Brain E10 away

Day before yesterday, a young lady was asking about Creeping Ethanol:

When I bought the car [’98 Dodge Caravan] new, called Chrysler and they said it would be best to not use ethanol gasoline. There are getting to be more and more gas stations where you can’t even get pure gasoline without the ethanol and if they have it, it’s priced 15 cents (or more) a gallon over the price of the gas w/ethanol. Am I just being paranoid? My car’s been running well with no problems other than regular maintenance and the body’s in good shape so it’s worth it to hold onto a while longer.

I answered this, as I am wont to do, to the best of my ability:

Ten percent is not necessarily a killer; I’m doing well with E10. (It’s no good for things like lawn mowers, though.) Automakers don’t like it and will always recommend against it.

If you see any E15, however, it’s over the line, and in fact the EPA warns against it.

Several others answered along similar lines, and we all got exactly one downvote, probably from the person who sent me this nastygram:

People that claim that world food price BS , mistate the facts ,,,the truth is corn produces 7 gallon of alcohol per bushel of corn ,,,,,the kill the world guys say 2 gallons

I live in the corn belt of michigan , and before the FFV we were paid by the federal government millions per year to NOT GROW CORN , yep that is right I was paid a full wage to do nothing for years , yep YOU paid me to NOT plant a 1000 acres ,,,now how dumb is that ???

and I burn 50% alcohol in a car that is not supposed to burn it ,,,and it works fine and gets better milage and the E85 is $1 per gallon cheaper ,,,so what the hell is going on with you libs and big oil ,,,,do you realize Brazil cars burn ALL ethanol ,,,those vechiles were designed in Michigan , why the hell can’t we do it as well ??

I suspect that the other 50 percent, she’s actually drinking, or converting directly to commas.

And the Renewable Fuels Association, which presumably is not likely to understate its numbers in matters of this sort, claims a mere 2.8 gallons per bushel.


  1. fillyjonk »

    30 September 2013 · 7:24 am

    + 1 for the title. Clever.

    Are multiple commas the new all caps? When I see them all kinds of alarms go off in my head. (I used to have a keyboard that did that. I ditched it quickly)

    (Also good to know about the lawnmowers. Mine is currently cookie-powered, but if I break down and buy one with an actual combustion engine, I’ll have to remember to get gas for it at the local Love’s rather than the big chain guys who have 10% ethanol.)

  2. McGehee »

    30 September 2013 · 8:09 am

    It’s almost always E10 here, and I’ve been running lawn mowers on the same fuel as my truck for years with no engine troubles that I can detect.

    It’s possible the larger engines for riding mowers are more tolerant though. The cheap Walmart walk-behind I bought for the fenced backyard area that won;t admit the rider, does act half-snockered when I’m using it.

    Then again, that could be because it was the cheapest mower I could walk 20 feet into the Walmart garden center, grab, and wheel back to the checkstand.

  3. jsallison »

    30 September 2013 · 5:39 pm

    Feh I had three walk behinds die the death I wish for JarJar on Ewhatev, loud, messy and embarrassing. Bought a Black and Decker electric rechargeable, goodbye gas station.

  4. Dan B »

    2 October 2013 · 11:37 pm

    My experience with E# is that the older the vehicle is, the worse the results with it. I bought a 1996 Toyota Corolla 3 years ago ($200 cash and last 10 months, hard to beat a $20/month car payment), and it HATED E10. Its gas mileage dropped to 21 on E10, down from 29 on E0. My current 2002 Chevy Malibu isn’t fond of it, but hates it less than the Corolla, getting 22 on E10 versus 25 on E0. My wife’s 2008 Saturn Vue gets 23.0 on E10 and 23.5 on E0. I’m suspected the computers got better at adjusting for the ethanol.

    As for mowers, I bought a plug-in Black-and-Decker back in 2006, and it’s still spinning. Just don’t run over the cord and don’t mow when its wet.

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