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15% Ethanol

Discussion in 'Warranty questions' started by krazykatkb, Oct 14, 2010.

    • Member

    krazykatkb

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    Hello,
    How concerned should I be with the increase in the Ethanol percent in fuel? I have a 1994 525i and a 2006 Mini Cooper S. Our local club had a meeting with a BMW tech who indicated that if it went over 10% we would be in trouble.
    A bit concerned.
    Thanks,
    Kristen
    • Member

    Wretched

    Post Count: 229
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    Michigan does NOT require labeling at the pump! To check your state click the first link. You can bet KS doesn't. (huge corn state) Be careful all. Here are some links to get you started.

    http://www.fuel-testers.com/state_guide_ethanol_laws.html

    http://pure-gas.org/

    http://www.toptiergas.com/retailers.html

    Ethanol has to be contributing to the HPFP saga and now could hurt the rest of us without a N54.

    Most pumps are rated for a maximum of 15% ethanol. This leaves no threshold for error and most pumps will need to be retro fitted or replaced. These gas stations I doubt will be in a hurry at 20k a pump. Soon I would stop buying gas from a station that does not have the ethanol blend label. I would also stick to top tier stations if possible. BMW has basically said 15% will harm the car. Just my 2 cents I am sure other members here have more and better information.

    More information:
    http://www.bimmerfile.com/2010/10/1... (BimmerFile / BMW News, Reviews and Podcast)
    • Member

    bcweir

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    To more directly answer your question, Kristen, here's the danger of too much ethanol

    This is not to be confused with METHANOL, which is completely different, and is another type of alternative fuel derived from METHANE gas.

    Put simply, the dangers of ethanol in a conventional fuel system are two fold:

    Ethanol in amounts of greater than 10 percent attack the rubber hoses in your fuel system, gradually degrading and rotting them.

    Ethanol is added to fuel to oxygenate the fuel and help it burn more completely. Oil and gas companies used to use a chemical known as MTBE to do this, but it was discovered that this chemical was contaminating groundwater, so MTBE was discontinued for use in the USA.

    However, because ethanol is an alcohol-based fuel based on PLANT SUGAR, it tends to create a gummy, sticky deposits on the moving parts in your engine if the ethanol is present in your system in amount concentrations greater than 10 percent. From your fuel sender in your gas tank to your fuel injectors and throttle body parts, more than 10 percent ethanol can create a serious mess of your car's fuel system.

    Remember that unless you specifically have a flex-fuel vehicle, your car was not designed to run ethanol in any form. Your car's engine computer can't tell the difference between gasoline and ethanol and adjust for it properly, and your fuel hoses were not designed for ethanol either.

    That's why a lot of people (like myself) are skeptical of running ANY ethanol at all in our fuel systems, particularly when POLITICS, not SCIENCE, went into the way ETHANOL was introduced into our nation's fuel supply. I'd love to run ethanol-free gasoline in my vehicle too, but because there are so few of those gas stations, my refueling options in that direction may be limited.
    • Member

    floydarogers

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    1) I think you meant "ethanol".
    2) Ethanol as an oxygenator actually predates MTBE - it has been used since ~1985.
    3) No, Brian. Ethanol *by itself* does not gum up things - it's the presence of water that dissolves impurities that ethanol then carries into the gasoline mixture in the tank that causes problems. There should not be any sugars in the output of any ethanol plant.
    4) Per note 2), above, cars since ~85-~90 (not sure when) were designed to work with up to about 5% ethanol. Certainly my '91 525i had that capability (specced in the owner's manual).
    • Member

    bcweir

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    Thank you for the information

    I corrected the spelling error.

    Your other information has been noted and appreciated.

    To clarify things however, the process by which PLANT SUGARS are converted into alcohol are the entire basis of ethanol as an alternative fuel. Didn't mean to imply that anyone was actually putting sugar of any kind directly into their gas tank. You are correct that the final output of an ethanol plant should not be sugar, but rather a fuel DERIVED from sugar as result of converting plant biomass into alcohol by way of converting its sugar into a combustible form of energy.

    Not only are gasoline-only fuel systems not designed for large concentrations of ethanol, but the ignition system is not designed to combust it properly in the combustion chamber.

    My point remains that most gasoline engines are not optimized or designed to run ethanol either as a straight fuel, or in concentrations of greater than 10 percent. Your 5 percent figure falls squarely within that tolerance.

    Thank you for your other clarifications, including that referring to MTBE.
    • Member

    shanneba

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    So far E15 has only been granted an EPA waiver for 2007 and newer cars/light trucks.
    The Testing is not yet complete for 2000 - 2006 models.

    EPA has proposed a new FEDERAL pump lableing requirement to indicate the E15 is only for 2007 and newer vehicles.......but that won't stop people from putting the wrong type into their cars.

    http://www.epa.gov/otaq/regs/fuels/additive/e15/
    • Member

    bluewagon

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    E15

    Are the gas stations going to put a special pump for cars that are 2007 and newer???????
    I doubt it. We are all going to have to vote out the fools that think they know better that you what is good for every one.
    bluewagon
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    bcweir

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    Use any excuse you want, bluewagon. Go ahead, pick one.

    The economy. 9.9 percent national unemployment. TARP. The 1.3 TRILLION dollar national debt. Mandated health insurance. Over 100 thousand homes foreclosed on by the banks this year alone, some of these banks were bailed out with your tax dollars and mine (who then used them to pay bonuses to execs who got them into this bind in the first place).

    Just PLEASE vote out every incumbent in Congress. The rest of America would thank you.
    • Member

    mgthompson

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    Don't forget that going from 10% to 15% Ethanol will reduce your gas milage by 2%.
    • Member

    bcweir

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    For those of us driving gasoline cars with more than four cylinders, this is big

    My 750 gets 18 on the highway and 12 in the city.

    a two percent reduction would equal

    17.64 on the highway and 11.76 in the city. :(
    • Member

    Pyewacket1

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    According to the reading I have done on the subject, the answer is yes...A separate 15% pump will be required to sell the new 15% blended gasoline.

    Now, whether or not that is what actually happens is a different subject. However, I don't see any huge rush by vendors to add 15% to their line-up, unless the refineries offer some type of incentive to sell this new product.

    In the upstate of SC (where I live) there is a large gasoline retailer that controls approximately 50% of the retail market, and he is a big promoter of e85... and, so far, I personally haven't heard anything from him about carrying the 15% blend. So, if he stays silent on the issue, I suspect (at least, here... anyway) the move will be a slow one.

    All bets are off if you live in the midwest, though...

    An interesting take on the issue...

    http://www.cspnet.com/ME2/Audiences...4236EC&AudID=CBA745B91AFB44FA923476ACBBD040A5
    • Member

    bcweir

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    I'd bet dollars to donuts he's getting a large kickback from the ethanol refiners

    Otherwise it wouldn't be worth it to him to increase his costs by adding yet ANOTHER product lineup to his expenses.
    • Member

    mgthompson

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    So, if you are a typical driver 12,000 miles per year of highway driving in your car would burn 13.6 gallons more per year with 15% Ethanol. No big deal for you, but multiply that consumption increase by the millions of cars on the road and the total increase is significant. Don't forget that the millions gallons of addition fuel burned creates additional pollution. I would also expect the additional consumption of Ethanol to drive the market price up and therefore drive the cost of Gasoline up.
    • Member

    bluewagon

    Post Count: 150
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    E15

    So a small owner will have to put in a new tank and a special pump that only a small percent of customers will use,and at a lower price than regular gas. That sounds like a great business practice.
    I live in Florida, and Florida was sued by the boat owners for the damage that the 10% did to the boat motors. You can purchase no additive gas at Mariners.
    bluewagon
    • Member

    bcweir

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    No big deal for me?? Did you see my numbers??

    That's 12/17 MPG! That's GAS GUZZLER territory my friend!

    Of course, all you folks driving M3 V8's, as well as M5/M6 V10's can probably relate to those of us in V12 powered cars in terms of gas mileage.

    Also, as you pointed out, these new gas pumps aren't exactly donated by the gas pump manufacturers out of the goodness of their hearts! Last time I checked, they sell for between $25,000 to $50,000 each! A gas station trying to make a living and feed their families isn't just going to eat that cost. They're going to pass that cost onto you and me!

    If you're tired of your politicians spending YOUR money and MINE as if we were printing it from home, I'm looking forward to seeing every last one of those politicians from Washington G-O-N-E and replaced with new faces after Nov. 2.

    Bad enough I'm going to be forced to start paying for everyone else's heath insurance in less than two years!
    • Member

    CRKrieger

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    There you go again ... never letting the facts get in the way of a good rant. He did the math that you're apparently too challenged to do. Over 12,000 miles, it'll cost you between 14 and 22 gallons - about one-half to one tank more. I hardly call that "big". Besides, nobody held a gun to your head and made you buy a V-12. Quit whining that it sucks fuel.

    If continental drift were as fast as yours, we could walk to China by now ...
    • Member

    bcweir

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    You know, CR, skipping your anti-anxiety meds that often CAN'T BE HEALTHY FOR YOU.

    Are you trying to have a heart attack, or is it the adrenaline rush you get from popping that ummm whatever it is in your forehead.

    Please relax, take a pill (heck take two, you're probably behind!), and try not to take EVERYTHING so seriously.:p

    Since when did you get a CAFE badge and start telling people what not to buy? Didn't see your Car Police badge, Krieger. Must have missed it from the glare!:D

    My V12 gets about the same gas mileage as the M3 V8's as well as the S85 V10 cars. Come to think of it, it's about the same as the F02 760's. Are you telling all those other people to PARK THEIR CARS too?

    You must be. You certainly don't want them on the highways, based on that post.:p

    Look out, friends. Krieger has his red and blue lights on his tow truck and he's cruising your neighborhood...:eek:
    • Member

    lkchris

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    Best solution to ethanol contamination of gasoline is ... diesel.
    • Member

    CRKrieger

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    Dude, you're the one who started the rant about the horrific drop in fuel economy you're facing. If you knew anything about me (as a number of people here do), you'd know that no one takes this less seriously than I do - until somebody with crooked facts takes offense when corrected or questioned and decides to fabricate my opinions and tosses in a few personal insults. I can depend on you for that every time. Like this:
    Read the thread. I never said any such thing. If I did, then it should be a simple matter to quote me. Go ahead.

    What I DID say was, quit whining about your fuel guzzlers. You made the choice, so live with it. My 535is gets 22-24mpg on a good day (and the car was assessed the original 'guzzler' tax of $1500 right there on the window sticker), but you've never seen me complaining about it, have you?
    Did you ever get a reading comprehension grade above a D-minus?

    M3Driver guest

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    Sits Back To Watch The Fun...

    Let me grab a chair before you guys continue....

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