you can see some gains from running ethanol (either timing or A/F or both). You will always see less gas milage out of it (expect 1 or maybe 2mpg decrease). It is better for the environment. Not to start the long argument from before (I think it got to 3-4 pages), but ethanol production also produces net energy (the ethanol has more energy in it then it takes to make it) reducing the energy dependence on non-renewable types of power (oil being one of them).
-Matt
 

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There are many arguments for whether corn ethanol is a net energy gain. That is, do you get more energy out of it than it takes to produce it. Even the reports that say it is a net energy gain, it is not very much, some figures are at 1.34 gallons of ethanol produced for every 1 gallon of petroleum used to produce it.

Brazil is heavy into ethanol, but they use sugar cane, which is much more cost effective and more of a net energy gain. In fact, even though you burn more ethanol than you would gasoline, it is still less per mile to use ethanol than gasoline in Brazil. What we need to do here in the US is use switch grass to produce ethanol, which can be even more efficient than the Brazilian's sugar cane.

Anyway, on topic, I think it is now mandatory that any new car for the last few years at least can run on E10. If we can use switch grass to produce it, and go to all E10 across the country, we would be able to save 10% of our reliance on foreign oil, and should be able to save money on gas if the ethanol is produced cheaply enough.
 

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[quote author=SlickMZ3 link=topic=68127.msg1184048#msg1184048 date=1170469737]
[quote author=small town king link=topic=68127.msg1182078#msg1182078 date=1170383694]
[quote author=mica3speedy link=topic=68127.msg1176498#msg1176498 date=1170172855]
almost all of them here in Michigan have 10% ethanol too
[/quote]

yeah i noticed when i moved here my MPG dropped
[/quote]

Where did you move from?
[/quote]

from wisconsin...the gas station i used to fill up at didn't have any stickers or notices for up to 10%, I believe the only one i saw was at a mobil where it was up to 5%...

but when i moved to Mi, all the pumps have up to 10% ethanol.
 

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[quote author=claudius753 link=topic=68127.msg1208675#msg1208675 date=1171512192]
Anyway, on topic, I think it is now mandatory that any new car for the last few years at least can run on E10. If we can use switch grass to produce it, and go to all E10 across the country, we would be able to save 10% of our reliance on foreign oil, and should be able to save money on gas if the ethanol is produced cheaply enough.
[/quote]

At best you'd be able to save 10% of foreign oil used for gasoline, but you're not going to see a 10% reduction across the board unless EVERYTHING we use foreign oil for can switch to E10.
 

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True, true, but it is still some reduction of foreign oil. More importantly it is also a renewable resource. Until we are using 100% butanol or something as fuel though we are still going to be depedent on oil for transportation energy. For that matter we are going to be using oil for a long time for other things. It is still very important in polymer manufacturing and a number of other things. Of course the bulk of petroleum is used as a transportation, heating, and energy fuel.
-Matt
 
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