Ethanol Caused Expensive Problems - Page 2 - Fiberglass RV


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Old 01-28-2011, 07:41 AM   #15
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Kevin.... Great site. There was absolutely nothing in my area of Reading, Pa but i saved it and will reference it, also and if i can find a station around me will add it to the list.
Thanks,
Joe
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Old 01-28-2011, 07:41 AM   #16
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DonDeutsch;

After reading that I actually did check the pumps out last time I filled.

In Canada - I believe that the retailers are required to post on the pumps if they are using ethanol or not and what % is ethanol. 87 octane generally has ethanol , 89 and premium, no sticker saying ethanol was used.
I'll try and remember to take a picture of the pumps next time I fill up.

I think 89 octane was 5 cents a liter more. Don't ask me how much more per US gal - too early to try and figure that out.

USA could be different.

Anybody?

Wayne
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Old 01-28-2011, 12:48 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by DonDeutsch View Post
Ethanol is high octane I think. nerver heard it was not used with high octane gas. Could you check this?
Ethanol is required by law within large metropolitan areas around the U.S.
The result is that pure gasoline is hard to find elsewhere
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Old 01-28-2011, 05:11 PM   #18
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There is a Green Sta-Bil made especially for outboard engines and it extends the life of gas and neutralizes the effects of ethanol. I use it in all my small motors.

The Red Sta-Bul is for extending the life of the gas and does not address the ethanol problem.
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Old 01-28-2011, 07:53 PM   #19
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There is a Green Sta-Bil made especially for outboard engines and it extends the life of gas and neutralizes the effects of ethanol. I use it in all my small motors.

The Red Sta-Bul is for extending the life of the gas and does not address the ethanol problem.
I've heard this before but will look for it.... the red i got in wally world. will have to look around i guess for the green and give it a shot.
thanks,
Joe
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Old 01-28-2011, 09:02 PM   #20
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My Honda 2000 is 8 y o. The only time I had a problem was when I let it sit for several months without Sta-Bil in the gas. The the fuel turned to green jello and I had to clean the carb. I don't think you can buy fuel in California without ethanol.
If you live in an extremely humid area you may have a problem because fuel with ethanol will absorb moisture. That's the reason Marinas sell ethanol free fuel.
If you have a 2 cycle engine that requires a mixture of fuel and oil moisture will cause the fuel to stratify.
John
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Old 01-28-2011, 11:48 PM   #21
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Thanks, that is a nice reference.

Back in the '80s and early '90s, I never used to worry about draining the gas tank for winter on my push mower. It started right up in spring, too. But in recent years I have had all kinds of "fun" (not!) with small engines. I didn't understand why I was having all the starting problems after the units were a year old or so.

Only in the last few months did I learn about the effects of ethanol on these engines. I've resolved that henceforth my latest mower (purchased last summer) will see nothing but pure gasoline.

I wonder if the 10% ethanol is the reason behind my Toyota dealer's routine recommendation to do a fuel system service package every 30K miles. They want about $400 for the package and I've resisted so far, since the vehicle seems to run fine. But maybe I should have it done soon (I'm almost to 80K miles now) in light of the comments about residue buildup.
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Old 01-29-2011, 09:39 AM   #22
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$400 FUEL SYSTEM PACKAGE:

Purchase a can of SeaFoam from WallyWorld or your Auto supply store and do it yourself.
This stuff costs more than the other additives but will do the trick.

I put this stuff in a Miata that was sputtering and at around 10 miles of driving things normaled up.

I found out the hard way NOT to use it in small engines because it swells up the rubber needle valve seat so I recommend that you only use it in your vehicle.
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Old 01-29-2011, 12:26 PM   #23
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I've never been aware of Sea Foam as a product. Now I have looked at their website and they mention the induction method... that jogged my memory... "induction service" is what the Toyota dealers call the stuff they want to do. Well, I think I will start running some of this Sea Foam in the gas tank occasionally now that I know about it. Maybe one treatment every thousand miles or so? How often do others use it? Thanks.
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Old 01-29-2011, 01:24 PM   #24
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Mike Magee and ALL.
My buddy every so often adds Sea Foam to the gas for his outboard motor, truck and puts it in the oil to "clean" it out and swears by it.

Well, he convinced me that I should use it too.... BAD MISTAKE on my part.

I added it to the oil and the gas tank as per instructions on the product.
I added it to the oil just before I had an oil change done. I ran approx 100 kms - normal everything. Oil was already dirty (I change it every 5000 kms roughly and had personally put over 60,000 kms on the vehicle.

I had the oil changed. More or less on the way home, my motor started to have a very loud grinding noise. Oil level was normal and very clean looking, no warning lights, no indication of any problem except for that very annoying, loud grinding noise.

Long story, short. I had it towed to my local garage where the mechanic, dropped the oil pan and found all kinds of bits and pieces of what turns out to be very expensive metal.

This was a 1999 Subaru Outback limited edition 202,000 kms with normal engine noise prior to it destructing. Circumstance, bad luck, bad timing or Sea Foam? Don't know. What I do know is that I will not be using this product or any other additives again.

It would have cost me as much as the car was worth to repair the motor.- sold with the blown motor more or less for parts.

Wayne
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Old 01-29-2011, 02:29 PM   #25
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There's some misunderstanding about ethanol going on here. The short version of what alcohol does in a gas tank is that it acts a lot like water does or would, if water and gasoline mixed well. Water can cause rust and make gaskets and seals not designed to handle water swell up and erode away (dissolve), and engines and fuel systems not designed with this in mind can have problems when you use alcohol or alcohol bends as fuels. Make the engine block out of aluminum instead of steel, treat exposed iron and steel surfaces so they won't rust, and use gasket materials designed with both gasoline and alcohol in mind, and ethanol fuel blends work just fine and can actually improve combustion efficiency, which reduces tailpipe emissions.

Warning: Science content!

From a chemist's point of view, alcohols have many useful properties, one of which is they react much like water does when in a chemical reaction. This is so much the case that, when studying organic chemistry and the instructor wants to really test a student's understanding of chemical process, teachers will take a standard reaction equation that many students memorize by rote, and substitute an alcohol like "EtOH" (ethanol) for water in the reaction, then ask what the product will be to test their understanding of the process instead of their ability to memorize a drawing or description.

So, chemically, alcohol acts a lot like water.

"Oil and water do not mix." You've probably heard that line often. Without going into too much detail as to why this is true, water (and many other) molecules act like little magnets; in other words they are polar and have "+" and "-" sides. Take two polar molecules and put them together and they do what magnets do, they line up, with the positive side of one molecule facing the negative side of the other. Polar molecules like to stick together.

Other molecules, like those in oil and gasoline are "non-polar," meaning they do not act like magnets. In fact, they don't like polar, magnet-like, molecules at all. Ever hear the line "Oil and Water Do Not Mix?" Well, they don't mix because oil (and gasoline) is made up of non-polar molecules that don't like magnets, and water is a polar molecule that is a magnet and really prefers the company of other magnet-like molecules.

Got it? Good, because (and this is where things get interesting) alcohol breaks the rules. It swings both ways, and will mix (chemists say "go into solution") with either water or oil. Oil and water may not mix, but alcohol goes well with everything.

Which can spell trouble for an engine that isn't designed to take that abuse, because alcohol and rubber mix, so rubber gaskets and O-rings are a bad idea if you're using alcohol. Paper fiber gaskets, which remain intact when you use gasoline, get mushy. Alcohol and iron or steel mix, too, which is bad, because it causes rust.

These problems are not insurmountable. Modern car engines -- anything built since 1980-something -- use materials that are designed to deal with low levels of alcohol in the fuel. "Flex-fuel" vehicles (like my Ford Ranger) are designed to use fuels that are mostly alcohol.

The cool thing about alcohol is we can make it instead of having to mine it out of the earth and refine it (which is very energy-expensive), and Brazil has been very successful at doing just that. Recognizing in the mid-70s that the rising cost of imported oil would likely wreck their economy, Brazil started switching to ethanol fuels made from sugar cane (instead of corn). Between their push to ethanol and other efforts to become more energy independent, almost half of their total energy needs are met from renewable sources and they have transformed themselves from being dependent on imported energy to run their economy to becoming a net exporter. As a side benefit, the air quality in their cities has improved and their total carbon emissions reduced even though their automobile and other energy use has increased.

Of course there are costs associated with ethanol production, including environmental impacts like deforestation. Environmental degradation goes hand-in-hand with all forms of energy production, oil, coal, ethanol, uranium, even solar and wind. The hard part is finding ways to minimize the damage while improving the country's long-term economic output. Not trying to be political here, but Brazil, the number eight economy in the world and rising, has done a pretty good job of both.
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Old 01-29-2011, 02:36 PM   #26
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I have never used it in the Oil but do put it in the gas tank twice a year.

Be weary of putting it in any carbed engine that has a float and needle valve assembly where the valve assembly is rubber. I found out that it swells the rubber. I found this out when I dismantled the carb on a pressure washer and the seat was swelled closed. I laid everything on the bench and went back a couple of days later and the needle valve seat had dried out and was as good as new. I now just stick to Sta-Bul Green.

The dealers run BG through the fuel system and we civilians can not buy it over the counter. I would put the Seafoam in the gas tank as specified and see if that fixes the problem and then do it one more time if needed. $400 to fix the problem of a gunk ed fuel system seams really high especially when my mechanic says they often just run the stuff in the gas tank and if it works, skip the more intensive connection directly through the system.
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Old 02-01-2011, 11:46 PM   #27
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Hello everyone,

I formed my opinion of ethanol before I saw all the information on the internet. Since 2004 I had the occasion to drive 1,700 miles from Missouri to California several times per year. My daughter was living in L A. Part of the time I pulled a trailer and other times I drove without a trailer. I drove three different gas engine pickup trucks during that time. All these trucks were equipped with a 3.70 ratio rear end. I always wrote the odometer reading on the fuel receipt each time I fueled and kept very careful records of my fuel mileage each trip.

In 2006 I traded my high mileage diesel Ford for a new Chevrolet K-1500 pickup with a 5.7 gasoline engine and a 4 speed automatic transmission. The Chevrolet was not enough truck to handle the 21’ Bigfoot. Because of that the following year I traded it for a new Ford F-350 with a 5.4 gasoline engine and a six speed manual transmission. I noticed when driving the Ford across New Mexico on I-40 (both ways with no trailer) for some strange reason the fuel mileage would increase from 15 MPG to 17 MPG. This was in spite of the fact that I would increase the speed to an average of 75 MPH from an average of 68 MPH. This occurred going in both directions three trips in a row.

When I pull a trailer to L A in the winter time I like to take the southern route and go to Amarillo then south west to Roswell then west over the mountains to Las Cruces to get on I-10. It is a very good road and only ads 70 miles to the entire trip. It reduces the chance of getting stuck in a blizzard. My trailer tow speeds are between 60 and 66 MPH. I noticed that the fuel mileage always increased from 10 MPG to 11.5 MPG on that stretch of HWY 70 between Roswell and Las Cruces. This was in spite of the fact that there is an upgrade of several miles west out of Roswell and a mountain range with miles of up grade to a pass of around 7800 feet near Ruidoso. Again this applied both ways and occurred several times.

Both trucks were somewhat under powered pulling that trailer. There were times when each of them would run in overdrive and other times when they did not have the power to maintain speed in overdrive on a level road. I finally figured out that the increased power and the increased fuel mileage always coincided with having fueled up at stations that sold straight gasoline with no ethanol. That was not necessarily limited to those stretches of road. AFTER that I stumbled onto all of the internet “information” about ethanol. It reinforced what I had already figured out. PLEASE DO YOUR OWN FUEL MILEAGE MEASUREMENTS.

Then I had this experience with my generator.

My current vehicle is a 2010 Ford F-150 two wheel drive with a 5.4 gasoline engine and the heavy “max trailer tow package” with the new six speed automatic transmission and a .370 axle ratio. You have to order one of these. No dealer will have one equipped that way. It is essentially a ¾ ton truck with a half ton body on it. It is one of the “flex fuel” models but I hate ethanol so badly that I would never put any “E-85” in it. That being said this truck has much more towing power than either of the previous ones did. It probably has to do with that new six speed automatic transmission. It is the best gasoline engine truck I ever towed with. It tows a heavier 25’ Bigfoot much easier than either of the others towed the lighter 21’ Bigfoot. It also has a very accurate fuel mileage readout on the instrument panel. When I can get ethanol free gas it will show 19 mpg (the way I normally drive, highway speeds of 70 MPH when not towing) With the 10% ethanol that reading goes down to 17.4 MPG. I will ad that when I slow to 55 to 60 MPH highway speeds the fuel mileage goes up to 21 MPG. This truck was new in May. It just now has 20,000 miles. It does not need to be repaired.

My home state of Missouri passed an ethanol mandate a few years back which requires gasoline sold at retail to contain 10% ethanol. In preparation for this our governor, his family and associates plus several members of the state legislature invested in a huge ethanol plant in the state. The St. Louis Post Dispatch did an article on it the time. (I read the article myself) The legislators crafted the mandate and the governor signed it into law. Their plant gets a Federal incentive payment of 50 cents per gallon for each gallon of ethanol produced and force fed to the petroleum industry. That was and is fraud.

Cheers,

Bruce
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Old 02-02-2011, 04:35 AM   #28
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The use of ethanol in gasoline has something to do with getting the lead out. Before ethanol, we tried another chemical and it ended up polluting Lake Tahoe and every other lake that allowed motorized boating. Breathing air contaminated with lead wasn't OK with everybody and neither was having our lakes contaminated with HTMB, so now we have 10% ethanol in gasoline to raise the octane rating.

There are things in life you can do something about and some things you can't. Seems like 10% ethanol in regular gasoline is something we learn to live with. I use red Sta-bil in all my small engines and get along very well. I don't add anything to gasoline for our 3 automobiles.
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